x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abu Dhabi Science Festival is back and bigger than ever

The festival has moved venue and is expected to attract about 150,000 people during its 10 days.

Young students experiment with wind turbines at last year's Abu Dhabi Science Festival held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Ravindranath K / The National
Young students experiment with wind turbines at last year's Abu Dhabi Science Festival held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // Children will have the chance to help solve a crime, work in a blood lab and watch scientific experiments when the Abu Dhabi Science Festival returns in November.

Organised by the Technology Development Committee (TDC) and the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), the festival aims to spark passion in science through games, shows and interactive displays.

Organisers say it is going to be bigger and better than before, with the 10-day event, which will run from November 14 until November 23, moving premises to the du Forum on Yas Island.

Activities will also be held on the Corniche, while a regional roadshow will see the festival’s science activities in Al Ain, Al Gharbia, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain.

“Now in its third edition, the Abu Dhabi Science Festival is pushing farther towards realising its aims of instilling a passion for science and technology within our youth,” said TDC director general, Ahmed Al Calily.

“The continued success of the festival is testament to the need of such activities that deliver great science content in a fun and accessible way.”

Visitors will have dozens of activities and exhibitions to pick.

This year, new attractions include signature shows such as MTV’s Crazy Lab, the Zapata Flyboard Show and balloon sculptor Jason Hackenwerth.

To accommodate new attractions, a space at the du Forum has been created called Launch Pad, where festival partners can show their work, ideas and concepts to visitors in an informal way.

In addition, popular workshops will be returning with refreshed content, offering youngsters a chance to unwrap an Egyptian mummy, experiment with a blood lab or go behind the scenes to analyse evidence and solve the mystery in a crime scene investigation workshop.

Ibrahim Al Ansaari, general manager of Dolphin Energy, the gold sponsor of the event, said: “As we enter the third year of our sponsorship of the festival, we are delighted to endorse an event which has overwhelmingly demonstrated the importance of engaging the emirate’s youth in science, technology and innovation [STI].

“These three areas are critical to our operations and our support not only highlights the value we place on STI but also helps us to engage and inspire the young so that we can encourage them to consider future careers as engineers.”

The inaugural festival in 2011 attracted 100,000 people, with 20,000 more visiting the following year.

This year, festival organisers anticipate more than 150,000 school and university students, teachers and parents will visit the event.

“As part of the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision, it is vital to become familiar with science and technology in order to fit into a globally competitive market environment,” said Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, the director general of Adec.

“During the 2012/2013 academic school year 10,861 students across private and public schools in the emirate of Abu Dhabi entered the science stream, and with events like the science festival more students will be encouraged to take up science subjects.”

“As part of the new school model, science promotes theory and application, while encouraging students to become independent thinkers.”

“Students enjoy the subject rather than memorise it.”

Organisers say more than two thirds of the event will differ from previous years to maintain interest.

The festival will open daily between 3.30pm and 8.30pm on weekdays and 12 noon until 9pm on weekends.

A full list of shows, exhibits and workshops can be found at www.abudhabisciencefestival.ae.

jbell@thenational.ae