Four teams of Pakistani pre-university students selected under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Careers Programme for competitions at International Science Olympiads held in different countries have proved their mettle by winning four Bronze Medals and five Honorable Mentions.
The teams represented Pakistan in the 28th International Biology Olympiad held in the United Kingdom, 49th International Chemistry Olympiad in Thailand, 58th International Mathematics Olympiad in Brazil and 48th International Physics Olympiad in Indonesia.
Four students, led by Dr. Muhammad Saeed and Dr. Asma Rehman of NIBGE, Faisalabad, participated in the 28th International Biology Olympiad. Two of them, including Muhammad Daniyal Musharraf from Karachi Grammar School and Saffa Fatima from Lahore Grammar School, have won bronze medals.
In the 48th International Physics Olympiad, Mr. Ubaidullah from ACME College Sargodha and Muzamil Ali Shaikh from Government Boys Degree College Larakana, among five Pakistani students, have won Honorable Mentions. The team was led by Dr. Shahid Qamar and Dr. Aman-ur-Rehman of PIEAS.
A team of four students, led by Prof. Dr. Khalid M. Khan and Dr. Raza Shah of HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, Karachi took part in the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad. Maaha Ayub from The Lyceum School, Karachi won bronze medal.
Led by Dr. Sarfraz Ahmed and Dr. Kashif Ali of COMSATS, Lahore, a team of six Pakistani students, competed at the 58th International Mathematical Olympiad. Sualeh Asif of Headstart School, Clifton, Karachi has won bronze medal for the country, while Saad Ijaz and Hassan Ahmed from Lahore Grammar School and Haroon Khan from Pakistan International School, Jeddah have won Honorable Mentions.
The teams were selected under the STEM Careers Programme after nationwide screening tests held in all major cities of the country. Top students for each competition were shortlisted for training in the subjects. After attending three week-long training camps, these students were further shortlisted and trained. Every year more than 6000 students, who must have scored a minimum of 70 per cent or more marks in their Secondary School Certificate or O-level examinations take part in the contests. Fifty of the top scorers in each subject are selected on the basis of their performance in the screening test. Further grooming and screening through a series of training camps at the home institutes of each subject leads to the selection of a 4‑6 member teams for the Olympiads.
STEM Careers Programme is a joint venture of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and PIEAS aimed at grooming talented youth of the nation to opt for career in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics and preparing them for participation in the annual International Olympiads in Physics, Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry.