One of the most important programmes put together by Holy Cross College is the Annual Science Festival. This year, for the 5th time in a row, Holy Cross organized an Inter College Science Festival with the theme 'Inhale the Essence of Science - Heal the world.' A total of thirteen different colleges, including the host, had participated in the event. Compared to the previous occasions, Dhaka Residential Model College, St. Joseph College, and Rajuk Uttara Model College have been showing improved performance in recent times. The usual frontrunners are Notre Dame College, Viqarunnisa Noon College and the host (Holy Cross College) themselves. The three day long program which kicked off on 6 September 2007 was ceremoniously brought to a close on the 8 of September 2007. The entire schedule of the festival was deftly presented through different innovative activities.
We all agree on the importance of science education in
Bangladesh. Festivals like these do a lot to form an accord to practice science more deeply in our everyday lives. “We assembled an organized science club in 2003 and our club is organizing science festivals since. It is a great honour to have judges from many different colleges and universities from around the country. Working relentlessly with the students makes me feel young again. I'm happy to see that our students are coming up with ideas that can be put to practice in real life to benefit the people. We expect the media to introduce these projects to the researchers and the scientists who can help these models taken up as commercial ventures,” said Mrs. Rina Dash, the vice principal of Holy Cross College.
On the first day of the festival it was inaugurated by two very special people, Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim of the Physics Department, University of Dhaka and Dr. Hasina Khanum of Genetics Department, DU. The guests were invited to attend a seminar on the objective of the science fair and various other issues in science. Meanwhile, volunteers and executive members of the Holy Cross College Science Club neatly arranged all the registered projects and geared them up for display. The next day, the college campus was teeming with curious onlookers who had come to get a glimpse of the interesting projects created by young students. Surprisingly, most of the contestants were no older than 16 or 17 and yet came up with brilliant ideas that can be put to use for the enhancement of mankind if given the right kind of patronization. The students of Holy Cross College were aware of all that was required to make their festival successful. They had decorated their walls and stairways with eye-catching and educative posters and leaflets signifying different scientific features. There were a total of 21 projects which for expediency was divided in to 5 basic segments termed Physical, Computing, Biological, Psychological and Geographical. Each category comprised of 8 to 10 projects. The innovative projects varied from 'Impacts of Global Warming' by Viqarunnisa Noon College to 'Laser Data Transfer' by Notre Dame College or even 'Division of Attention' by Holy Cross College. Among other unmatched projects was 'DNA Extraction' by Notre Dame
College, 'Gene Therapy' by Holy Cross College, 'Storing Energy Through Charge' by Engineering University College, 'Air Pollution' by Badrunnesa Women's' College, 'Prevention of Flood' by Rifles Public College and 'Bird Flu' by St. Joseph College.
Just to go halves with the experience of viewing some of the most impressive projects, here is a bit of a detailed sketch of what our little masterminds had offered. Starting with the host, 'Sex Pheromone Trap System' by Holy Cross College was all about the harms caused due to excessive use of pesticides in agricultural fields and a way out to the problem. We all know that pesticides washed away by the rainwater pours into the rivers and canals affecting the water bodies and eventually the humans.
Phoremone is a semi chemical substance which can be collected from both male and female insects. All we shall need is a plastic can with two holes on the opposite sides of it and a container containing female sex pheromone. Placing the container inside the can will attract male insects to enter the can. Once the male insect enters the can some toxic substance smeared on the base of the container will kill the insect. Nusrat Sharmin, Nawshin Taslima Hossain and Raihanur Jannat explained that the process is efficient and inexpensive. Sex Pheromones are active only within the species and kills only the harmful insects. It can also help balance biodiversity. Another project that is worthy of elaboration was 'Nuclear Reactor' by Notre Dame College. Nuclear power plants can provide about 17% of the world's electricity. Some countries depend more on nuclear power for electricity than others. Nuclear power is safe. Sakib Ajwad, Abir Rahman Choudhury and Shariful Islam expressed their grave concerns about the ongoing shortage in power generation and had proposed to have the country's own nuclear plants using nuclear reactors.
The day also had preparations for an exhilarating round of quiz. Then came the science Olympiad followed by a math Olympiad. It was amazing to find so many youthful talents under one roof who were indeed supercomputers with hearts. Enthusiastic students and teachers were seen treading the college campus in insuppressible excitement as end of the day's event was reached by an IQ test. The finale of this festival was nevertheless more striking as it involved the long awaited award ceremony and a very celebrated scientist of Bangladesh who gave away the prizes to the winners. After the final round of the quiz and a couple of stirring extempore speeches the closing moments drew nearer. It began with a little thank you note from the Holy Cross College Science Club president Alifa Tasnim. She thanked all her teachers, students concerned, participants from other colleges, honourable judges, the sponsors Akij Beverages ltd. And Brac Bank for putting up such a beautiful show. She proudly announced that in her college students from both Humanities and the Business Studies group contributed to this event making it a festival for all. Shortly afterwards the principal of Holy Cross College Marian Teresa expressed her gratitude to the chief guest for his valuable time and the sponsors who made things possible for them. She also talked about the importance of science in developing a nation and insisted on studying science more efficiently in order to establish our country as a scientifically developed one. Then it was the turn of the chief guest to say a few words on the occasion. Yes readers, the chief guest was none other than our beloved Dr. Zafar Iqbal who rendered an exciting speech that left others speechless. He was genuinely happy to be at the festival and thanked all the teachers and students for arranging such an event.
He invited everyone to be more scientific-minded and use science creatively. He believed that at least one in a million of these students will bring the Nobel prize in any field of science for the country. He ended his memorable speech by stating that there is no bliss in indulging oneself.
Rather the most blissful thing on earth is to be able to do something for others. Among others who spoke before the prizes were handed over was the Vice Principal of Holy Cross College Mrs. Rina Dash, Vice president and Head of Human Resources, Brac Bank Mrs. Tahniyat Ahmed karim. Later came the moment of truth as everyone tightened their muscles to hear the names of the winners being announced. Dr. Zafar Iqbal gave away the awards and the certificates to the victors of the day and the achievers of tomorrow. With a sense of ecstatic conquest still fresh in their memories students of Holy Cross College set out to prepare themselves for the next day's predicament, the class tests!