Ministry of Education to launch science festival

The Young Scientist Award will be handed out to the best project at the Science Fair

Staff Report
13:12 December 23, 2017

Dubai: The UAE Ministry of Education will hold the National Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTI) Festival from February 15 to 19 at the Dubai Festival Arena.

The festival will be held as part of the UAE Innovation Month, which will run from February 1 to 28.

Hussain Ebrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said the event has taken a new trajectory towards involving the entire community with the addition of the all-new family festival to promote science, innovation, technology and scientific research in an edutaining family-friendly environment. The NSTI Festival 2018 will also witness the launch of the first-of-its-kind Industrial Revolution X programme developed in partnership with a prominent international partner.

The NSTI Festival 2018 will combine an array of family activities and student projects, with a varied scientific programme through which it will welcome renowned international leaders in the technology and innovation fields to the UAE.

Al Hammadi said the ministry has created several initiatives that aim to attract UAE nationals in science, technology and innovation. The NSTI Festival is considered one of the most significant events organised by the ministry as it plays a central role in endorsing the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy, he added.

The outdoor Family Festival includes Arts, Eats, Beats, Makes and Reads elements that offer adventurous activities, workshops and shows specifically designed to unleash creativity, curiosity and love of exploration among visitors of all ages. With live music, art projects and delicious food from popular restaurants and food truck chains, the Family Festival will be a family-friendly destination with an edutaining environment that nurtures UAE youths’ talents.

Dr Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary, Activities sector and Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department at the Ministry of Education said: “We are committed to fostering a bright generation of Emiratis that are passionate about science, technology, innovation and research and have the right tools and mindset to lead the change towards a competitive knowledge-based economy.”

The NSTI Festival 2018 will consist of a Science Fair (section for students to showcase their projects), Conference (prominent international and Emirati speakers to discuss interesting topics related to education and STI), Exhibition (section for educational entities, established innovative companies and start-ups to showcase their products and services), Student Retreat (elite Emirati students come together to discuss challenges, aspirations and expectations from the educational system), Hackathon (competition for computer programmers and software developers), and Fikrati (‘My idea’ is a platform for students from kindergarten to grade 5 to express their creative ideas) competition and an awards ceremony (main awarding platform organised by the Ministry).

One of the focal points of the NSTI Festival will be the awards ceremony, particularly the UAE Young Scientist Award which will be awarded to only one outstanding project that demonstrates a remarkable innovative idea and impresses the panel of experts at the Science Fair. The Ministry of Education will also award winners with projects that fall under four core fields; technology, social and behavioural sciences, biological and ecological sciences, and chemical, physical and mathematical sciences. In addition, other award categories that are aligned with the UAE National Innovation Strategy will be open for students to compete in and submit their projects. At this edition, the Ministry of Education is looking to highlight the fundamental role of scientific research in any phenomena, whether theoretical or practical, and offer them the opportunity to present their research findings to audiences.