Abu Dhabi: Students from nine schools that have been shortlisted for the 2013 Zayed Future Energy Prize in the newly instituted Global High Schools category are set to visit the UAE next week.
Winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize across all categories will be announced at an awards ceremony on the evening of January 15.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize introduced the Global High Schools prize category in 2013 to recognise, inspire and encourage young students to incorporate renewable energy and sustainability in their schools. The Global High Schools prize is part of the UAE’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative.
The prize will be handed out to up to five high schools from five different regions (The Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania).
In 2013, the prize received sustainability projects for funding consideration from 55 schools.
The schools shortlisted for the Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2013 include: Secunduria Tecnica 120 from Mexico and Bronx Design and Construction Academy from New York City (Americas); UK-based Okehampton College in Devon and Queen Elizabeth II High School in the Isle of Man (Europe); Kirya Secondary School in Tanzania and Waterford Kamhlaba in Swaziland (Africa); Fujimagaoka Educational Institute in Tokyo, Japan, Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya in Karnataka, India, and the SKBZ Bangladesh Islamia School in Abu Dhabi (Asia).
As part of the outreach initiative, during the upcoming Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), students aged between 15 and 18 years will visit private and public schools based in Abu Dhabi seeking to exchange ideas on sustainability and renewable energy projects.
During the three-day visit, the students will also hold a panel discussion on sustainability, hosted at the Zayed Future Energy Prize stand at the World Future Energy Summit in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) on January 17.
Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Masdar and director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “Our founding father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who the prize honours, strongly believed that the well-being of our future lies in the hands of our young generations. The Global High Schools Prize category was launched to engage and inspire these future generations and to introduce the concept of sustainability in young minds.
“Our initiative to invite the nine finalists to Abu Dhabi aims to create a platform for collaboration between local students in the UAE and the finalists for the Global High Schools Prize category. These students are the true ambassadors of the prize and bear testament to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to finding and funding solutions that will shape our future.”
As part of their visit to the UAE, the students will be offered an overview of sustainable projects. The itinerary will include a visit to Shams 1, the 100 megawatt concentrated solar power facility in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. Students will observe the process of concentrating solar radiation to high temperatures for the generation of thermal energy. The visitors will also be offered a tour of Masdar City, including the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The Masdar Institute is the world’s first graduate-level university dedicated to providing real-world solutions to issues of sustainability.
The students will visit the stand of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), who will provide an understanding of the intergovernmental organisation’s commitment to deploying, developing and disseminating renewable energy technologies to developed and developing nations alike.
The students will also visit the Young Future Energy Leaders stand at ADSW to attend a debate on the impact of government population policy on sustainability.
The students’ visit to the UAE will conclude with a tour of Abu Dhabi’s culture and heritage sites, including the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is hailed as an architectural work of art and one the world’s largest mosques.