Children have fun doing science at the Alliance Française Islamabad
The Pak-France Alumni Network (PFAN) and the Alliance Française of Islamabad hosted together a “science event” for about thirty children and their parents on October 27, 2010 in the premises of the Alliance Française in Islamabad. The event was an interactive session, during which the children performed science experiments under the guidance of two French experts, Michel Ouliac and Patrick Marcel . Both scientists were visiting Pakistan under the programme “La Main a la Pate (LAMAP)” in cooperation with Pakistan Science Foundation and the Embassy of France in Pakistan.
After a brief introduction regarding LAMAP by Dr. K. Yaldram, the children were split into groups of 4 to 5 around a table. On the table each group was provided with a couple of objects. Using these objects the children were required to seek solution to a scientific question posed by the instructor. The children could discuss and argue amongst themselves before trying out the solution they had all agreed on. Problems were related to both biology and physics. At the end of the session a volunteer from amongst the students presented before the participants the solution everyone had agreed to.
The atmosphere in the two rooms used by the children was really pleasant. It was a real treat to see the children so full of enthusiasm trying to convince their colleagues that they had the right solution. Needless to say that the solutions to the problems were not always evident and the parents also learnt through the experience of their children.
It was a memorable evening of having fun while doing science. The lesson for us scientists was that one could device simple science experiments from everyday household items and the children could be led into the wonderful world of science by letting them seek solutions to problems through a process of thinking, observation, discussion, argument, questioning and experimenting.