The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee, TDC, announced yesterday that its ‘Lema?', or Why? programme surpassed all expectations in 2015. The programme, which is sponsored by Mubadala Development Company and is conducted in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, has successfully reached out to 32,370 students by running 882 workshops with over 120 schools visits.
The 'Lema?' programme, a key initiative from TDC, takes science and technology beyond the formal classroom setting to enthuse the young in science and technology through demonstrating exciting scientific experiences and creating significant lasting memories for students at schools. The programme, aimed at children in grades three to seven, has proved to be a resounding success over its previous 3 years of outreach tours throughout the emirate, engaging children in key Science, Technology Engineering and Maths, STEM, subjects through fun and exciting interactive workshops and shows delivered by trained science communicators.
Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Director-General of TDC, said, "Instilling a desire in our youth from an early age to engage with STEM subjects is vital to the creation of the knowledge-based economy. Our children are the future of the UAE. They are tomorrow's innovators, technologists, engineers and industry leaders. They are the people who will ensure our great nation realises its ambition to stand shoulder to shoulder with other innovative countries by 2021. The Lema programme introduces science and technology in a fun and exciting manner that is both informative and interesting, encouraging younger students to take their first steps on the path to embracing science and technology."
He added, "Together, with our stakeholders, we are investing in our youth through intensive human capital development and engagement programmes that will help create a talent-base equipped with the essential skills to ensure we realise our vision of becoming a knowledge-based economy."
This year's programme features a new interactive workshop entitled, "Radio Studio", focusing on Information and Communications Technology, ICT, topics in which students record and transmit their very own radio broadcast into space, discovering the incredible applied science that enables this technology. Co-developed by Mubadala, this workshop links to the future UAE mission to Mars, showing students ways to broadcast details about their life on Earth to alien forms.
Homaid Al Shemmari, CEO, Aerospace and Engineering Services at Mubadala, said, "We are committed to achieving our leaders' goals and strive to inspire our youth to pursue an education in STEM subjects in order to enhance our country's long-term sustainable economic growth. Our partnership with TDC through the programme re-emphasises the importance of instilling innovation in the education of our youth to help create a diverse knowledge-based economy."
The 'Lema?' school outreach programme follows global best practices in the methods applied to stimulate interest in science and technology amongst the young. The programme aims to instil a passion for science, and ultimately to inspire youth to pursue education and careers in these industries. By working hand in hand with strategic partners sharing the same vision, such as ADEC and Mubadala, TDC aims to contribute to the nation-wide efforts to develop an innovative human capital to drive the nation's progress.
Since its launch in 2012, the programme has engaged with more than 65,000 students in 290 public and private schools in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia with its innovative and fun approach to science education.