Overview: “Astro-Phy Quench” – School of Astronomy and Physics

According to UN, Pakistan is the 5th Populus country. For Children b/w 5 &16 years, 32 % are not in school, second largest in world (53 % of whom are girls). Inequality is pervasive b/w urban-rural locations. Women’s labour force participation rate (21.5%) is among the lowest in region, as are rates of gender parity in education.

Considering limited opportunities / exposure to STEM fields for females and marginalized communities in Pakistan, Project “Astro-Phy Quench” aims to work on inclusion and diversity by engaging young females from remote areas and underserved students from the conflict-affected parts of Pakistan.“Astro-Phy Quench” sought to foster a sense of science identity through informal physics and astronomy-related blended learning interactions among: 1) Underserved students inclusive of both male / females 2) Female high school students from sub-urban and remote areas of Pakistan.

Project will involve: 1) Introductory course on Astronomy using online telescope 2) Introductory course on Particle Physics with hands on activity, 3) International collaborations bringing early research exposure at high school level by; a) Virtual visits to large research infrastructures like Virgo (Gravitational Waves Observatory) & hands on activities b) Engaging small group of students to conduct a research project 4) Guest talks and celestial observations.

It aims to 1) Produce scientific literate youngsters among disadvantage groups acting as STEM ambassador for their communities 2) Engage targeted groups to create scientific you tube content; to spread the word of science and inspire peers 3) Skills including data analysis using excel, communication skills and poster presentation. 4) Award monetary incentive for student content creators and volunteers from community 5) Collaborate with community teachers, research institutes, scientists, and astronomical societies.