World Space Week: Students have out-of-this-world experiences at Space Fair

Students from S.M.B Fatima Jinnah Govt Girls Campus capture the cosmological life in a model on the theme of World Space Week, Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth at the Space Fair (left). A student models with a water rocket invented at the fair (right). PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

Students from S.M.B Fatima Jinnah Govt Girls Campus capture the cosmological life in a model on the theme of World Space Week, Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth at the Space Fair (left). A student models with a water rocket invented at the fair (right). PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 07th OCTOBER 2013: 

In another round of World Space Week celebrated in Karachi, scores of students from different schools and college eager to learn about space sciences attended the two-day Space Fair at the Pakistan Air Force Museum.

The Space Fair is part of the World Space Week being celebrated all over the world and is being held by the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco).

Many space related activities, such as a space movie theater, philately stall, sky observation, university projects’ display, water rocket demonstrations, space studio, book stalls and kids arena, were carried out.

Rockets, satellites

The students of Suparco’s Institute of Technical Training (SITT) demonstrated water rockets. As boys took part, their female counterparts told the visitors about how the rockets were made.

“This activity teaches how to use waste material in a productive way,” SITT student Laraib Malik remarked while she was briefing the visitors.

“I browsed the internet to learn more about space but this fair has rather enabled me to observe and see with my naked eyes,” said Sajjad Ahmed, a BBA student.

SITT final year students presented their projects, including process control trainer, IC tester and others.

Suparco’s engineer Shafat displayed his three models, Badar-1, Badar-B and Paksat-1R, to display the importance of a satellite. “It is a great sign that the new generation is interested in learning about science,” he said.

“The projects here are quite fascinating, although they have not been promoted so far,” complained a student, Nosheen. “The students will learn about space science and will also get involved in healthy activities,” she added though.

World Space Week

World Space Week is celebrated in more than 100 countries after it was declared by the United Nation’s General Assembly in 1999 but Pakistan started celebrating it from 2005. It aims to increase awareness among decision-makers and the public in general about the benefits of outer space and to explore more about this world and Mars. The theme of the week is Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth.

The activities this year have been extended to 11 cities across the country, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, Quetta, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Larkana, Abbotabad and Gilgit.

“These activities engage youngsters to explore more of science,” said Sheraz Ahmed, a visitor.

The stellar girl

Ayesha Memon, the first Pakistani girl who was selected for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration space camp in 2011, participated in the fair.

“It was the most beautiful experience of my life,” she told The Express Tribune. Memon was the only girl in a five-member team from Pakistan while five students from India were selected the same year. “It was an honour for me. We [Pakistani] students are very talented but we lack facilities,” said Memon, adding that space science is not widespread in Pakistani education.

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