Vol. 4 Num 71 Wed. August 06, 2003  

Tech Fair
Fair frames creative flair

Notre Dame Science Club gets the best young IT minds together to put up an impressive display from July 31 to August 2.

The big hall room was filled with an expectant crowd waiting in anticipation for the inauguration of the IT Fair organised recently by the Notre Dame Science Club.

Dr. Abdul Moyeen Khan, science and ICT minister, who happens to be himself a Notre Damian, encouraged the initiative by being present at the function. He was delighted to see how good the works on display at the fair were and pledged government support for moves to help the fledgling IT sector flourish at the grassroots.

"This country may be lacking in resources but not in talent or creativity. We are profusely gifted with talented girls and boys and this fair has created a platform for squeezing out their creative flairs". He offered to send the best projects through his ministry to the software fair to be held in US in October.

This year's IT Fair showcased a number of projects like web page designing, software displays, digital poster, gaming contest, digital painting contest (for children), and programming contest. As many as 400 participants between 5th and 12th grade from 20 schools and colleges were drawn together for the three-day long fair.

A programming contest was held on the second day and 49 teams fought it out among themselves for the honours. Dr. M Kaykobad, professor of computer science and engineering department, BUET conducted this contest. Engineering University College students came top solving five out of the six problems posed before them while Notre Dame College were runners-up.

On the same day, a gaming contest was also organised with 106 contenders having to play a game called "Star Craft". On the third day, a seminar and workshop was arranged with Dr. Kaykobad presenting the keynote speech on IT in Bangladesh. This was aimed at projecting the current status of ICT in Bangladesh and addressing various problems faced by programmers.

One may wonder whether teens having limited academic exposure to coding would be able to create competent software for display in a fair having the auspicious presence of a minister. For them, a trip to the fair would have been a pleasant surprise. Their work may not have been entirely perfect for the corporate world but they were not too far either. The ideas and concepts clearly demonstrated that the budding programmers were brimming with creativity and talent.

Ratul of Notre Dame College came up with several projects brilliantly done with Flash MX, Visual C, Adobe and other tools. Personal web page aside he also created a linear programming tool and Locationing Software based on Caller ID, helping users to track callers on a map. Another group came up with an impressive project called Bangla Soft. All popular and commonly used applications such as web browser, text editor, mp3 and video players are assembled into one unit with the GUI in Bangla. Theme of the web projects seemed to center around Bangladesh; its culture and politics. Bangladesh Janala was an interesting concept in the sense that this web page featured the cultural aspect of our country. Over here festivals, historical places, tourist spots and folk music were presented in very colorful manner. In another project rivalry between the two main political parties and border tension with India came up in the form of funny animated flash presentations.

Some other projects worthy of mention were Bangla Time, Library, Hospital Management, Bangabani Word Processor, Paint Magic, 3D Mass Security System, E-dictionary, Encryption Master, Java Reader, Music Maker etc.

According to the Notre Dame Science Club president, "This fair was held to promote the creative work of the new generation of programmers and acquaint them with the practical scenario."

Inspiration at this age can do wonders and given proper guidance, this kind of exposure might actually act as springboard for helping them embark on real-life projects in the future.