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Clockwise from top left Noora Al Rafi, Moza Alsharif, Bahjat Homsi and Hessa Al Matroushi participated in webinar aimed at developing the interest of UAE youth in the field of space science. Image Credit:

Dubai: The UAE Space Agency and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) have launched Generation Hope Initiative — a series of webinars and science camps — aimed at developing the interest of UAE youth in the field of space science.

The initiative, which is part of Emirates Mars Mission’s (EMM) outreach program, will also equip science teachers and researchers with the knowledge and tools to support UAE’s vision for space exploration.

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Hope Probe webinars

While Hope Probe — the first interplanetary Arab mission — is cruising to Mars, the science team at EMM) science team will be conducting Hope’s Science Journey webinars series throughout the month of November. These webinars provide a scientific overview of the mission, introduction to a Mars visualisation tool and global circulation model, information on EMM science data access, and more. The first introduction session was held on November 1 and the second webinar will take place on November 4. The webinars are in English and Arabic.

Hope Camps

Generation Hope will also be running two science camps in December and January. The first is a five-day Generation Hope Camp in December for middle and high school students aged 12 to 18 years. The second is a two-day a specialised and intensive camp titled ‘A Journey to Mars’, that will be held for distinguished undergraduates in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. The EMM Science Team will share their experience and expertise on their journey of development through the mission and insights about important scientific topics related to the mission and Mars research.

Educating educators

Generation Hope will also equip STEM educators from various private and public schools in the UAE to serve as ‘ambassador teachers’ for EMM educational initiatives. As part of its Teacher Ambassador Programme (TAP), EMM will provide the teachers with the knowledge and material required to educate and train a new generation of space scientists and engineers. The programme will also launch a competition in December 2020, where teachers will design a game or activity to explain Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion.

Culture built on research, exploration and innovation

Omran Sharaf, EMM project director, said: “Generation Hope’s initiatives are in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers. Reaching Mars is not the final goal, but it is the means for us to build a culture built on research, exploration and innovation.”

“Inspiring the youth and increasing their interest in the space sector is one of the most important strategic objectives of EMM. It comes as part of the efforts to contribute to the national diversified economy — one that is built on knowledge and innovation,” added Noora Al Rafi, deputy project manager — EMM Strategic Planning.