The National Finale of Famelab 2019, hosted by British Council, took place on March 23 in The Westin Dhaka. Famelab, the world’s leading science communication competition, requires each contestant to present a STEM topic of their choice with content, clarity and charisma in three minutes, using props.
Alvee Islam, the first Bangladeshi finalist in the 2018 International Finale of Famelab, hosted this year’s national finale event. “Bangladesh stands on the same level as other international contestants. I know it is possible for us to win,” he stated.
14 national finalists competed at the event. The presentations ranged from the ancient invention of fire to modern day stress, neuroplasticity and blockchain.
Some participants spoke about how science can not only educate but also liberate us from social stigmas. Speaking on menstruation, Mahin Iqbal Chowdhury said that superstitions can be combated with science communication while Md Zayeed Bin Alam expressed that scientists are not isolated workers.
The judges Aupee Karim, Humaira Akhter, Mustak Ibn Ayub, Mohammad Kawsar Sharif Siam, Riaz Uddin Ahamed Siddique were impressed by the outstanding performances of the science enthusiasts and said that there is a lot to learn from them.
Special guests Professor Abdul Mannan, Chairman, University Grants Commission, Bangladesh, and Md Sohorab Hossain, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Education, offered words of encouragement to the participants.
The chief guest, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Posts Telecommunication and Information Technology, also spoke. He said, “Necessity is the mother of invention and science is the main engine for prosperity”. He further announced that each participant will be receiving a laptop.
Finally, the winner, Afrin Bin Nur Adib elucidated what fire is, and how the first inventions of mankind attest the significance of science in our lives. Adib developed an interest in science since his days at Cadet College. “I started enjoying particular topics and wanted to teach science in the easiest ways possible. “I know many people who don’t put in the effort because they don’t find science interesting. If someone could make science interesting to them, we could have good prospects for the students in our country.”
The winner will represent Bangladesh in the Famelab International Final along with finalists from over 27 countries, to be held in Cheltenham UK.