Disclaimer*: The articles shared under 'Your Voice' section are sent to us by contributors and we neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of any facts stated below. Parhlo will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented on the website. Read our disclaimer.
In Pakistan, most students miss out on valuable opportunities due to the lack of information. Not all of these are open right now, so let’s keep an eye out for them. Head over to the program’s website or Facebook page for more information. Here, I have compiled for you a list of some of the ones I am aware of:
1. International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO)
This is an international competition for students between 13-16 years of age who have completed middle school. Pakistan sends a team which you can be a part of by signing up for a competition hosted by Pakistan Science Foundation.
2. National Science Talent Contest (NSTC)
This is one of the best opportunities in Pakistan, but very few people actually apply for it. NSTC is aimed at assembling Pakistani teams for International Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology Olympiads. It’s for students in A-Level first year and FCS part one or below. The registration for NSTC-15 is open right now. Please do yourself a favor and apply. What’s better than getting national-maybe even international recognition in a subject you love?
3. National Engineering Competition (NEC)
The main idea behind the NEC is to encourage undergraduate engineering students public in as well as private sector engineering institutions to come up with innovative solutions to problems of national interest. For this purposes, a theme regarding such a problem would be circulated each year in which an interdisciplinary team of students could work under the supervision of their teachers. In addition to fourth-year students, who could work on such problems in lieu of their senior year project, any undergraduate engineering student could participate in this Competition.
STEM Career Programme could provide modest funding not exceeding 10,000 rupees per team to facilitate work on this project. Each team should preferably consist of 3-4 students belonging to different departments that are relevant to the theme of the project. It would be highly desirable if each participating university/institute can assign the project to at least three teams. These teams will first compete amongst each other and the winning team from each university shall compete against winning teams from other universities at the national level. Amount of prizes for the top three projects for the university-level competition is 10,000 rupees, 7000 rupees, and 5000 rupees.
For the national level competition, the corresponding amount is 50, 000 rupees, 30,000 rupees and 20,000 rupees respectively.” Also, check out National Engineering Robotic Competition and Design Build and Fly Competition.
4. National Science Fair
Hosted by Pakistan Science Club, this is a series of district, provincial and national competitions for students from grade 9-12. Students submit original research projects and compete for a chance to participate in the prestigious Intel ISEF competition.
5. United World Colleges, Pakistan
This is a program for students in AS-Level and FSC part one. Students who pass all the stages are sent to one of the many UWC partner schools around the world for two years to get an IB degree. Generous financial aid is available for students who cannot afford the travel, lodging and tuition expenses. This competition gives a huge advantage during university admissions.
6۔ National STEM School
A ten-day residential program at LUMS for students to get practical experience in the sciences.
7۔ Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program, Pakistan (KL-YES)
This one is for high school students of grade 9 and 10 in case of Matric students, and 9-11 in case of O-Level students. It’s a cultural exchange program where students get to spend a year in America with a host family and participate in ECAs along with their studies.
8۔ The Kectil Program
This is a year-long web-based mentorship program for students of ages 17-21. It is aimed at encouraging and guiding youth to take initiative for the betterment of their community.
9۔ Buraq Space Camp
A ten-day residential camp in Islamabad where the best of the brightest students from all over the country get to interact with leaders in Academia, sciences, technology, business, and other significant professions. Burqa has been an unforgettable experience for the selected and prestigious few.
10۔ Summer Sisters Exchange Program
A fully funded program for female high school students from not-so-well-off families. It’s hosted at some of the most prestigious universities in America which includes the likes of Harvard and Stanford. It is aimed at getting students to explore career opportunities.
Apart from this, USEFP Pakistan has free SAT-1 classes in Karachi-not sure about other cities-and also does free counseling for students applying to undergraduate, post-graduate, and doctorate programs in the U.S.
This is it for me. If you want to discover more competitions or other programs, try a search on youthop.com or check out NASA website where they frequently post about their competitions. If you know about any other opportunities, please post them in the comments. Best of luck to those who decide to participate in any of these!