Abu Dhabi Science Festival, ADSF, is back for the fifth consecutive year with an exciting new location and more engaging visitor experiences.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, and organised by the council and the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee, TDC, the event will take place from 12th to 21st November in Mushrif Central Park in Abu Dhabi, providing the ideal setting for school visits and family-friendly fun.
ADSF has been attended by nearly half a million visitors since its inception. Designed to spark the imagination of the youth of the UAE, ADSF is among several strategic initiatives created by TDC to develop human capital in the science and technology sectors in line with the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision and the UAE Innovation Strategy.
Building on five years of success, ADSF continues to collaborate with ADEC, enabling TDC to align with the national science curriculum. Through ADSF, children are given the opportunity to connect fun activities with the key learning objectives of STEM education, encouraging them to pursue the subjects throughout their education and career choices.
Dr. Amal Al-Qubaisi, Director-General of ADEC, said, "This year, ADEC has launched new and exciting learning opportunities that will enable students to participate in a comprehensive ecosystem of innovation, including Innovation Centres, Programming for Life, Young Scientist Competition, Abu Dhabi Innovates, Innovation Clubs, Innovation Ambassadors, Innovation Barometer, and Innovative Leaders. ADEC has also aligned science and literature streams as part of the new Cycle 3 restructuring model, in efforts to encourage Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, fields. Events like the Science Festival are organised in alignment with the nation's attempt to enhance STEM.
"Parallel to such innovative events, ADEC schools are now being equipped with innovation and multi-purpose laboratories that will elevate creativity and applied knowledge skills further amongst students. School curricula are also now linked to industrial sector projects in efforts to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM related fields, while talented and gifted students receive specialised programmes that will further intensify their skills."
ADEC's Director-General added that ADEC is pleased to partner with the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee in order to inspire youth to learn more about science through scientific applications and advanced methods, while motivating them to explore scientific fields and contribute to innovation. This is in line with ADEC's "Journey of Discovery" which was launched at the beginning of the academic school year to stimulate students to investigate, experiment, create, and criticise surrounding phenomena and enhance their creative thinking.
Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Director-General of TDC, said, "Our national development strategy calls for the creation of a knowledge-based economy, of which science, technology and innovation are key pillars. A key enabler to the success of building this knowledge economy and positioning us among the most innovative nations is nurturing and empowering our youth with the right skills and attitudes. Fun and interactive science education programmes, such as the Abu Dhabi Science Festival, inspire and encourage our children to pursue science, technology and innovation educational tracks and careers. It is through our shared commitment and joint efforts that ADSF returns and continues to inspire our youth".
Speaking on Tawazun's participation in the initiative, Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, CEO of Tawazun, said, "Science, technology and innovation is defining our world, economy and even our everyday lives. We are proudly playing a part in what is fast becoming a technology driven UAE, through the businesses and initiatives we are creating, and in doing so, we are generating job opportunities for this generation and the next. We are keen to work with others and get heavily involved in these kinds of events targeted at children to attract and encourage them to actively participate and interact in a competitive and innovative spirit."
Dolphin Energy's involvement as Gold Sponsor, prompted Adel Ahmed Albuainain, CEO, Dolphin Energy Limited, to say, "ADSF demonstrates the role that science, technology, engineering and maths will play in the development of a knowledge-based economy and we are delighted to be an involved for the fifth consecutive year. Our activation programme continues to evolve and this year's offering seeks to engage, inspire and motivate youths across the UAE and encourage them to embrace learning in a way that supports the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision and the UAE Innovation Strategy."
This year, ADSF brings best-in-class informal science experiences to UAE children through a programming partnership with the Edinburgh International Science Festival, EISF, the first and one of the largest science festivals in the world. Adding a cultural relevance to the visitor experience, locally-inspired activities are offered at ADSF each year. This year's local activities, which make up 40% of the programme offering, have been developed with distinguished partners across the UAE to inspire the nation's youth in the science and technology domains.
Dr. Simon Gage, the Director of EISF, said, "We are delighted to be returning as programming partner for the festival. We are pleased to have assembled an excellent line-up of activities including new workshops based in a Mars space station and an inventor's workshop, and to have an ever increasing range of great events from the UAE and the wider GCC. We look forward to working with the hundreds of enthusiastic and talented university students to put on this festival, and with them, inspire the many tens of thousands of young people, parents and teachers that will visit this world-beating science festival. There has never been a greater need to bring science, technology, engineering and maths to young people and the wider UAE culture."
Based on their popularity in previous years, a number of local and international activities will be returning to the festival along with new content, including ‘Inventor School' and ‘Magic Andy's Crazy Chemistry Lab'. Children who have visited ADSF in previous years will be pleased to discover the return of the popular ‘Rocket Rail' and ‘The Blood Lab'. This year, ADSF will also be offering 28 new locally-inspired experiences including ‘From DNA to cell to Worms' and ‘The Science Behind Your Kid's Art'. ADSF 2015 will once again be reaching out to local schools with its popular school trip programme that allows students to visit the festival during allotted times for a more in-depth educational experience.
Bringing science to life for visitors, over 700 higher education students have been recruited locally as ‘Science Communicators' to work onsite at all locations to deliver a celebration of science in a way that excites and engages the next generation of scientists. A key factor in the success of ADSF, the Science Communicators are provided with training from world-class experts who are at the top of their field. Science Communicators for this year's festival have been selected from partner universities including Abu Dhabi University, Al Ain University of Science and Technology (Abu Dhabi and Al Ain campuses), Emirates College for Advanced Education, Khalifa University, Petroleum Institute, and Zayed University Residents throughout the UAE are invited to attend ADSF, where they can expect an educational extravaganza in one location. The festival charges are minimal. More information on the event and for booking spaces at the various workshops taking place at the festival can be found on the official website, and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The fifth Abu Dhabi Science Festival is organised by Abu Dhabi Education Council and the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee, in partnership with Tawazun as Presenting Sponsor, Dolphin Energy as Gold Sponsor, ADNOC Distribution and Etihad Airways as Affiliate Sponsors, Abu Dhabi Media Company as Exclusive Media Partner and the Edinburgh International Science Festival as Programming Partner, and produced by Flash Entertainment.