In the presence of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC) announced the official launch of the Abu Dhabi Science Center (ADSC), a 6,500m2 permanent state-of-the-art facility dedicated to informal science education in Abu Dhabi.
Featuring 7 signature galleries and more than 200 interactive hands-on exhibits, this new dedicated landmark is advantageously located in Masdar City, providing easy access for residents from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al Gharbiyah and the wider UAE.
The creation of the Abu Dhabi Science Center continues TDC’s efforts to establish a vibrant Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) base in the Emirate and is a strategic initiative following global best practices in science popularization, aimed at inspiring youth towards STI education and careers.
ADSC will be contributing towards Abu Dhabi’s Science, Technology and Innovation future aspiration. H.E. Mohammad Ahmad Al Bowardi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee, said, “Central to the development of a knowledge-based economy is a skilled workforce. In order to sustain the growth of the STI industry in the Emirate, TDC is focusing on nurturing young talent in related fields, giving them the opportunity to engage with, and be inspired by, careers in science and technology. The Abu Dhabi Science Center will be a landmark for informal science learning throughout the year. The center will serve as both a prestigious local project and a major attraction for the people of the UAE and visitors from around the world.”
Director General of TDC, H.E. Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, said, “ADSC is the third major science popularization initiative from TDC that aims to stimulate scientific curiosity within our youth and inspire them in STI through exciting and interactive learning experiences. The Abu Dhabi Science Center will create scientific memories for our children and will engage our community in science in an exciting and fun manner. Annually, over 200,000 visitors will be able to enjoy this state of the art facility, of which 30% is anticipated to be through organized school tours.”
Seven themed galleries featuring over 200 interactive exhibits and 120 educational programs have been designed for children ages 6-11, and developed to support and enhance the ADSC visitor experience. Opportunities for participating in gallery walks, taking part in hands-on laboratory experiments, and spending a school holiday week in science day camp or a Saturday in a science club are all part of an extensive program menu that will be available to children.
Featuring a 12 meter domed, 75 seat planetarium and space exploration simulator, the Universe and Planetarium Gallery links today’s space and planetary sciences to the history of the region. Sponsored by Mubadala, as part of its commitment to prepare today’s youth for the vital role they will play in the UAE’s economic and social development, this gallery showcases 20 exhibits that help visitors understand our solar system, the lunar calendar, the changing of seasons as well as the physical properties of asteroids, comets and stars including our own sun.
“H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee and CEO and Managing Director of Mubadala, said, “By inspiring our nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math through a number of enriching experiences, the ADSC will contribute to the emirate’s efforts to create learning and professional opportunities for the people of the UAE.” He added, “It will also inspire home-grown talent to play a major part in the diverse range of exciting high tech industries that are taking shape in our country. Establishing an ecosystem of engaging learning experiences is critical to our future, it is therefore fitting that Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s hub for innovation and technology, is home to this important initiative.”
Sponsored by ADNOC, the Natural Resources Gallery features more than 40 interactive exhibits that help visitors explore and understand the technology and engineering required to locate, extract and process oil and gas reserves.
Commenting on ADNOC’s involvement, H.E. Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi ADNOC’S Director General, stated, “The sponsorship and support extended by ADNOC to all projects and initiatives of the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee come in line with the aspirations of our wise leadership. ADNOC is keen to transfer knowledge and technology and to direct the scientific research to serve the national development particularly the oil and gas sector, he added: The aim of the Natural Resources Gallery is to introduce students and visitors to the history of the oil and gas industry in UAE and the different developmental stage of this vital sector.”
In the Making Gallery, the basics of electricity and magnetism are brought to life. Sponsored by the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Fund the key principles of electrical engineering and the fundamental technologies required for a thriving ICT environment are featured in this gallery. This space also boasts a large Making Studio – a workshop space dedicated to open-ended exploration where, supervised by “Making” specialists, visitors can build and assemble their own creations.
Omar Mohammed Al Mahmoud, Acting CEO of ICT Fund, said, “We highly appreciate the effective partnership with Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee; this step follows many previous initiatives in the same field. Through this partnership, we oversee new and boarder cooperation opportunities which will definitely lead into achieving the Fund’s vision aiming at making UAE the base for reaching economic based society and benefiting from innovation and creativity by supporting the Emiratis and encourage them to be more engaged in the fields of education, R&D and to specialize in ICT. This sector is the main supporter for the economy in the developing countries in the ME region, mainly in UAE.”
He added, “At ICT Fund, we deeply believe in innovation and creativity as a mean of realizing all national goals, our base point is the universities and academic centers which is the educational and cultural hub for the whole society, and we are very keen to make education, research and development as a top priority for us and for our partners on both local and regional levels.”
Sensing Your World Gallery is one of the largest galleries in the Science Center. It is dedicated to helping understand more about the physical properties and nature of light and sound, and how our human body perceives them. Basic physical science phenomena are explored in the Science in Motion Gallery, while the Land, Sea, and Sky Gallery encourages visitors to play with forces of nature, such as wind and water, to influence the building and eroding of landscapes.
The Welcome Hall is a dynamic space where exhibits and science shows invite curiosity. A two-story rolling ball sculpture, erupting geysers, and a giant suspended slinky that shows compression waves in motion set the tone for a fun and educational experience. The Outdoor Exhibits accentuate the interplay of natural forces such as light and wind, and encourage visitors to explore the natural environment around them.
The design phase of the Abu Dhabi Science Center has been completed, with the construction stage scheduled for 2014-16 respectively. TDC and its partners are targeting to officially open the center in the second half of 2016. To find out more about TDC go to www.tdc.gov.ae/adsc