Now in its third year, the Abu Dhabi Science Festival (ADSF) starts on Thursday and runs until November 23, with new locations at the du Forum on Yas Island and on the Abu Dhabi Corniche (East Plaza), plus a tour of other locations around the UAE, from Al Ain to Fujairah.
The organisers are predicting that 150,000 budding scientists will take part.
“The Science Festival 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 for such activities that deliver great science content in a fun and accessible way,” says Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, the director general of the Technology Development Committee (TDC).
Lana Ghandour, the manager of science and technology promotion at TDC, says: “Every year we enjoy seeing the excitement and enthusiasm in our inspired young visitors as they leave the festival with this passion translating into their exclamation: ‘I want to become a doctor’ or ‘I want to be an engineer’. We aim to provide the public with the message that science is exciting, fun, invigorating and anyone can do it.”
Roboshow, du Forum
• Friday and Saturday, 1pm to 8.15pm
Watch robots that look like skeletons performing stunts that most humans can’t do, such as climbing up a rope. They even dance in perfect synchronicity.
Sethu Vijayakumar, a professor of robotics and the director of the Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour at the University of Edinburgh, will present the event.
Vijayakumar is a leading expert on artificial intelligence and robot control and will be giving live demonstrations of prosthetic hands and a gesture-operated footballing robot. He told us his favourite robot is the new Boston Dynamics “Atlas” Robot, which is a full-size humanoid robot, weighing 150kg, standing 1.7m tall and driven by hydraulics.
“It allows me to research extremely difficult questions around human mobility and dexterity due to its anthropomorphic structure, making it much more suitable for highly agile manoeuvres such as running and jumping,” says Vijayakumar.
“This is my first visit to Abu Dhabi and I am thrilled to partner with ADSF to hopefully inspire the next generation of roboticists through this exciting outreach programme.”
Dr Hal Reloaded, du Forum
• Saturday, 7.30pm; Sunday and Monday, 7.15pm to 8.15pm
This high-octane show features the chemistry experiments you wanted to do at school but probably weren’t allowed – learn about reactions, energy and explosions the fun way with all-new experiments this year including exploding hydrox bubbles and a delicious magnesium and CO2 sandwich.
Blast Off, Corniche, East Plaza
• 6.45pm on weekdays; 5.45pm on weekends
Launch footballs with liquid nitrogen and “rocketise” soft-drinks bottles, in this science extravaganza with Dr Graham.
Science Lucky Dip, du Forum
A show with funny forks, a floating sausage and a hiccupping pot – science made silly by James Piercy.
Under Pressure, du Forum
Mr Wright from Wonderstruck investigates pressure using a sledgehammer, a concrete block and 100 nails. If you sit at the front, be advised that he will also vacuum-pack a member of the audience and make sound waves visible with fire.
Magic Andy’s Light and Colour Show, du Forum
Be dazzled by flames of red and green and learn to write with light as Magic Andy shows the magic of light waves and lasers.
Sun and Moon, Corniche, East Plaza
Get to look at our sky with the astronomers and, once it gets dark, use high-powered telescopes to view distant planets.
DNA Codebreakers, du Forum
Ever wondered what your own DNA looks like? Unlock the code that makes you unique, as you discover your own DNA in a test tube and find out what you have in common with a rat.
Kaleidoscope (also on the regional tour)
Make a kaleidoscope in your own style, then look through the cylinder to marvel at the changing shapes and colours that appear.
Head to Ferrari World for its “Coaster Lab” showcase, which reveals the physics behind the world’s fastest roller coaster.
At Yas Waterworld, learn how to design your own environmentally friendly water park.
• The Abu Dhabi Science Festival runs from Thursday until November 23. Visit www.abudhabisciencefestival.ae for more information