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Science Fair Silver for Students in Afghanistan

Cardboard and colored paper, straws and balloons, paper cups and scotch tape may not be the most high-tech materials. But for students attending their first Science Fair in Afghanistan, without many resources, it proved a fun way to learn and challenge their imaginations.

For months our community has been working with a local school to help 26 students from a local orphanage, from 1st to 7th grade, get a quality education. It’s a team effort, with a local donor providing transportation to get the kids to school. Since the beginning of this project, teachers and administrative staff of the school have witnessed a drastic improvement in reading, writing, and comprehension from these pupils.

Opportunities to learn have closed to so many girls. A community partnership is keeping a door open. Photo by Sohrab Omar.

In August, the school held a Science Fair, for the students from their school and other schools in their district. Although a bit intimidated by the lack of resources, our students still gave all they had to their projects. Thirteen students that our community supports participated in this Science Fair, and their results were impressive. Two students received silver medals, and four received bronze medals. This is despite the fact that it was the first time these students have ever participated in this type of contest with their peers.

This Science Fair stirred the imagination of Sayed, a 7th-grade student who worked on an auto-sensor light project. His project triggered good conversation among the students. Judges were also very impressed with this project. Sayed earned a silver medal, which he proudly wore for the rest of the day. Not to be outdone, Ali, a 5th-grade student, illustrated how paper cups could hold a heavy item if the weight could be evenly dispersed to each cup.

Card stock, pencil crayons, plastic tubing, and balloons—all this team needed was simple materials to show how lungs work. Photo by Sohrab Omar.

Young minds aren’t limited by circumstance. They aren’t limited by a lack of resources. Sayed and Ali are proof that young minds can still be inspired and just need opportunity. We are committed to partnering with local schools and community organizations to provide further opportunities for these students to grow and imagine.

Regardless of politics, these kids are the future of Afghanistan, and we’re standing with them.

Students of schools across the region competed, and their parents were invited to visit presentations. Photo by Sohrab Omar.