Students from the Sindh Community Mobilization Program (CMP) competed in the Intel Provincial Science Fair in Karachi this month, where 10 of their 13 projects were selected to compete in the National Science Fair to be held later this year.
A total of 45 students (20 boys, 25 girls) competed in the science fair, representing various CMP partner schools from rural districts of the Sindh Province. The students competed in the categories of: Medicine and Health/Disease Diagnosis and Treatment, Chemistry, and Environmental Sciences and Management.
Schoolgirls Muskan Abdul Qayoom, Suran Qamardin and Fiza Khuda Bux – representing Government Girls Campus School, Allan Khan Jamali, Jacobabad – presented their project called “The Egg Shell Can Protect Wood from White Ants” and were selected to advance to the Intel National Fair. They explain the inspiration behind their work:
“We were clueless initially about what to prepare and what can be a winning project. One day when we were sitting near the window in our class, we saw a line of white ants getting into the wood. When we looked at it carefully, we realized that most of the wood was broken and damaged. It clicked, and we all were looking at each other. That sparked the idea and we started to talk about it with our teachers. We searched on the internet and started to work on our project abstract. Once it was ready, it was sent to a university for a lab test and we were told that it works against the white ants. We started to collect empty egg shells, wash them properly and crush them to powder, and apply the powder on doors and windows which were damaged by the ants, and the results were just amazing, you can witness by yourself how effectively it has protected the wood from further damage. Even now we are using this powder at home to protect our furniture.”
Worth noting is the fact that students from the CMP schools, both girls and boys, were competing against students representing private schools from all over the province – including institutions of Karachi – who have far better and well-equipped labs and facilities, specialized subject teachers, access to modern learning material, and experience with this type of science fair or competition. The CMP students’ projects not only made it through the preliminary selection process in order to appear at the Intel Fair, but as previously mentioned, 10 of their 13 teams were selected to continue on in the National Science Fair, held later this year.