x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

'Spectacular' lightning display to highlight Abu Dhabi Science Festival

The Abu Dhabi corniche will be transformed into a lightning spectacle next month as part of a yearly initiative to spark a local interest for science.

The science festival will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) and on the Corniche from October 10 to 20.
The science festival will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) and on the Corniche from October 10 to 20.

ABU DHABI //Lightning is not supposed to strike the same place twice, but the brains behind a science show aims to conduct bolts that will illuminate the Corniche for six minutes.

The display is being billed as "the most spectacular six minutes you will see in your life".

Presented by a scientist calling himself Dr MegaVolt, the lightning show will be one of many exhibitions and experiments designed to capture the public's imaginations during the second annual Abu Dhabi Science Festival.

More than 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival, which will feature simulations of crime scenes, surgical procedures and workshops where you can dissect animal eyes.

Those who like less gore can attend lectures about the physics of roller coasters and the intricacies of the human body.

Eight hundred students from eight universities across the emirate will also have a crash course in how to communicate and illustrate scientific ideas.

The annual event will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) and on the Corniche from October 10 to 20.

The event was extended by two days due to popular demand. Adnec has also dedicated 20 per cent more space to the exhibition this year.

Simon Gage, director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and one of the organising partners, said the event would be "11 days of magic, inspiration and energy".

"It's amazing what you can learn from chopping up an eye," he said, referring to the "exciting but somewhat messy" workshop.

Dr Gage advised visitors to book tickets using the online system, introduced to help avoid the oversubscription experienced last year.

The online service opens next week when about 45,000 tickets will be made available.

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC) and Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), the event aims to spark the curiosity of Emirati students about science and technology.

Ahmed Al Calily, TDC's director general, called the festival a "very practical approach to try to spur that passion for science in our children".

Mugheer Al Khaili, director general at Adec, said the event signifies a "move from traditional education to proactive learning".

"Students are taught to get data through other resources, which builds skills like creativity and research," he added.

Tickets are available from www.abudhabisciencefestival.ae. Admission costs Dh5 for adults and Dh15 for children aged 5 to 15.

molson@thenational.ae