Our innovations for popularizing science are:
- We designed a science event—Measuring the Earth’s Circumference—that uses school science and math to link celestial scales to measurable ones; And by measuring the latter imputes the celestial distances. As part of the event, we retrace (and replicate) the achievements of Al-Beruni, Al-Mamun, Eratosthenes, Aryabhata, also using high-school science and math concepts. We link them with socio-cultural-political events of their times emphasizing how peace, trade and exchange between different cultures promoted science and learning. We also built a curriculum around the event separately for lower and higher classes.
- We use mnemonics to teach this curriculum. Children exposed to mnemonics make exceptional memory gains—of as much as 77 percent according to G.R. Miller. The mnemonics that we use integrates visual (posters) and acoustic (poems, songs) mediums. We use Seraiki to convey abstract science/math concepts and their explanations, which are, as well, best received by the children in their mother tongue. The mediums blend in the daily lives of the children, as well with the standard school curriculum of classes 5-10. Also part of the event are low-cost hands-on science experiments (observation and measurement) involving a stick, measuring tape and saal—plumb-bob, to measure the shadow of a stick at noon, especially on days of solstices and from these measurements derive the Sun’s inclination—as the first step to measure the Earth’s Circumference.
- In 2012 (to address the chronic shortage of doctors in villages served by Zoya schools) we tried to make bare-foot doctors of the 10th class children of Zoya Science School Nala Khudadad training them to recognize 5 common diseases in their villages and diagnose them with 5 cures—as part of the program Dast-e-Shifa. The children also learnt public health basics and recorded the health status of our children (heights, weights and ages and visual symptoms of disease).
We have proposed to the Vice Chancellor GCU (Prof Hassan Shah) to work together to popularize Muslim scientists—as we did with Al-Beruni—specifically, the scientists celebrated in George Sarton’s History of Science who dominated the world of science in their times.