The schools of the present time are much in better conditions then they use to be in the past, especially the private sector is doing a great job. They have resources and are very well utilizing them. I do believe several schools/colleges and especially the private ones and some social enterprises are doing a wonderful job Lalah Rukh is founder and CEO at Science Fuse.
What is “Science Fuse”, tell us something about it.
Ans. Science Fuse is a social enterprise through which we are trying to change “How science is perceived” and “How it is communicated to children”, both inside and outside the classrooms. In Pakistan, there are very few opportunities for the children to engage with science and we are trying to create more of these opportunities. We help private schools by making science more hands-on, sensory and fun for children. We want to nurture the future scientists, innovators and problem solvers for our country. We believe that through Science Fuse, we can really develop exceptional skills in children like critical thinking, communication skills, creative mindset and devoted to their aims/dreams etc, where children end up with the right knowledge and appropriate skills.
2. How were you as a student?
Ans. I was always an average student in my class. I grew up in Pakistan; I went to school till my A-levels in Karachi. As a student, I was always a curious student and the one who ask frequent questions in class. I developed a great relationship with many of my teachers. They made our lectures very exciting and engaging but unfortunately, none of these lessons were in the sciences. I remember my history teacher was a wonderful teacher and this made me realize how teachers play an important role in how much interest students show in the subject.
3. Do you remember your school and college days?
Ans. Yes, I do remember my school and college days and as compare to school days, my A-levels particularly was a difficult period for me. During my time, the schools and colleges were not really practical or hands-on or even fun, it was more about the burden, getting through the syllabus, needed to focus on achieving grades, monthly exams – these are my predominant memories. I enjoyed my studies along with my friends. I think I spent more time of my learning, outside the institutions and more in my intellectual information gaining. But all that was great to me!
4. Where your love for science came from?
Ans. My love for science did not come from school or college; it came from things outside these notions. At the age of 12, I read an article about pharmacogenomics and got engrossed to the idea about how in future doctors would be able to design personalized medicines for their patients. This article enshrined me to a point where I became obsessed with genetics. When I went to university I picked Molecular Biology and later on Bio-Technology as I was intrigued by the world of genetics. So, my curiosity with science didn’t come from the school environment.
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5. What are your views about present-day schools and colleges?
Ans. No doubt, the schools of the present time are much in better conditions then they use to be in the past, especially the private sector is doing a great job. They have resources and are very well utilizing them. I do believe several schools/colleges and especially the private ones and some social enterprises are doing a wonderful job. And, I do believe that if these schools/colleges and social enterprises come together then they can provide much greater learning opportunities.
6. What was your favorite subject that you enjoyed studying the most?
Ans. The subject I enjoyed studying the most was absolutely and undoubtedly “Sciences”. It was either chemistry or biology, while I was a bit scared of physics but started loving it later after having connections with high profile Scholars and Physicists.
7. Share your memories of school and college?
Ans. My memories are all about my time spent with my friends and with my teachers who were wonderful human beings. They were the most incredible, kind and gentle souls. They together made my school and post-school life beautiful, by giving me and the rest of the students with love and attention we needed.
8. Why should students spend their time in science, inventions, and experiments?
Ans. It’s important for the children to experience science and also important for them to have fun with science while learning it. It’s important for parents, teachers, and adults to know that science is and not just standing in a lab, or wearing a lab coat or holding test-tubes. To be a real scientist you don’t really need fancy equipments. You can do science in your kitchens or gardens and more importantly kids can do it! They can do it while investigating a problem, or while answering questions.
9. Tell us something about your team?
Ans. We had a great bunch of people at science fuse. I am proud of my team and I personally have seven years experience of working within science communication. We are having a total of 20 science communicators working in Lahore and 5 science communicators operating in Karachi. Most of them are young scientists or either doing research. We also have a science communicator who handles our social media and she’s a cancer researcher. All of us are motivated in spreading the love for science.
10. What sorts of problems do you face in terms of your job?
Ans. If you talk about problems then let say that every job is a challenge in itself and yes we do face problems but we do come up with solutions too, as a huge part of our work is to understand your audience. We deal with students as personal as possible. They usually are shy or hesitate but soon are at ease with us.
11. Give a message to young readers of Informal.
Ans. I hope all this was informative for the reader of “Informal” and if you like to reach up to us then do approach us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. We’ll appreciate if you come up with any ideas or want to collaborate, just feel free to contact, Thank you!