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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

More than a contest

The National’s Genes in Space competition will fuel interest in science in young people
Julian Rubinfien receiving the Genes in Space trophy from astronaut Josh Cassada in San Diego last month. Courtesy Julian Rubinfien
Julian Rubinfien receiving the Genes in Space trophy from astronaut Josh Cassada in San Diego last month. Courtesy Julian Rubinfien

Competitions such as Genes in Space – a part of our general mission to inspire a generation of children to get involved in space science – underscore just how much fun science can be and how much our pupils can learn.

As The National reported yesterday, students in grades 7 to 12 can now submit their proposals. The winner, to be announced in November, will get to send their DNA experiment to the International Space Station and visit the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Victory is always sweet, of course, but that’s not the main point. It’s about the participants being able to reinforce what they have learnt and, in turn, pick up a few new titbits of knowledge.

Such high-profile contests require pupils to do serious research and will provide inspiration to future space explorers and, potentially, to an entire young generation. It is hoped that efforts such as this will also inspire young people to gain a lifelong passion for Stem subjects.

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