Foldscope activity challenge Day 4

Feb 12th, 15:00/ Full of excitement, I tried to make it to the appointment with group of kids who I met on (day-2) to meet up again for extended workshop. I was 5 minutes late, then after waiting around 20 more minutes it was unexpected no one showing up because I thought they will be there waiting before me.

Obviously, I had moments of feeling low before I head on to find new ones. Also previous day’s story had impact on me so I did not have much energy to do it again on the street. As I was walking I had doubts and questioning myself why I am doing all this and for what? when it’s unnoticed and not backed up by any means even morally!
The only drive for me -after I prayed afternoon prayer (Asr)- was to do it for sake of Allah, see the smiles of kids and potential future in case if one kid be inspired, I would say I did something at least and gave back to community.

Thankfully, I gathered up myself and started my tour with some positivity. This time I was looking for kids playing near their homes so I ask them to call their parents to get permission first then do the activity to avoid any misunderstanding.

About the activity.
New group of kids were from different city visiting their auntie. They were so happy to be part of the activity during their visit to my city “Kirkuk” but also upset because they have not seen something like this happening in their city “Baqubah” which made them think this activity is some causal norm in my city and happens all the time the city. So I had to explain the reality which is not a norm yet and instead of feeling upset they can do similar thing when they go back home.

Iraq Map

The two siblings (girl and boy) showed so much excitement and were very interested to have one so I decided to give away the first Foldscope ever in street to go travel and reach new community hopefully.

Enjoy the pictures.

Group gather. some of them who I supposed to meet earlier that day, they found me later and joined us 🙂

Activity Review & Lessons

  • Couldn’t establish proper communication channel with the kids that I gave away Foldscope, I mean I lost contact with them after connecting over facebook. I should look for alternative ways to keep in touch next time.
  • Struggling with wet samples. Sometimes the microorganisms are not seen in the sample! I have no idea why lol. So for next time I decided to make kids have ultimate wow moments by preparing in advance a rich source.
  • Repeat the objectives of the activity during the discussion and connect them to the topic. Let them conclude what they learned and observed.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Your posts get ever more exciting every day Mohamad. Sharing the feelings associated with what it means to “share” science and the vulnerability of the moment is so beautiful. It’s a beautiful moment in the making.

    Keep exploring.. Street science should be the norm – and your and Mo’s examples are some of the freshest approach in making street science a reality.

    I wish I could one day walk the streets of Kirkuk with you.


    1. Mohamad says:

      This is going to be long reply, I know I should keep my responses short but can not stop writing.
      It is wonderful to know you see my posts are getting more exciting and improving.
      I hope I am sharing the experience in a way that it may be useful for future reference for example research in “science & society” or if someone wants to do the same kind of activity in street.

      I tired to capture all of what I was going through so I had to sometimes live same feelings twice when I am documenting. I have to say it is a small challenge but definitely it is lots of time and energy consuming because doing the activity is just the half part later I have to go through everything and digest lots of things as you mentioned “in terms of human behavior, sense of curiosity and science”.

      Mo is my inspiration, there were many times I wanted to contact him to ask for advice but I did not. I wanted to do everything by myself for first time. I would love to learn from his experience and do activity with him in streets of India one day.

      I am so happy and its my pleasure to know you wish to do that.
      It is one of my wishes as well from long time ago so since you said it. I am going to put a new challenge for myself and if I make it alone individually just like this one I did, you will have to keep your promise and come to Iraq to celebrate together.

      So the challenge is to outreach to 10,000 kids in Kirkuk or any where in Iraq.
      The maximum deadline is 6 years if average:
      5 kids/day = 150/month = 1800/year x 6 = 10,800
      The minimum deadline is 3 years if average:
      10 kids/day = 300/month = 3600/year x 3 = 10,800

      However, if I do it with a team and we reach the milestone way earlier you won’t just visit us alone “No” but also you should bring your whole family with you -if possible- so we welcome and show hospitality to all of you.

      That is big one I do not what I just wrote above, hope I won’t give up no matter what. This is going to be a personal challenge between me and you so its informal but shared publicly.

      Looking forward contributing to make street science the new norm for next generations.

Leave a Reply