Schools from the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, KSA, Oman, Iraq and Bahrain are competing to research and design an original, innovative solution to a problem relating to water as part of the Big Science Challenge competition organised by the British Council and Rolls-Royce and running until Feb.3.
The winning teams from each country will be awarded a visit to London for a week-long programme of cultural exchange and educational activities, including an exclusive insight into real-life research and engineering processes during a visit to one of the biggest Rolls-Royce centres in the UK.
“The UAE has one of the highest rates of water and energy consumption in the world. It is expected that demand for water and energy will increase by five per cent per year, to sustain the development of the country in infrastructure, population growth, air conditioning and food production.
“Society plays an important role in the management of these resources and it is essential that each individual understands how to preserve and recycle water and energy, and participates in this vital process in their everyday life,” said Dr Silvia Flesia, UAE science champion, who holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from King’s College London.
With the support and technical expertise of Rolls-Royce, the competition will enable students to develop their scientific and research skills and encourage practical science learning in the classroom. In addition, they will use the language of science to share this learning with other countries in the Middle East and the UK.
Mousa Mohamad Hussein Zamil, teacher at one of the Abu Dhabi schools, said: “Our team, which is made up of five boys, started researching for new ideas and pre-existing ideas in order to prepare for this competition.”
He explained: “Students are gaining new skills and developing their existing skills in communications, scientific research and teamwork. I feel that they will understand the importance of their contribution to society on a national and maybe even an international level after they go through this experience and complete all the stages.”
Ziad Ali Manasrah, Science teacher described his school’s participation in this competition: “Our team did a lot of research before deciding on the solution to take forward. Students were so excited and presented many ideas, so we had to be very selective in order to choose a new idea that was interesting and would enable us to compete with other schools.”