Physics being one of the leading branches of science starting its journey from the time immemorial, continuing it and will lead it to the last moment of time itself. It is the science trying to bridge the eternal gap between big-bang and big-crunch. Trying to unveil the mystery of black hole and unfold the enigma of Bermuda triangle. It is Physics that helps astronomers to look into the expanding universe and to find new galaxies through its inventions of telescopes and assisting biologists in exploring the verisimilitude of microscopic world with the help of its creation – Electron Microscope. Physics deals with what is concealed in microcosm and what is revealed in macrocosm. It is physics that has helped improving agriculture, medicine, industry, technology and information technology more than any other allied science or technology.
Now the question is what at national level we are doing for this most paying and contributing branch of science. No doubt, the teaching of Physics starts with Secondary School and continues till PhD degree in different specialized areas, in most of the Public Sector and Private Universities. So far so good, but application of Physics in various domains of practical life, unfortunately, it is almost nil. It is very painful when we see that the first and only Nobel Prize (intellectual) winner’s subject is totally ignored when it comes to its application. At secondary, higher secondary, graduate and even post graduate levels it is taught, mostly in a way to grab marks and methodology adopted here focuses largely on marks scoring techniques. Rather than constructing this major most branch of science on concepts and understanding, stress is laid on approaches of scoring good grades. What if student getting A Grade does not know the basis of the subject? This has now become, “A National Dilemma”.
The question is how to overcome this National Dilemma? The answer is very simple: to develop the culture of competition among students of Secondary and Higher Secondary Standards, both at National and International Levels.
This will help students of intellectually tender age to develop within themselves the sense of competition, understanding, critical analysis, scientific criticism and courage to face hard times. In return some great thinkers, analysts, critics, researchers, scholars and scientists are guaranteed.
One such international event, “International Young Physicists’ Tournament” (IYPT), also referred to as “Physics World Cup is held every year. It is team oriented competition.
In order to promote Physics at Secondary and Higher Secondary Levels in Pakistan, Dr. Farida Tahir, Associate Professor, in the department of Physics at COMSAST Institute of Information Technology took an initiative, initially in 2011, when she attended 24th IYPT in the capacity of Observer/Juror. Then in 2016, she prepared a team of 5 self motivated students for the first time in the history of Pakistan to take part in 29th IYPT that took place between June 26 – July 03, 2016 in Yekaterinburg and with the efforts of Dr. Farida Tahir and Mr. Tahir Hussain Khan, CIIT won the status of IYPT Member Organization (IMO) for 5 years. Since then Pakistan has successfully participated in all IYPTs. In this short period of three years we can very proudly share the success stories as an outcome of IYPTs. In October 2017, a young lad of Pakistan, Mr. Shaheer Niazi caught the universal attention, when his work on ‘Electric Honey Comb” saw the light of print and was published in “Royal Society Open Science, the same journal in which Newton published his research work at the age of 17. Mr. Shaheer is ahead of Newton by few months. He was not seventeen when his work was accepted. The published work was outcome of one of the problems that Mr. Shaheer presented in Physics Fight I 29th IYPT. Mr. Niazi was one of the members of Team that represented Pakistan in 29th IYPT. The theoretical work was mentored by Dr. Farida Tahir, whereas, the experiment was supported by LUMS and was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Sabieh Anwar, Associate Professor, LUMS.
Then another boy Mr. Ahad Butt, who out of thousands of applicants was among 10 successful applicants those won full-fledged financially supported admission in Columbia University mainly because of his solution to a problem of Magnetic Train, which he presented in Physics Fight in IYPT.
The most important of all is that Pakistan has won the bid to host 2021 IYPT in which teams from about 40 countries will be participating.
Moreover, since 2017, Dr. Farida Tahir has very successfully managed to start with Pakistan Young Physicists Tournament (PYPT) in Pakistan. Which after two years of success i.e. 2016 and 2017 was further expanded to Regional Levels and in 2018 we had three Regional Young Physicists Tournaments before final and this year we are having 2nd Regional Tournaments, covering the regions namely Punjab (Held on October 19 -20, 2019, Federal to be held on November 23-24, 2019, Khyber Pukhtun Khawa and possibly in Sindh as well.
This will help imparting research and science at Secondary and Higher Secondary Levels.