x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Abu Dhabi Science festival visitors up by a fifth

With more than 120,000 visitors, the second Abu Dhabi Science Festival has surpassed the success of the inaugural event last year.

The event included interactive seminars, games and live demonstrations, and about 800 university students helped out.
The event included interactive seminars, games and live demonstrations, and about 800 university students helped out.

With more than 120,000 visitors, the second Abu Dhabi Science Festival has surpassed the success of the inaugural event last year.

Visitors increased by a fifth and more than 20,000 students attended the event, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the Corniche.

The festival was also followed on social media sites and organisers held special events in Al Ain and the Western Region.

The event included interactive seminars, games and live demonstrations, and about 800 university students helped out. But while the festival offered plenty of entertainment, its goals were serious, organisers said.

"This activity is fun and exciting but it definitely has a higher purpose," said Ahmed Al Calily, director general of the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee, which organised the event.

"We aim to provide a moment of inspiration that will have a long-lasting impact for children and make them curious and interested in science."

Getting young people interested was important for their own sake and that of the nation, Mr Al Calily said.

"Science and technology are at the heart of our country's vision to develop a knowledge-based economy," said Mr Al Calily.

The festival inspired 14-year-old Mona Al Sheikh, who was fascinated by a presentation on robotics and electronics.

"Maths is my favourite subject but now I wish to learn more about the technology that makes things move," she said. "I loved the Lego Robosports workshop where I programmed my own robot. I want to invent the most useful robot ever."

Mr Al Calily said his team was already planning next year's festival.

"Our challenge next year will be to move beyond the borders of Abu Dhabi," he added.

 

vtodorova@thenational.ae