Nine-year old Natalia Najam beat the Guinness world record for arranging the periodic table in the shortest time. The young Pakistani science whiz became the youngest and fastest person to arrange the periodic table, beating previous record holder, Meenakshi Agarwal, an Indian economics professor.
On the 18th of July, Natalia made her attempt and beat the record by 7 seconds, clocking in at 2 minutes and 42 seconds as compared to the previous record of 2 minutes and 49 seconds. She was ecstatic when the moderators gave her a thumbs up. Since then she has gotten a lot of attention in the news and on social media with many celebrating her achievement and giving her such epithets as “Pakistan’s young scientist”, calling her an inspiration for young girls to pursue STEM subjects.
With schools closed after the lock-down was imposed, Natalia started getting home-schooled by her mother. However, her exemplary education at home preceded the lock-down, with the Pakistani Guinness world record holder telling Dawn that “When I was a child, and I wanted something my father’s one and only condition was for me to read a book. It is a wonderful exercise for young minds, especially when there is nothing for them to do. It is a challenging thing for the brain.”