Students showing their ideas for the life-on-moon project Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Schoolchildren in the UAE have made projects representing what living on the moon could entail during a week-long workshop programme.

Participating schools are now nominating the best-performing student in the workshop, who will be invited to join an astronomy experience at Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre in Dubai, comprising an astronomer-led talk, followed by the opportunity to observe the moon and planets through a telescope, a planetarium show, and a tour around the centre.

The programme, supported by private investment firm A.R.M. Holding, saw over 1,800 children from 70 schools participate in the Noom Project, developed by design duo Studio Sain.

Art Dubai, an art fair established in 2007, is held in partnership with A.R.M. Holding. The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the fair’s strategic partner.

The classroom-based art workshops that made up the Noom Project offered a temporary opportunity to explore how a new society might be constructed, and encouraged the students to create imaginary and innovative objects.

Out of this world

Alongside the UAE’s space mission to Mars and sending the first Emirati into space, the workshop was conceptualised to test ideas around the central question ‘How would you construct a sustainable community in outer space?’

Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, CEO of A.R.M. Holding, said: “Art and culture often fall short in the very STEM-led curricula in our local schools. This means pupils can miss out on crucial opportunities to hone their creative skills and thinking. The A.R.M. Holding’s Children’s Programme, by introducing bespoke, artist-designed workshops to local schools, provides children with opportunities to grow and develop their creative thinking and imagination by familiarising them with a wide range of art and design practices.”

Noom Project falls under the umbrella of the A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme, one of several cultural and educational initiatives organised by the investment firm.

Visiting professionals

Ashley Ibbitson, Head of Art at Brighton College Dubai, said: “Our pupils at Brighton College Dubai thoroughly emersed themselves in the Noom Project workshop. They had great fun working imaginatively, creatively and intuitively when making their Tom Sachs-inspired bricolage 3D sculptures. The opportunity to invite creative professionals back into the College art studios again is just wonderful as our young artists gain so much by being exposed to these creative experiences.”

Shayan Rahman Nezhad, Workshop Facilitator, said: “Many of our tasks and jobs are being handed over to AI and machines today. However, creativity is one of the skills we still struggle to pass on to machines; as such, nurturing creativity in young students can be the difference between them having stable careers or potentially struggling in their future.”