Students across all grades from both public and private schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi have been invited to participate in the Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition, announced the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) at the launch event.
The Young Scientist initiative was held at the Khalifa A School in the presence of over 300 invitees, some of which included school leaders and teachers specialized in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Also among the attendees were university and industry members from across public and private STEM related entities/companies, who will take part in evaluating, supporting and judging the work submitted by students.
During his address speech at the event, His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, Chairman of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi and member of the Executive Council, explained that Abu Dhabi is the first Arab country to partner with the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Ireland in efforts to further bolster student participation in different STEM related skills on a national, and eventually an international level.
The Young Scientist Exhibition in Ireland is celebrating its 52nd year, making it one of the longest standing display of secondary school students’ abilities in the area of science and technology in the world.
The idea of organizing the exhibition came up in 1963 when two physics researchers from the University College Dublin, Rev. Dr. Tom Burke and Dr. Tony Scott, came across the concept of ‘Science Fairs’ while conducting research in New Mexico, America. The pair decided that this type of hands-on science was something that students in Ireland could benefit from. And so the Young Scientist Exhibition was born.
“The UAE leadership has entrusted ADEC with the mission to reform society into a sustainable, innovative, knowledge based economy. STEM occupations are growing at a very fast rate, and will continue to grow. The Emirates is in need of scientists, researchers, programmers, health care workers, engineers, accountants, as much as it is in need of writers and teachers. Thus diversity is the keyword. For that reason ADEC has taken and continues to take several initiatives to ensure students are encouraged to take part in integrated innovative and creative activities that prepare them for tomorrow’s innovative workforce,” said Dr. Al Khaili.
His Excellency was explicit about the important roles played by different stakeholders who can help drive the project forward.
“Each and every single member in society plays a crucial role in ensuring success of Abu Dhabi’s first Young Scientist initiative. When schools promote project-based learning through such important science fairs, students become more engaged and enthusiastic to participate. Parents also play a crucial role in supporting their child in the planning and preparation of their project for the exhibition, while university and industry leaders provide valuable input and feedback that can benefit students a great deal,” stressed His Excellency.
The Young Scientist initiative will consist of a Cycle 1 non-competitive science fair which will include projects from Cycle 1 schools and judges’ feedback for students. Cycle 2 and 3 (Grades 6-12) will be given the chance to compete in the fields of scientific and technical invention and innovation with focus on four categories: Biological & Ecological Sciences; Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences; Social & Behavioral Sciences; and Technology. Students can participate in the competition either as an individual or in a group of no more than three people from the same school and the same age grouping.
“The exhibition provides opportunities for students in all age groups to take science beyond the classroom, develop self-directed learning and participate in competitions. We hope this exciting and new initiative will encourage students, parents and the public to think and learn more about science, while motivating students to follow career paths in science and technology, and make valuable decisions and contributions to the UAE,” concluded His Excellency.
Deadline for project proposals for all cycles is January 28th 2016.