Dubai: The UAE Space Agency has joined forces with the Airbus Group to launch a series of ‘Airbus Little Engineer Space’ workshops for the first time in the Middle East.

The inaugural workshops will challenge 100 students between the ages of 15-17 to carry out a simulation of a launch mission to space. The workshop focuses on introducing students to the world of space exploration and enhancing their understanding of both the benefits and applications of space technology. Over the course of four hours, students will assemble and launch a rocket, set up a base and establish communications.

The workshops will also help students practise soft skills, including teamwork, communication, critical thinking, public speaking and creativity.

“One of the foremost goals of the UAE Space Agency is to directly engage with students, to inspire them to think about space, technology, and their role in building the future of our nation,” said Dr Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the Space Agency.

The event coincides with the strategy launch of the UAE Space Agency on May 25.

New generation

The initiative aims to instil a passion for science at an early age and encourage more students to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through a series of hands-on workshops.

“The workshops will encourage the next generation of scientists, engineers, physicists, and mathematicians who will make the UAE a world leader in STEM-related industries,” said Al Ahbabi.

Encouraging students to enter STEM fields is a key goal of the UAE Space Agency and a priority of the UAE Vision 2021 to ensure that the UAE develops the human capital necessary to create a world-leading knowledge economy. “Talent building requires investment, support and cooperation. This initiative is a direct reflection of our efforts to invest in the local community and support the country’s efforts in creating a sustainable stream of UAE talent for the aerospace industry,” said Habib Fekih, President, Airbus Group, Africa and Middle East.

Since its launch in 2012, the Airbus Little Engineer initiative is working to enlighten and empower youth in the areas of science and technology, and has reached over 1,200 students across the Middle East.