World Space Week 2014 in Bangladesh

Perhaps surprisingly, Bangladesh is one of the largest participating countries in World Space Week, ever since its first celebration in 2003. The coordination of this national event is in the hands of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society, and is supported by many local and national organizations, like the Copernicus Astronomical Memorial of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (CAM-SUST) and several others. World Space Week 2014 marked the 11th anniversary of the Bangladesh celebration of World Space Week.

Photo: Bangladesh Astronomical Society (click to enlarge)

Photo: Bangladesh Astronomical Society (click to enlarge)

This year’s celebrations ended with a very large public event at Enayetpur, about 80 miles north west of the capital Dhaka. A few days earlier CAM-SUST organized four large scale celebrations in Dhaka, Mymensingh, Bogra and Narayanganj.

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Photo: CAM-SUST

Activities in Dhaka included a space art competition, a special lecture on our theme “Space: Guiding Your Way” and a prize giving ceremony. In Narayanganj activities started with a rally, followed by a seminar and exhibition. There was an interesting action to signal aliens that we exist, and an alien dress competition with prizes for the best costumes. In Mymensingh school children participated in a space drawing competition and received lectures on astronomy. Also in Bogra CAM-SUST members taught children about astronomy and kids even had the opportunity to look at the Moon through telescopes.

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Photo: CAM-SUST

Photo: CAM-SUST

Photo: CAM-SUST

Due to closure of schools for Eid-Ul-Azha and Durga Puja holiday between 4-10 October, this year’s end celebration of World Space Week was held on Saturday, 18 October at the premises of Mohakash Bhaban, Enayetpur. At 10:30 a spectacular street rally starting from north of Balur Math, paraded over the streets of Enayetpur and converged at the venue of the concluding session. Students and teachers were wearing World Space Week caps, badges and holding placards of World Space Week 2014 in their hands, while chanting slogans.

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Photo: Bangladesh Astronomical Society

At 11:00 – 12:00 a space art contest was held in the lawn of Mohakash Bhaban, in which about 150 students took part and drew pictures on their imagination about “Space is Future”. Simultaneously, a water rocket launch contest was held on the spur of River Jamuna, in which about 30 students launched their water rockets.

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Photo: Bangladesh Astronomical Society

The main event of World Space Week 2014 was held in the premises of Mohakash Bhaban in which about 2,000 students with teachers and space enthusiasts took part. The concluding session included lots of events, like a space debate, a space quiz, space lectures, space dance and space drama, in which many students happily took part.

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Photo: Bangladesh Astronomical Society

There was another interesting event in which six kids dressed up in Space Shuttle Astronaut uniforms paraded on the main stage for a few minutes so nicely that the audience burst into laughter for their excellent performance. At the end, successful contestants – including the six adorable mini-astronauts – were awarded prizes.

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Photo: Bangladesh Astronomical Society

Among those who delivered their lectures in the concluding session were Prof. Dr. A.R. Khan, President of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society, Mr. F.R. Sarker, General Secretary of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society and World Space Week National Coordinator for Bangladesh, Mr. AFM Hassan, Education Officer Gaibandha, Mr. Monirul Islam, OC of Enayetpur Thana, Mr. Wahidozzaman Wahid, Principal of the ICL School, and Space Enthusiast Mr. Saidul Islam. The CAM-SUST events were hosted by volunteers Tonmoy Sarwar (Mymensingh), Yasir Sarkar (Dhaka), Khadijatul Kubra Nahin (Narayanganj) and Mainul Islam (Bogra).

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Photo: Bangladesh Astronomical Society