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Fulbright Specialist Program 2024

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Overview of the program

Under the Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP), as a Fulbright Specialist Dr. Juan F. Arratia (Founder of SCF) visited Nepal from February 17-29, 2024. The host institution for Dr. Arratia was The Small Earth Nepal (SEN), Kathmandu, Nepal. FSP is a program of the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Specialist Program is a unique opportunity for U.S. academics and established professionals to engage in two- to six-week, project-based exchanges at host institutions across the globe.

Objectives of the program

  • To understand the general overview of STEM education in Nepal: Challenges, solutions, and opportunities.

  • To implement the National Science Foundation (NSF) Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) best practice Saturday Research Academy (SRA), using modern AI technology in the early scientific research process in STEM fields.

  • To provide strategies for encouraging critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity among students, helping them develop skills that are crucial for STEM fields.

  • To build up a network of researchers within Nepal and international and establish as a knowledge-sharing and learning forum, for future collaborations.

  • To learn and experience Nepal's culture and traditions.

Key events accomplished during the visit

  • Engaging Nepalese in STEM education and research: Capacity building workshop and research symposium: 

The ‘Engaging Nepalese in Education and Research workshop’ was designed as a structured platform where twelve selected participants pursuing undergraduate degrees from different fields like meteorology, environmental science, biology, biomedical engineering, forestry, IT and agriculture had the esteemed opportunity to meet with Dr. Arratia daily during his visit to Nepal. These sessions extended beyond the school day, lasting for 2-3 hours each, and mentored the participants on essential research skills, including the scientific process and the preparation of scientific posters. The workshop commenced at the United Nations House. The inauguration ceremony included speeches and a warm welcome from distinguished guests, followed by a demonstration of the achievements of the winners of the 2024 Young Scientist Summit held earlier in Nepal. Subsequently, a closed session was held with the twelve key participants. Similarly, a research symposium was held on 28th February where 9 students presented their first scientific papers. The symposium had a distinguished audience composed of professors and researchers. The symposium aimed to instill confidence in the participants and provide them with a glimpse of what a research symposium entails.

  • Interactive meeting “Empowering the Future Leaders in STEM through School Level”

On 26th February, SEN collaborated with Kathmandu Pragya Kunja School (KPKS) to conduct an engaging one-hour interactive session with Dr. Juan F. Arratia. Attended by twenty-seven students from grades 7 and 9, Dr. Arratia presented an informative overview of STEM fields and research, highlighting their significance. He then engaged in a dialogue with the students, exploring their aspirations and research interests. The session concluded with Dr. Arratia imparting valuable insights into pursuing research in chosen fields. Additionally, he elaborated on his role as a mentor to students from the K-12 level, facilitating their academic excellence at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Arratia also showcased examples of research conducted by students and extended an invitation to participate in his SRA program.

  • Talk program on “STEM and Opportunities of Engagement in the International Research Network”

On 27th February, Dr. Arratia delivered a talk on "STEM and Opportunities of Engagement in the International Research Network," which was attended by a diverse audience of 50 individuals, including students, professionals, journalists, and early career researchers. The focus of the talk centered around MIE, NSF, and SRA, and Dr. Arratia highlighted the research opportunities available in STEM fields. The interactive session allowed the audience to engage and ask questions, which Dr. Arratia addressed comprehensively.

  • Meetings and interactions with the professionals of non-governmental organizations, governmental organizations, and media personnel.

Read the full report here 


Watch the Talk Program delivered by Dr. Arratia at Nepal

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