Naqsh Science

In Naqsh Science, we believe that science is being presented in most schools in a dull way, which discourages children from aspiring to careers in STEM fields. We want to address this by presenting science excitingly and engagingly. Naqsh is an Arabic word for engraving. The name came from an old Arabic saying, which translates to “knowledge at a young age, is like engraving in stones”; it lasts forever.

Naqsh was still just an idea when an acquaintance of mine approached me to see if I would be interested in joining the team as a content creator, as he knew I volunteered in similar roles before. I took a look at the project brief, and within 15 minutes, I knew I wanted to be part of these efforts (to this day, we often laugh about me being the fastest recruited person in the team).

Early photo of Naqsh’s core team

As I joined the newly founded Naqsh Science in the engineering team, I saw the gap in the needed skillset for Naqsh. We were great content creators, but we did not know how to get funding or build partnerships. We had never written a proposal before, nor did we negotiate with a donor. Here, I had to step up and lead our efforts regarding funding. I started learning how to write a proposal efficiently. I mapped the possible interested donors and reached out to each one of them. I then proceeded with Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation in discussions until they agreed to grant us our first fund. We obtained over $25K in funding, which allowed us to host over 15 open live shows throughout the country and kickstart our project.

Naqsh’s 1st Show: “For A Science Loving Generation”
Naqsh’s 3rd Show: “Why Is The Sky Blue?”

As we started our shows, my role changed to become the head designer for the props and tools. Here, I focused on creating tools that we can use on a stage for a large audience. The objects also had to be easily transported, and assembled, and disassembled.

Props & tools I designed and made for Naqsh’s 1st show

In several shows, I had to present different parts of the science topic on stage. That meant preparing for the subject, searching for possible questions that might emerge during the show (kids are not shy to shout a question). On a personal level, I had to overcome my fear of being in front of an audience of hundreds. I am grateful to have had the chance to present parts of more than five shows.

As we approached the end of the live shows’ program, we decided to take a step back to reflect. In this phase, our goal was to popularize and mainstream the fun science concept in Jordan, and we have successfully contributed to that. Now, we wanted to address the problem in a more meaningful way. Evidence shows that kids’ interest in science peaks at around ten years old and then fades away. One of the main reasons for this is the way science is being taught in school. We decided to address this problem by designing science and STEM kits in Arabic for the age group from 8-16. Each kit presents one subject in a hands-on, exciting way.

We also wanted to address the gender gap when it comes to science kits in the market. A quick look into the science kits section in any store is enough to demonstrate the biases in the designs of science kits. Girls’ kits are often pink, with “shiny” or “glittery” DIY projects and more limited, while boys tend to have the “powerful” engineering and physics kits. This stresses stereotypes between young kids and often continues to be carried with them later in life.

“Girls” kits
Kits in a local store in Jordan
“Boys” kits

I currently lead the Science Kits project. We are prototyping two kits under the engineering and the mathematics series, and we are developing two new kits under the physics series. We are now a part of INJAZ’ mySTARTUP incubator in the LEAP track for women-led businesses and the Ed-Tech track.

Prototyping an Oxygen atom model
Naqsh’s Prototypes

In every project we launch in Naqsh Science, we harness the passion, energy, and knowledge of STEM grads from the local community who want kids to have a better educational experience than they had when they were in their place.

And finally, as tradition goes to any entity working on introducing fun science for kids, I introduce to you liquid Nitrogen.

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