Abu Dhabi: More than 150,000 youngsters are expected to visit the third Abu Dhabi Science Festival (ADSF) in November where they can have fun while learning about science, the Abu Dhabi Technology Development committee (TDC) announced on Monday.

ADSF is a initiative that aims to instil a passion for and stir excitement around science, technology and innovation in the hearts of pupils between the age of 5-15.

Held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the festival will run from November 14 to 23.

ADSF is setting the bar even higher this year by reaching out to new locations in the UAE such as du forum, Yas Island and the Abu Dhabi Corniche (east plaza).

In addition to Al Ain and the Western Region, the festival will also ignite the imagination of its young visitors and their families in the northern emirates including Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain.

“Now in its third edition, ADSF is pushing further towards realising its aims of instilling a passion for science and technology within our youth. The continued success of the festival is a testament to the need of such activities which deliver great science content in a fun and accessible way,” said Ahmad Saeed Al Calily, director-general of TDC.

The Organised School Tours Programme (OST), which is an integral part of the festival, will witness a 25 per cent increase this year.

“Around 25,000 visits are expected to be made this year to the festival, which caters to students giving them the chance to attend the festival accompanied by their teachers. This programme is made possible through TDC’s partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council,” he added.

The 10-day festival will focus on aligning its activities with the science curriculum and giving children the experience of connecting fun activities with learning.

“As part of the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision, it is vital to become familiar with science and technology in order to fit into a globally competitive market environment. During the 2012-2013 academic year, a total of 10,861 pupils across private and public schools in Abu Dhabi have entered the science stream. With more events like ADSF, more pupils will be encouraged to take up science subjects,” said Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, director-general at the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec).

Independent thinkers

As part of ADSF’s new attractions, a new space has been created called Launch Pad at the du forum, where several works, ideas and concepts will be presented to festival visitors.

Several workshops will be returning with refreshed content to offer youngsters an opportunity to become independent thinkers.

Speaking to Gulf News, Simon Gage, director of Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF), said that this year’s festival will witness a 60 per cent increase in its content.

“We have scanned the world for more creative ideas. ADSF will start this year to explore in earnest the wealth and diversity of science done right here in the UAE. It will deepen its role with local agencies to reveal that the UAE is full of people who can work as scientists, technologists and engineers,” he said.

“The festival will offer a variety of content that covers many topics ranging from health and clean technology to astronomy and maths, which is delivered in several formats including: interactive exhibitions, fun workshops and spectacular shows,” Gage added.

The festival will also see a concentrated focus to increase the involvement of university students.

“More than 900 university students will be hired at ADSF and provided with world-class expert training to deliver science programmes in uniquely engaging ways to excite the next generation of scientists,” said Al Calili.

University students — science communicators — will be selected from 11 universities: Al Ain University for Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi University, Al Hosn University, Emirates College for Advanced Education, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi Women’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology, Khalifa University, New York University, Abu Dhabi Petroleum Institute, Zayed University and UAE University.