The Dhaka Residential Model College premises buzzed with excitement and activity from the 5th of February till the 8th, on the return of their annual science festival (its 7th instalment). It was the first of many festivals to be held around schools in Dhaka this year, and DRMC has set a relatively high standard for all the other institutions to go by.
The science festival at DRMC was received with much enthusiasm by everyone concerned, and it showed from the number of participants at each event. The festival had a setback due to a sudden hartal called on the 6th February, so all events on that day were brought forward to the 5th. Other than the conventional events one comes across at a science festival -- science project exhibition, general knowledge competition, math and science olympiads, the DRMC Science Club (DRMCSC) put together an array of segments that brought a refreshing newness to their festival. The photography competition, IQ test, the workshop on robotics or the science fiction writing competition -- all of these were well contested with a big number of participants; these being events you wouldn't come across at your average science fest. The festival had a remarkably large number of participants, with around 1000 taking part in all the events put together, if not more. This sort of huge participation was probably what caused a major schedule crash on the first day, but the organisers showed composure and acted professionally in moving past that. Dhaka Residential Model College has arguably the largest campus among all schools in the city and they played host to around 3000 visitors in three days. They had a busy crew of student delegates and volunteers working for the DRMCSC, and the event was run with all the craft that could be expected from a bunch of such young people.
Anuva Ananya of class 9, Viqarunnisa Noon School, attended this science festival for the first time and felt that this fest was one of her better experiences as far as inter school competitions were concerned. “The numerous kinds of olympiads really helped me see some light as to the sciences that are out there, sciences you don't really put a lot of thought into as a student. And for me, the science fiction writing competition was the best of the lot, I've never heard of such an event and now I feel inspired to keep writing on a subject I used to believe was junk,” she said.
J.M. Arifur Rahman, convener of the Square-DRMC 7th National Science Festival and head of the organising committee, believed that they had managed to go a fair way to what they set out to achieve. “Our club motto is Semper Supra, which is Latin for 'always upwards', we wanted to invite everyone to an event that attempts to exceed itself with every passing year, and we at DRMCSC have put our concerted efforts into achieving that.”
A total of 8 different olympiads and the preliminary quiz rounds were completed on the first day, the second day comprised of the final rounds of the General Knowledge Competition, and the judgment of the science project exhibition. The third and final day of the festival was reserved for the closing and prize giving ceremony. The ceremony was attended by special guest Professor Ali Asgar, renowned physicist and a former professor of BUET, and chief guest Tapan Chowdhury, Managing Director of Square Group.
Long gone are the days when only a select few schools in Dhaka dared to organise an event as huge as this one, an inter school science festival, or maybe even a science fair. Dhaka Residential Model College started late, but started well, and by now, with their 7th annual science festival out of the way, they are arguably the organisers of the biggest science fest in the country. We can only hope that schools learn from DRMC, as DRMC has learned from other schools, and such events become a regular thing at our schools, rather than something few and far between.
The event was organised jointly by the DRMCSC and Dhaka Residential Model College; sponsored by Square Group and co-sponsored by Islami Bank Ltd. Food and beverage partners Partex, Igloo and Nescafe; media partner Masranga TV; print media partners The Daily Star and Kaler Kontho; online media partner BDNews24.com; and radio partner Dhaka FM provided assistance. Banglalion provided free Wi-Fi for the participants and visitors for 3 days during the event, acting as the connectivity partner.