We are living today in a universe which is transforming rapidly together with our understanding of what actually universe is. In order to understand the scientific questions like how the universe began? When will it end? We look into astronomy for guidance. Astronomy is referred to as the branch of science that talks about space, celestial objects as well as physical universe on the whole. Therefore, the study of astronomy is essential for understanding the universe and the crucial role it plays in helping humans escape large scale problems pertaining to issues like overpopulation. Not only this, it helps in preventing our destruction by a cosmic impact.
Pakistan is gradually stepping into the world of astronomy and promoting it through academics. The universities in Pakistan that offer degree programs in space sciences include: University of Punjab, University of Karachi, The Institute of Space Technology (IST) Islamabad and COMSATS Institute of Technology.
There are however several other ventures that are working to spread awareness about astronomy in Pakistan. The Astronomy and Astrophysics program also known as the SUPARCO Astrophysics program is Space Research Commission’s (SUPARCO) active scientific mission, dedicated for developing space science. It conducts several researches for better understanding and advancement in astronomy, astrophysics and theoretical physics. For the purpose of finding scattered amateur astronomers all over Pakistan, Pakistan Amateur Astronomers Society was established in 2006 which brings together these astronomers to discuss their activities and share their thoughts and ideas on promoting amateur astronomy.
Similarly, Karachi Astronomers’ Society or KaAS is a dedicated group of astronomers from all over Pakistan involved in channeling the interest in space sciences and providing an organized and active platform to pursue astronomical activities on international and national level.
To unleash patriotism, socially responsibility, national unity and creative thinking amongst the young aspiring Pakistani students, Buraq Planetary Society was established in 1993. The team comprises of a bunch of enthusiastic social entrepreneurs who launched a project with the aim of gathering aspiring students from across Pakistan who share a passion for space exploration.
With their motto of “changing perceptions through visions of space”, Buraq Planetary Society has been giving Pakistani children the courage to dream of a brighter future. Buraq was the result of Mr Shahid Mahmud’s (Chairman of Buraq) idea of forming a society that emphasized on exploring space sciences. Together with the co-founder Sameer Qureshi, they research and implement the pattern of Space Camp which existed already in Uzbekistan and later came to be known as Buraq Space Camp.
The inception of Buraq Space Camps brought the talented ones to a single platform and empowered them with the ability to think out of the box. Each year a total of 40 talented kids between the ages of 14 to 16 are shortlisted from a swarm of thousands of applicants from all over the country. The camp comprises of a 10 day experience in Islamabad where the prestigious students are chosen to interact with the leaders in technology, sciences, business and various important professions. This helps in refining their interpersonal skills like communication, self-confidence and team work. Moreover, it teaches them the art of problem solving, reasoning and time management.
In a nutshell, it becomes apparent that since the developed world is rapidly exploring new avenues of research in universe and for the benefit of humans, there is a need in Pakistan for expanding the scope of science subjects particularly among students in educational institutions. Ventures like Buraq Space Camp are a way to help fire up the imaginations of young minds that will one day be instrumental in achieving something big. If you want to contribute in helping teach students the virtues of cooperation and courage to dream of a better world check the link below: