Abu Dhabi Science Festival to engage over 500 university students

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The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC) has partnered with five universities to engage over 500 higher education students as ‘Science Communicators’ in the Abu Dhabi Science Festival

His Excellency Ahmed Saeed Al Calily
His Excellency Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Director General of TDC

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 11 October, 2011:  The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC), the Abu Dhabi Government entity charged with supporting the elevation of Abu Dhabi to a world-class centre for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), has announced today that it had joined forces with five universities across Abu Dhabi to enroll over 500 higher education students as Science Communicators to help deliver the Abu Dhabi Science Festival (ADSF).

The Abu Dhabi Science Festival will be held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and is one of many upcoming science popularization initiatives of the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee.

Of the hundreds of students to be developed as Science Communicators, the Abu Dhabi University and the Emirates College of Advance Education will provide around 150 each, the Higher Colleges of Technology’s contribution will be in the region of 50 students while about 140 students will join from Khalifa University and approximately 100 from the United Arab Emirates University.

The partnerships with universities and higher education colleges will support Abu Dhabi Science Festival’s unique concept of broad community engagement, as it is designed for the school children and their families and delivered by dedicated higher education students who are a source of inspiration for the younger generation and are on their way to becoming the future STI professionals and entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, the tie up will give higher education students the opportunity to be trained as Science Communicators by the best in the world through high quality workshops and put their training into practice during the Abu Dhabi Science Festival, helping visitors make the most of every experience.

The Science Communicators will acquire critical communication skills that will be instrumental in effectively engaging the local community during the festival, these skills will also prove to be highly beneficial for them in their future professional careers.

His Excellency Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Director General of TDC, said “We are pleased by the overwhelming support that Abu Dhabi Science Festival has received from our partner universities and higher education colleges. I would like to extend my gratitude to all the young men and women who will participate in the first edition of the festival as Science Communicators and I look forward to seeing them at the festival.”

H.E. added: “Some of the most successful global leaders in STI have jump-started their careers as Science Communicators. A fact that highlights the value of this experience for our higher education students who will play a vital role in engaging and inspiring visiting school students at the Abu Dhabi Science Festival in support of its vision”

Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University (ADU) said “Job opportunities of the 21st century will require increasing knowledge in Science, Mathematics and Technology. The Abu Dhabi Science Festival is a wonderful initiative which promotes the study of science among UAE youth and prepares them to become future leaders in the new knowledge-based economy. At Abu Dhabi University we closely follow changing trends in the job market to be able to prepare well qualified graduates for rewarding careers in Science and Engineering.”

Over a hundred and fifty senior students from Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE) have volunteered to act as Science Communicators at the Science Festival. Professor Jim Mienczakowski, Vice Chancellor of ECAE, said, “Our fourth year student teachers are excited and honored to be given the opportunity to participate in the science festival. They major in teaching science and maths in English and are looking forward to using their knowledge and skills to turn school students on to science. This is a win-win situation for both our students and the school students and we commend TDC for organizing this Festival.”

Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology said “The HCT was proud to have its students selected to participate in and assist at Abu Dhabi’s world-class Science Festival”. He added: “The Higher Colleges of Technology maintains a commitment to excellence in education and a hallmark of its learning model is the strong focus on successful student learning outcomes in science, technology and innovation, educating our students for the 21st Century. We are therefore pleased to be working with the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee to create ways of enhancing learning through the innovative use of science and technology.”

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Khalifa University’s Executive Vice President: “Khalifa University is a world-class institution promoting research in the field of science and technology in which we are encouraging Arab youth to seriously review the field of technology as a viable and dynamic career. We are delighted to partner with the Abu Dhabi Science Festival by encouraging and facilitating the participation of our foundation year students. Furthermore, we invite all school-grade students and the public to visit Khalifa University Discovery Centre Exhibition, which will be open for extended hours during the Abu Dhabi Science Festival.”

Dr. Wyatt Rory Hume, Provost of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), said, “I am delighted that this excellent initiative is under way, and very pleased that UAEU Students and Faculty members are contributing. We share the commitment to developing high-level capabilities in Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi and the UAE”.

The Abu Dhabi Science Festival (www.abudhabisciencefestival.ae) is presented by TDC and Tawazun in association with Dolphin Energy. The first edition of this annual event will run over nine days and takes place from 18th to 26th November 2011 at different prominent locations around the Emirate, including the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

In organizing this city-wide festival TDC is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), as the festival’s Education Partner, as well as the Edinburgh International Science Festival (EISF) and 1001 Inventions, as Programming Partners.

The nine-day event aims to spark the curiosity of the Emirate’s youth in STI and will encompass over 150 of the world’s most exciting informal science learning experiences, including interactive exhibits, fun workshops and spectacular shows.

The TDC story: 2011
The Abu Dhabi Policy Agenda and Economic Vision 2030 have clearly shown the Abu Dhabi government’s desire to build a knowledge based economy. By 2030, Abu Dhabi will be an Emirate in which the benefits of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) pervade every aspect of life – empowering the Emirate, transforming the economy and inspiring the people.

TDC was established to support, supervise and coordinate the development of STI in the Emirate. It will be responsible for the incorporated planning and monitoring of Abu Dhabi’s STI plan to ensure a globally competitive STI base in the Emirate, to support the creation of a vibrant enterprise base and to foster world class talent with the right skills and attitudes.

To achieve these goals, TDC is pursuing a broad program of change in five key policy areas: human capital, research and development, enterprise development, infrastructure, and laws and regulations.

These programs, in conjunction with others across Abu Dhabi, aim to further support the elevation of Abu Dhabi to a world-class center for science, technology and innovation in one generation.

Further info regarding TDC can be accessed through its website www.tdc.gov.ae

For further media information, please contact:
Arwa Al Khatib
Impact Porter Novelli
Tel: +97150 6613082
Email: a.khatib@ipn.ae

Rania Al Wreikat
Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee
Tel: +971 02 6511231
Mob: +971 55 1051670
Email: rania.alwreikat@tdc.gov.ae
Website: www.abudhabisciencefestival.ae

Source – PRESS RELEASE


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