Over 1,000 welcomed to Neeli Mosque for Rochdale Eid Science Extravaganza

26 July 2023

Over 1,000 welcomed to Neeli Mosque for Rochdale Eid Science Extravaganza

The Rochdale Eid Science Extravaganza welcomed more than a thousand visitors to Neeli Mosque on Sunday (23 July), despite extensive rain throughout the day.

Despite a Met Office-issued yellow weather warning, Rochdale Science Initiative CIC went ahead with the Rochdale Eid Science Extravaganza – and the continuous downpour of rain did not hinder the 1,068 visitors who attended and experienced wide variety of science and art activities, celebrating a fusion of South Asian culture and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths).

The theme for the event was climate change and sustainability, and visitors could take part in 18 activities, including exploring water and flood defence, electronic waste, learning about acidity of Manchester's rainwater, and pH testing, how faith can inspire climate action, fun activities around reduce, reuse and recycle, and how our brain and body works.

Visitors also enjoyed the mobile petting zoo, the immersive planetarium, and the Blair Project's STEM Truck, including activities in 3D printing & CAD demonstration, electric go kart demonstration, wind tunnel table, and snap circuit table.

The highly commended local artist Rahela Khan led a series of workshops on mindful colouring inspired by mandalas and minarets.

The Great Imagining was on hand to engage people in writing articles around climate science, biodiversity, habitat loss, and other overlapping subjects.

The event also brought local VCFSE organisations, Bangladesh Association Community Project, Jolly Josh, Springhill Hospice, Get Up and Grow CIC, and Andalucia Learning Centre.

In addition, there was a variety of 19 stalls outdoors, ranging from food, desserts and mocktails, clothing, floral boutique, bric-a-brac, and henna painting.

The event was a first of its kind for a mosque environment in Rochdale, and for many of the visitors, it was a first in visiting a mosque.

Keeping within the spirit of Eid, it was a joyous occasion for neighbours, families, and friends, creating a feeling of good will and communal unity.

Mohammad Rahman, founding executive director of Rochdale Science Initiative thanked Neeli Mosque for hosting the event and all its volunteers, saying: "Thank you very much to Neeli Mosque for facilitating the first-ever Rochdale Eid Science Extravaganza and thank you to all the presenters and both the Rochdale Science Initiative and Neeli Mosque volunteers for the immeasurably valuable work they have done for this event.

“We cannot thank you enough and want to let you know that your dedication is essential to the work that we do. We cannot do it without you."

Imran Ahmed, a senior member of Neeli Mosque, said: "Thanks to Mohammed Rahman for allowing us to host Rochdale Science Initiative CIC and his team. May Allah (God) accept everyone’s efforts today to make the event a success. It gave people of Rochdale and beyond an opportunity to see science, the Muslim community, and our mosque in all its glory."

Samar Mushtaq, headteacher at Neeli Mosque, said: "I was delighted to see so many people, young and old, enjoying and being inspired by STEM practitioners from all backgrounds. This event was a wonderful combination of science and culture that paves the way for STEM enthusiasts."

The Science Extravaganza was a free to attend event made possible thanks to The Ogden Trust, Royal Society of Chemistry, The Great Imagining, Immersive Experiences, Action Together, TJ Refrigeration, Arif Grocers and Sahara Grill.