Omar Azad Chowdhury

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2004


This profile was prepared when Omar Azad Chowdhury was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
In Bangladeshi society technical expertise in the sciences can be the key to overcoming limitations on social mobility such as poverty and class. Omar’s program draws on this potential of science to improve the quality of life. From experience, he has observed that children develop a fear of science from a very early age. By teaching it in a way that makes science stimulating, enjoyable, and relevant, Omar exposes children to science learning in an entirely new way—one that stands in stark contract to traditional Bangladeshi educational practices characterized by regimented processes, rote learning, and an absence of creativity and fun.
The principle vehicle of Omar’s method is a mobile science laboratory that visits different schools. The lab facilitates experiments and workshops which enable children to experience science in its simplest forms and relate it to their curriculum and events in their everyday lives. Omar’s methodology allows him to reach a large number of children because his lab is designed from simple, easily available items. As a result, even the most remote areas and institutions with little or no access to expensive teaching aids will be able to replicate Omar’s method and bring children the scientific learning they need to succeed.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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