transition of aspiration

August 03, 2023 - Faiza Farah

Alum Talks: Featuring Mobin Sikder

In his second year of university, Mobin realized that studying science under the national curriculum comes with its own hurdles. From memorizing without proper understanding to a lack of basic lab facilities, there are many reasons why students may lose interest in pursuing science. As he resonated with this challenge due to his academic journey, Mobin decided to work towards building Bangladeshi youth’s interest in pursuing careers in STEM.

In 2018, Mobin published a magazine called Orbital with some of his peers. However, due to a lack of resources, the publication had to come to an end. As one door closed for him, another window of opportunity opened, and the journey of Science Bee started in 2019. Through online sessions, Science Bee aimed to empower youth from all backgrounds to challenge, shape, and debate the impact of scientific and technological development.

The transition from print to online media was not an easy one. Gradually, everyone associated with the project started leaving one by one. Mobin persisted. Disregarding the challenges, Mobin focused on the work at the center. To attract students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to Science Bee, Mobin emphasized on creative, interactive, and insightful content, mostly in Bangla. Gradually, Science Bee has transformed into one of the largest science-based education platforms in the country, reaching over 400,000 students with more than 95,000 registrations on their website and over 350,000 followers on Facebook.

“During the initial phases of my entrepreneurial journey, I didn’t know much about people management. Being a student myself, I would constantly face rejection and wasn’t sure of how I could convince people, particularly youth, about my project,” shares Mobin. He participated in BYLC’s Youth Leadership Summit in 2018, which he says, was a turning point. “I was in the process of launching Science Bee and wanted to know how to mobilize young people. The summit equipped me with the leadership skills to inspire youth to take the work forward,” he says. His training with BYLC gave him the courage to tackle challenges through adaptive solutions. “We faced serious challenges in obtaining permission from authorities to conduct workshops in rural villages and areas. We realized that we had to approach these systematic challenges in a different way. We were surprised to find out that the school students of those areas assisted us in convincing the authorities. We were able to influence them to take an interest in our workshops, and they in turn were able to persuade the authorities to give us permission to conduct the workshop in their schools.”

Mobin was recently felicitated with The Diana Award for his initiative that enabled access to science education and knowledge for thousands of youth across Bangladesh through his Edtech platform. Apart from the strong base in Bangladesh, currently Science Bee has almost 100,000 subscribers from West Bengal, India. Mobin plans to take Science Bee further through an app and provide educational content for students worldwide. In his opinion, the fundamentals of business operations that he learned from BYLC’s Youth Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2019 will be crucial to help him achieve this goal.

Mobin credits BYLC for helping him hone the values of empathy, inclusivity, and continuous learning. He believes that these values will help him establish Science Bee as a diverse, inclusive platform, thereby reaffirming his goal of making science knowledge accessible to students living in remote areas of the country.