The British Council hosted the grand finale of FameLab science competition on 23 March in Dhaka. After a very vigorous selection process, young student ASM Afrin Bin Nur Adib from BUET won the winner’s ticket to FameLab Internationals at the Cheltenham festivals.
The national finale hosted over 150 guests from the technology sector, Education Ministry, Vice Chancellors of universities, guardians of the finalists and finalists from the previous year. Mr Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, Honourable State Minister for Information and Communication Technology attended as the chief guest while Robert Chatterton Dickson, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh and Mr Md Sohrab Hossain, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Education were present as special guests. Representatives of the British Council were also present during the event.
The British Council has been hosting FameLab in Bangladesh since 2018 for young Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) enthusiasts. This year, apart from Dhaka, the British Council took the competition to the divisional hubs of Sylhet and Chattogram to reach out to the brilliant minds outside Dhaka. After a two-month-long intensive promotional campaign for FameLab – reaching over 14,00,000 people nationwide - which included collaboration with significant universities within and outside Dhaka, we received over 600 applications nationwide.
The three judges and two celebrity judges – Humaira Akhter, Professor at the University of Dhaka, M K Sharif Siam, Senior Lecturer at BRAC University, Dr Mustak Ibn Ayub, Assistant Professor at University of Dhaka, Riaz Uddin Ahamed Siddique and Aupee Karim – selected 14 finalists from among all the brilliant, young science lovers. The finalists were given Masterclass training to hone their skills and concepts by Mr Malcolm Love, Media Producer, Public Communication Skills Coach and Trainer from the UK who spent two days with the candidates.
The 14 finalists gave brilliant performances in front of the judges and audience at the finale, who were all very impressed by their communication skills, confidence and knowledge about their subject matters. Some of them made use of props to explain their concepts which the audience found very interesting. After the performances and speeches, Mr Palak who handed the winner’s ticket of FameLab Bangladesh 2019 to ASM Afrin Bin Nur Adib from BUET. He will receive a fully-funded trip to the UK to participate in the Global FameLab finals in Cheltenham and compete with finalists from around the world, where he will represent Bangladesh. The BUET student will not only benefit from the experience and exposure in his academic life but will also be able to acquire new skills to use in his professional life.
At the event, Mr Palak encouraged the finalists to apply for government seed funds for their science projects, as they have already proven their talent through FameLab. This opens a door for the young scientists to realise their ideas and dreams through proper funding and dissemination channels owned by the government which will only amplify the impact of their ideas and future projects, thus benefitting the country.