We are currently planning that the National Science and Engineering Fair Pakistan 2020-21 will be a virtual event that includes a judged competition and distribution of awards, both Grand Awards and the opportunity for Special Award Organizations to judge and name awardees. The decision is subject to change as per the changing COVID-19 situation across the regions and instructions of the NCOC (National Command and Operations Centre). We believe that an in-person science fair cannot and should not be replaced with a virtual experience as a long-term solution. The intrinsic value of the in-person dialogue, interaction and cultural and intellectual exchange that is afforded by an in-person event cannot be fully realized in a virtual environment. However, while we as a nation and as a world continue to suffer the effects of the pandemic, our over-arching goal is to keep all safe and to proceed with an abundance of caution. We recognize that these are difficult decisions to be made and we will be as flexible and as supportive as we can as we all continue to support our student scientists and engineers in pursuing their passion to the best of our ability.
The Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), a program of Society for Science and the Public is the world’s largest pre-college science competition that provides opportunity for the world’s best young scientists and inventors to come together to share ideas, showcase cutting-edge science projects, and compete for US $4 million in awards and scholarships. Approximately 1,800 (grade 8 – 12) students from over 78 countries and territories participate each year.
In Pakistan, the program involves over 10,000 students annually. Competitions are initially held at the provincial levels, from where students are shortlisted to participate in the Regeneron ISEF affiliated National Science and Engineering Fair Pakistan. Every year 3 to 7 projects (5 to 10 students) are selected to participate at the international fair. The initiative was launched in Pakistan in 2004 by Intel Education Initiative, with the aim of promoting students’ interest in science and research. The aim is to infuse the spirit of discovery in school children, increase their interest in science and technology, and build a robust scientific temper among the youth of the country. Each year, research-based science projects by young students, are reviewed by an eminent jury comprising of scientists and domain experts. Then, the short-listed entries are showcased at the annual National Fair. In the past few years projects designed by Pakistani students have won many positions at international competitions. Since 2006, there have been 16 positions won by Pakistani students at ISEF.
An Nafi Educational Technologies (ANETech) is the only registered agency with the Society for Science and the Public (USA), for the program implementation in Pakistan. The local implementation agency (ANETech) is the driving force for Regeneron ISEF program in Pakistan to hold Science Fairs all across the country arranged at the provincial and national levels.