x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Science programme targets Emirati youth

A new science programme is intended to encourage Emiratis in high school to pursue careers in technology and innovation.

ABU DHABI // A science programme for Emirati high school students aims to spark interest in technology and innovation.

The "TechQuest" initiative, organised by the Advanced Technology Investment Company (Atic) and the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), is for UAE nationals in grades eight and nine.

"We are trying to target young Emiratis still in high school to give them an idea of career opportunities and how they can be a part of the technology ecosystem in Abu Dhabi," said an Atic spokeswoman.

"The opportunities that exist now might not in the future, which is why we want to give them the right tools to empower them," the spokeswoman added.

The programme is in line with the emirate's 2030 Economic Vision, according to Humaid Abdullah, a division manager at Adec.

"The Abu Dhabi Government is paying great attention to the technology sector in line with its plans and initiatives towards enhancing a knowledge-based economy," Mr Abdullah said.

In TechQuest, to be held at Abu Dhabi University's (ADU) Abu Dhabi campus, students will participate in five hour-long sessions taught by ADU teachers and career counsellors.

The 11-day scheme will run during the school spring holiday from March 25 to April 5 and will offer lectures in science, technology, maths and engineering, plus laboratories. Applications close on March 14, with more details due next week.

"Our programme presents a remarkable opportunity to spark an interest in science among this nation's future technology leaders," said Hanan Harhara, head of human capital at Atic.

Such youth initiatives, including Atic's annual "Summer of Semiconductors" programme, are a way to "show young Emiratis science in a fun and engaging way", the Atic spokeswoman added.