ISLAMABAD: The 16th National Science Talent Contest (NSTC-16) will be launched in mid-October to select Pakistani team of talented students for participation in the International Science Olympiads to be held in July 2020 in Japan (IBO), Russia (IMO), Turkey (IChO), Lithuania (IPhO) and also opt for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The students of 9th, 10th and FSc first year as well as O-Level and A-Level-I can take part in the contest. The Higher Education Commission (HEC), and Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS) jointly initiated STEM careers programme, which is aimed at inspiring the youth and preparing them for participation in the annual International Science Olympiads in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.
Since 2006, Pakistani teams have won 107 medals including four silver, 57 bronze, 45 honorable mentions and one merit certificate in the annual International Science Olympiads held in different countries across the world i.e. Switzerland, Brazil, Singapore, USA, Germany, UK, Spain, Canada, Argentina, South Korea etc.
Every year, a nationwide screening test is conducted through the National Science Talent Contest (NSTC) in the major cities for the selection of students of matric (9th, 10th and 1st year) and O-Level/ A-Level-I. Out of more than 6000 students, top 50 students in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics are shortlisted for the first training camp, which continues up to four camps of a one-week duration in different phases.
In the concluding camp, top four-to-six students from each subject are given extensive training for their possible participation in the International Science Olympiads held every year in different countries. The STEM home institutions for training camps are: COMSATS University of Lahore for mathematics, PIEAS of Islamabad for physics, HEJ Research Institute, University of Karachi for chemistry and the National Institute of Bio-Technology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) of Faisalabad for biology.
These annual International Olympiads provide pre-university science students of the world with an opportunity to compete in solving challenging theoretical and experimental science problems that only the most talented youth of their age can answer. For more information, the students can visit the STEM website.