English Language Fellow Elise Brittain, with the support of university administrators and colleagues, organized an English STEM fair at her host institution, Namangan State University, on Thursday, April 12, 2018. The event was a unique chance for some twenty student participants to exhibit poster presentations or other projects related to scientific and engineering fields, all in English.
While the event was well-attended by students, Ph.D. candidates, and university professors and officials, it also received a boost with the visit of U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Pamela Spratlen. Spratlen showed her support for the development of materials and opportunities for improving English in the STEM fields.
The English in STEM Fair was organized in an effort to promote the use of English for specific purposes and to provide an opportunity for students from fields of study other than English to showcase their English-language skills. This event brought together students of different disciplines and was the result of cooperation among the universities and institutes in the area, giving students a rare opportunity to use their English to describe and promote topics in STEM. Participants presented a variety of topics, ranging from environmental issues like global warming, desertification, and the shrinkage of the Aral Sea to students’ own imaginative concepts about technological innovation. For instance, the first-place winner presented a device that he had created to regulate temperature in greenhouses. “When I was presenting my own project, I saw my peers and their projects and it was amazing,” said Shoxista Rashidova, third-year student at Namangan State University. “After, I realized I should study harder. I should try harder not be a lazybones!”