Students and participants from 60 countries showcase their scientific creativity at the event held at Adec. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulfnews

Abu Dhabi: Young scientists had a chance to boost their financial skills by stepping on-board a bus during the Expo-Sciences International (ESI) forum at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).

The Emirates Foundation for Youth Development’s ‘Esref Sah’ bus (which means to spend wisely) featured interactive games, online applications and videos. It aims to raise financial awareness and encourage youngsters to save.

The foundation showed great support and encouragement for young Emirati talent at the forum.

Around 30,000 visitors have visited the event so far, which focuses on scientific innovations. The three-day event opened on Sunday.

“The Emirates Foundation has always been engaged in science competitions to explore Emirati talent and support and empower them to discover their potential,” said Maitha Al Habsi, chief programmes officer at the Emirates Foundation.

“The interactive bus promotes financial awareness among UAE youth. We wanted to spread the culture of saving and spending. The bus will be travelling all across the UAE and visiting schools and universities to engage more students in the financial literacy programme,” she added.

Speaking to Gulf News, Maitha said the bus will have interactive games where participants will be able to learn new financial skills, online applications which teach youngsters how to save and spend wisely and will also showcase inspirational videos of Emirati youth, who have succeeded in changing a culture of spending into a culture of savings.

“The interactive bus consists of one laptop, one smart TV and six iPads. It can accommodate up to 30 students and the target age group is 15-35,” said Dr Sabha Al Shamsi, director of social inclusion at the Emirates Foundation.

“It is expected that there will be around four buses by the end of this year. One bus costs around Dh500,000,” she added.

Abdullah Mohammad, a 13-year-old student from the Applied Technology High School, told Gulf News: “The bus is really interesting. I would love to ride a bus like this one. It is a great way to catch up on our studies and assignments and learn new skills.”

Additionally, the Think Science competition was another major contribution launched by the Foundation in 2012 to develop young people’s potential and use them in resolving local and global technological challenges.

The competition has welcomed the ideas of about 420 young Emiratis since its launch.

The Foundation has announced the Think Science competition for the academic year 2013-2014 to recognise projects in applied chemistry, applied physics, electrical and electronics engineering systems, energy, environmental sciences and management, intelligent and safety systems, applied science and engineering.

The competition welcomes submissions from young people aged 15 to 24.

Online registration will be open for participation from September 20 and the deadline for submitting proposals is November 15.