KSS and The International Year of Astronomy 2009 and Beyond

The Khwarizmi Science Society find great pleasure in presenting a report of the Society’s spectacular achievements in the year 2009 and beyond, in celebrating the International Year of Astronomy (IYA). This was enabled by the seed grants received from the Emerging Nations Science Foundation (ENSF), the Canon Foundation for Scientific Research, the Pakistan Science Foundation and donations from individuals. With the help of this grant, the KSS was able to extend its activities, for the first time, outside Lahore and reach out into the remote and distant locations of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkha. These melas have served around 10,000 schoolchildren, teachers and parents.

Our so-called falakyati melas were hailed a tremendous success. These melas took place in Lahore, Okara, Phoolnagar, Swabi, Shadara and the historic fort of Rohtas. We led the World Space Week with the biggest observatory stationed in Lahore’s local parks. The KSS organized live telescopic viewing of the solar eclipse in January 2010 that was covered live by the national TV media channels. Recently, we have started an online streaming view of galaxies from a rooftop observatory that is accessible to anyone who logs on to the Khwarizmi Science Society channel on http://www.nightskiesnetwork.com/. We also organized public lectures on astronomy and space science. A video and pictorial coverage of all our activities in connection with the IYA is accessible on the website http://khwarizmi.shutterfly.com.

If you like to organize this mela in your school, see the invitation letter below. Also post or email us the filled form expressing your interest.

Letter of invitation and background

Form for organizing the falakyati mela on your school’s premises

As acknowledgment of our activities, which are appended with this application, several stories have been published by leading journals and periodicals such as Physics World OnlineAPS Newsthe website of the International Astronomical Union, Daily Nawa-e-Waqt and Jang. We have won international competitions from the Developing Astronomy Globally as well as a receipt of 30 Galileoscopes from an IYA cornerstone project.

These activities extend KSS’s established traditions of seminars, workshops and public lectures in Lahore to outreach science exhibitions and interactive activities in schools outside Lahore.

We now plan to extend the content of our melas including the viewing of the microbial and cellular world using optical microscopes connected to the multimedia projector, a seismograph for detecting seismic vibrations describing the subterranean movements to schoolchildren. We are also planning to prepare new scientific toys, materials and projects that can make science exciting and entertaining.

The KSS has recently acquired a microscopeseismographmultimedia projector, a high resolution colour astrocamera – all of which are in use in our outreach activities. We also received donation of a telescope from Dr. Faisal Sultan, Chief Executive Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and Cancer Research Centre.

A detailed listing of activities centred around the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and Beyond are highlighted below.

Report of KSS’s activities for the International Year of astronomy 2009 and Beyond

Click here for a pdf copy of the KSS report (update as of July 2010). The report covers our activities, news coverage and articles published in connection with the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and Beyond.

Awards and Grants

The KSS Astronomy Team

Chairman:

Dr Saadat Anwar SiddiqiPresident, Khwarizmi Science Society, Professor of Solid State Physics, Center for Solid State Physics, University of the Punjab

Secretaries:

Dr Muhammad Sabieh Anwar, Joint Secretary Khwarizmi Science Societ
Mr Umair AsimResident Astronomer, Khwarizmi Science Society and Principal Farooqi Girls High School, Lahore.

Coordinators:

Ahmed Waqas Zubairi, Executive Member, Khwarizmi Science Society, Lab Engineer, School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Lahore.

Syed Kumail Abbas, Executive Member, Khwarizmi Science Society, Lahore.

Syed Waqar Ahmed, Executive Member, Khwarizmi Science Society, Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of the Punjab, Lahore.

Rafi UllahExecutive Member, Khwarizmi Science Society, Department of Physics, University of the Punjab, Lahore.

Members:

Wasif Zia, Life Member, Khwarizmi Science Society, Developpment Engineer, School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Lahore.

Yasir Abdul HaleemLife Member, Khwarizmi Science Society and Teacher, The Punjab School, Lahore.

Naseer Ahmed, Life Member Khwarizmi Science Society and Department of Space Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore.

Salman QureshiManager, Pakistan Materials Research Society, Islamabad.

Technical Staff:

Abdul MananLab Technician, School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Lahore.
Muhammad AmjadElectrician, School of Science and Engineering, LUMS, Lahore.

Lifecycle of stars (Urdu)

Read Rafiullah’s account of the life cycle of stars (in Urdu).

 

IYA 2009 and Beyond: List of activities