Complex Made Simple

lema? brings action to Abu Dhabi Rehab and Care Centre for Special Needs People

In its commitment to social responsibility and community engagement,the lema? team from the Abu Dhabi Technology and Development Committee (TDC) visited ‘Abu Dhabi Rehab and Care Centre for Special Needs People’, a center of the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO), to present two of the program’s most popular activities; “Body Builders” show and “Lego Mindstorm NXT” workshop, and demonstrate the impact kinesthetic workshops can have on students with hearing and speaking disabilities. Over 100 students and their teacherstaking part in the shows that offered them the opportunity to explore, learn and utilize their skills to complete all the scientific tasks.

Haya Abdulla Al Hamady, Director of the Abu Dhabi Rehab and Care Centre for Special Needs People commented: “Zayed Higher Organization represented by Abu Dhabi Rehabilitation and Care Centre would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the” lema?” team for visiting the center and organizing the workshops for our students with special needs. It was a great opportunity for all the attendees to express, learn and demonstrate their creativity during the workshops. Both students and teachers had a marvelous experience and a lot of fun, and we hope that such visits would encompass all other centres operated by Zayed Higher Organization.”

The visit which further supports TDC’s mandate to embed Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in the fabric of Abu Dhabi was extremely successful with facilitators commenting positively on the enthusiasm shown by participating students. The session provided a mutual learning experience for both the lema? team and students at the Abu Dhabi Center for Care and Rehabilitation. Students actively challenged their impairments and delighted everyone involved with their creativity and determination.

Neama Ahmed Al Marshoudi, Manager – Science & Technology Promotion at Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee said: “The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee is committed to unleashing the amazing potential of all members of society and sparking curiosity towards science and technology. Creativity and excellence does not distinguish. Everyone has something in which they excel; our programs are designed to help students unleash their abilities and realize their true potential. We are thrilled with the response of the students with special needs and delighted that we are able to provide opportunities to help develop problem solving skills and tackle challenges at this level. By working with all students across the emirate we aim to increase the popularity and knowledge of Science and Technology in all schools and youth centers and help create a future community of budding scientists and innovators who will contribute to the development of our nation.”

“We are honored to include Abu Dhabi Center for Care and Rehabilitation for those with special needs to our roster of school visits for the current academic year. Exploring the astonishing skills of the different members of society is key to creating an inclusive community of world-class innovators and scientists”‘ she added.

TDC continues its collaboration with its education partner the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) to further ensure that informal science education complements Abu Dhabi’s education reforms and engages school children and the education community.

Commenting on the visit, Mr. Ahmed Y. Y. Al Khayyat Al Hammadi, Senior Analyst – eLearning , P-12 at the ADEC, said: “The Abu Dhabi Education Council is committed to supporting student centered initiatives that encourage 21st century learning skills in line with a growing knowledge based economy. lema? helps do that; their visit to the Abu Dhabi Center for Care and Rehabilitation was valuable, since it helped highlight the importance of integrating special needs students in our initiatives.”
He added: “Students were excited, interested and showed high intellectual capabilities in understanding the workshops’ contents. lema? coaches provided an appropriate and challenging environment for students, who were happy to engage and interact with them. The entire experience was wonderful.”

The “Body Builders” workshop, which was of particular interest to the animated students saw the lema?team describe the importance of the musculoskeletal system, referencing bones, joints, muscles and tendons. This behind-the-scenes workshop focused on teaching attendees all about the human body and its various biological systems to explain how every-day choices that people make impact on the general health and well-being of the human body. By the end of the workshop, all attendees were considering ways to stay healthy and to remain injury free!

Robotics and the magic of robot science came under the microscope in the “Lego Mindstorm NXT” workshop. Students were taken through the stages of robot creation and learned the role of sensors in controlling movement. Their skills were then put to the test when they were tasked with programming their self-created robots to overcome certain challenges. This was one of the noisiest workshops as students encouraged their robots with shouts of appreciation!

Building on 2013 successes and concluding on its tour visit to Al Gharbia, TDChas broadened the lema? program to appeal to older students in grades 6 and 7 alongside grades 3 to 5 targeted earlier in 2013-2014 academic year. The programnow incorporates two new interactive offerings: Lego Mindstorms Advanced workshop, which is an interactive workshop that allows students to program their own robots, focusing on the work of the Mars Rover and other robots currently deployed in space; andSecrets of Space (Digital Planetarium) show,which takes place in an inflatable spherical portable planetarium fitted with a digital projection system. Images of stars, planets and other phenomena are projected to depict the skies from Earth versus other planets and to describe the distinguishing features of planets and other bodies within and outside our Solar System.