is a fairly new concept in our culture. The word was first introduced
to the public when the Bangladesh Astronomical Association (BAA)
organised their first Mohakash Utshab or Spacefest back in 1996.
a string of programmes and two subsequent Spacefests, one in
1996 and the other in 1999 pushed the name of BAA into the popular
domain. “The huge support we are now getting from different
organisations was something of a dream ten years back. For many
people thought we were too young to have undertaken such an
endeavour,” says Mash-Hur-Ul-Amin, who had been at the helm
of things at BAA.
As the present
Director of the organisation that took its first step way back
in 1988, and as the chairperson of the Spacefest-2003, Amin
believes that their present credibility is the result of their
consistent programmes surrounding astronomy and other science
related subjects. “The uninterrupted publication of the Mohakashbarta,
the science magazine of the association, certainly paid dividend.
With this we have demonstrated that young people still have
the ability to lead the way and even stay the course,” Amin
participating in making of Columbia-- the U.S. space shuttle,
during the last spacefest.
publication that was launched back in 1988 as a thin volume
of scientific writings aiming at young people has now grown
into a full-blown, book-size, fat journal. “We are grateful
that Graphosman, an organisation working in the area of cartography,
is giving us full support in both printing and publishing of
the journal,” reveals Amin, who had to wade through a lot of
difficulties at the beginning of the organisation. Today he
has all the reasons to blissfully bask in BAA's success. If
one takes into account the kind of response the Spacefest, 2003
has spurred, one will realise that BAA, with their hard work
and perseverance, has left those grueling days behind.
2003, has many sponsors, and more are willing to lend a hand.
This time it is the centenary of invention of the first aeroplane
that incited the BAA to organise this festival. The event is
hinged around one of the most significant machines of the twentieth
century. The contribution of the Write brothers in humans' aspiration
to fly and conquer the sky is proverbial. Two of them struck
upon this amazing idea of a machine in December 17, 1903, and
that auspicious invention had forever changed the history of
machine and as well as man.
group is the school and college-going children, as it is in
this formative stage that they need to be inducted to the world
of science,” states Amin. It is the development of science and
technology that the organisers of BAA have at the back of their
mind. “Our aim is to popularise the study and practice of science,”
adds Amin. Hence the spacefests and all the other activities
that their organisation have taken up.
is an organisation that is run by amateur astronomers and science
enthusiasts, their programmes do not always consist of simulations,
demonstrations, or theoretical discussions. In fact, in 1997,
they built a set of classroom planetarium using the technological
support of the expertise developed at Dholai Khal, A place much
touted for its ability to copy gazettes and gizmos. The set
was sold to Bangladesh Public Administration Training Cntre,
which was interested in having one for their classrooms. The
barter that followed left the association much fatter in the
coffer, and it is from this point on that Amin and his contingent
of science enthusiasts, began to think big.
arrangement so far will be the Spacefest- 2003. It kicks off
on December 17, and will continue till the 20th of the month
with one off day on the 18th. The venue is the open field of
BUET at Palashi. Starting from 3 p.m. of December 17, the day
will be marked by different programmes that stretches for next
three days. The highlight of the three-day long programme would
be the competition of model making, of aeroplane of course,
seminars and award giving. Participants are school children,
and they will be divided into two groups according to age.
remember the enthusiastic bustle of children working on the
model of spaceships, and all fun during the other activities
from the last spacefest, will not be willing to give this one
3 p.m. December 17.
Displays at the Exhibition Gallery: a. From Icarus of the Write
brothers to the space shuttles of today. b. Evolution of the
stars. c. Solar System. d. Children's Science Lab. e. Teliscope.
f. Old and new astronomical apparatus. g. The planatorium.
a. A competition of making models of aircrafts on December 19.
Air Parabat has sponsored a plane ride for the first three winners
from two groups of contestants. The prize winner would be awarded
with a return ticket to Singapore courtesy of Singapore Airlines.
b. Seminars: December 17, 11 p.m., subject ---“History behind
the invention of Aeroplane” presented by Squadron Leader (Rtd)
Syed M Akhter. December 20, 2.30 p.m. subjects--- “Motorised
Paraglider” presented by Yves Marre and “Ground Effect and Seaplanes”
by Anders Korswing. A quiz Contest. d. Award Giving. d. Sky
Observation on every evening during the festival.