Learning definitions from textbooks is boring for students, so in order to resolve this problem Alif Ailaan organised science experiments through experiential learning for the students of Government Boys and Girls Secondary School Qamarul Islam.
For more than 800 students who study at four different schools, science is only what they learn in books and from teachers but on Tuesday the Pakistan Science Club, Robotics Labs and Pakistan Alliance for Maths and Science showed the students a different side of science.
“I never thought I could learn science from these types of experiments,” said Kamila Abdul Qadeer, a student of class five who was excited to recreate some of the experiments. The campaign aimed at involving students in understanding the science behind the experiments and the logic of the reactions.
The event was divided into sessions so that each club or lab could perform and teach the students with the help the apparatus. “Our aim is to let children have first-hand experiences in science,” said a stem engineer at Robotics Lab, Aminul Islam, who was showing how light travels with the help of fiber optic cables.
Islam, while explaining to the students how gas travels with sound, filled plastic buckets covered with a sheet with gas. The buckets had a hole at the bottom through which the gas was released in the shape of rings when the sheet was tapped. “We make the students do the experiments with us so that they will learn it for a lifetime,” explained Islam, adding that by providing them with this opportunity, Robotics Lab is trying to involve students in experiential learning.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Science Club’s experimenters explained the reaction of acid and rubber to the students and made them burst balloons by dropping drops of lemon juice on them. They also showed students how to pierce potatoes with plastic straws, all the while explaining the science behind the experiment.
Headmistress of the boys’ primary section, Durdana Tabassum, commented on the activity and said the students usually take an interest in science but after 10 to 15 minutes in class, they get bored of the terminologies but at this experiential learning programme they are enjoying themselves and participating in the activities happily.
Dilawar, who lives near the school, finds the activities fascinating. “I really like how they made me pass the light from the wire,” he said, smiling happily.
Alif Ailaan’s Regional Campaign Organiser Sikander Bizenjo said that there are two more science exhibitions in pipeline at government schools.