Abu Dhabi: The region’s largest science festival of its kind for children began in the capital on Thursday.
The Abu Dhabi Science Festival, now in its seventh edition, brings the world of science within easy grasp of young minds with its array of fun scientific activities that offer them first-hand experience of scientific principles at work. With exhibitions, workshops, shows and signature events, the event is becoming increasingly popular with the young and old alike.
Inaugurated by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Festival, the 10-day festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
This year’s edition promotes the spirit of innovation among students in areas such as mathematics, engineering and technology.
Speaking to Gulf News, Shahed Mojahed, a volunteer interacting with students about ‘Animal Agents’, said, “We are facing many problems with the environment and animal habitat. Many animals are on the verge of extinction. In these interactive sessions, we teach children the importance of preserving animals and their environment to create a healthy ecosystem for all.”
For students attending these sessions, the excitement and learning was palpable. Maya Abu Taher, 9, from Jordan, said, “I interacted with a tiger and a turtle. I touched them and learnt that we should care for them.”
At another session on ‘Healthy Heart’, an instructor gave students lessons on the function of the heart. “We gave students an opportunity to examine the functions of the heart and how they can keep it healthy through a balanced diet, particularly by eating fruits and vegetables, and doing regular exercise,” he said.
Sara Sultan, 7, from Al Rahba School, was excited to learn about the heart’s functions. “I learnt how to keep my heart healthy and about the importance of good food and exercise,” she said.
At the Arabian Aroma stall, Rawan Mazen, instructor, said, “We are teaching students the different kinds of fragrances and essences and how they can differentiate between natural and synthetic scents. Students are also taught to blend scents for themselves,” Mazen said.
Hamda Ali Al Hameli, 8, Emirati, from Al Aafaq School, Abu Dhabi, experimented with enthusiasm. “I am mixing two different scents and a perfume oil to create a scent for myself,” she said.
Power It UP: This stall teaches students all about the generation of electricity, and through workshops, also takes students on a journey into the world of nuclear power to explore the radioactive particles all around us and how they are harnessed. Students are taught about energy generation in a nuclear power plant and about the incredible force of steam reactors. Students also learn how to generate energy on their own using a combination of copper and other wires and a rotator.
Healthy Heart: Instructors at this stall explain the workings of a lamb’s heart. Students were given a real lamb’s heart to examine its functions. They were imparted lessons on a healthy diet and regular exercise and the benefits of this for heart health.
Animal Agents: Discussions on global warming, animal habitat and protection of the environment attracted many students to this stall as they enjoyed interacting with an artificial tiger and a giant turtle. Fish, birds and an Arabian Oryx were showcased and students are educated on how our careless behaviour can impact the lives of other creatures on the planet. Lessons on the importance of keeping our natural resources healthy by keeping beaches and deserts clean, not dumping rubbish into oceans, keeping forests healthy, are also taught. The consequences of not doing so on land and marine creatures is told to them.
Create A Kite: Students are taught how to build a kite. The important aspect here is they are taught this craft without the use of plastics, to drive home the importance of using alternative materials that are eco-friendly to reduce plastic pollution that is harming the planet.
What: Abu Dhabi Science Festival
Dates: November 9-18
Venues: Khalifa Park in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain City