The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, ADEK, successfully concluded the 10th edition of the Abu Dhabi Science Festival, ADSF, which ran from 30th January to 8th February, 2020, at A'l Bahar on Abu Dhabi Corniche, Al Jahili Park in the Al Ain Region, and City Mall in the Al Dhafra Region. The event also marked the kick-off of the UAE Innovation month from the Capital.
The 10-day Festival attracted more than 120,000 visitors, including 25,000 students, from across communities living in the UAE, which reflect the significant success achieved by the festival in encouraging creativity, innovation and stimulating students' passion for science.
The Abu Dhabi Science Festival is a strategic initiative, presented by ADEK to support the future aspirations of the Abu Dhabi Government, the UAE National Innovation Strategy, and UAE Centennial 2071. The Festival featured an impressive range of innovative initiatives, including the INNOVATOR 2020 event which awards annual prizes to UAE’s innovators, Rize Enrichment Programs, a unique after-school program that teaches cutting-edge science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, STEAM, subjects, and ‘Lema?’ interactive program at schools, and other innovations that collectively inspire students to broaden their minds while instilling in them an authentic desire to learn.
During the UAE Innovation Month, ADEK coordinated all government entities’ activities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi related to the Month, and thus contributed to generating an ideal environment to promote innovation, creativity, excellence and enhancing the strategic initiatives implemented by governmental, academic, and private sector institutions, in coordination with the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation in the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future.
As the festival concluded its activities for this year, Sara Musallam, ADEK Chairperson, said: "We are proud of the success the Abu Dhabi Science Festival has achieved over the last 10 years, being a source of inspiration to the upcoming generation and fostering a culture of innovation and creativity among students. It is at the heart of our efforts to build a generation of curious, lifelong learners that are future-ready and able to contribute to a knowledge-based economy."
In 2020, the year of preparing for the next 50 years, the Abu Dhabi Science Festival has completed a decade of accomplishment since its launch, during which it has supported the development of local capacities and talents that are able to deliver STEAM subjects creatively. Today, around 50 percent of the festival’s content is delivered by local stakeholders.
In line with ADEK’s efforts to support the continuous development of capacities, ADEK hosts an annual awards ceremony to encourage innovators to continuously enhance their ideas and transform them into real-life projects. This year, ADSF’s closing ceremony witnessed the awarding of 6 innovations participating at Innovator 2020 in the following categories: Arts and Design, Automotive, Mechanics and Digital Fabrication, Robotics and Electronics, Sustainability and Life Sciences, Aerospace and the Peoples’ Choice award, which were then assessed according to quality, originality, innovation and social impact. Winning projects were presented by the innovators to an expert jury panel who chose the five best projects competing in five categories, in addition to the winning project in the Peoples’ Choice award. During the ceremony, ADEK also honoured the participating government entities and innovators who had competed to highlight their talents while showcasing projects to the visitors over the past 10 days.
The Arts and Design award went to the ‘Zooboard Game Table’ project; the ‘Seat Belt Assurance Device’ project won the Automotive, Mechanics and Digital Fabrication award; the ‘Smart Bag 71’ project won the Robotics and Electronics award; the ‘Charging with Fire’ project clinched the Sustainability and Life Sciences category; while the ‘Space Farming Robot’ project won the Aerospace award and the ‘HONZ’ project received the Peoples’ Choice award. Prize money of AED60,000 was distributed among the winners, enabling them to invest in, enhance and promote their innovations and upgrade them to the next level.
More than 80 teams of innovators participated in the 10th edition of the ADSF 2020, showcasing a wide range of innovations. The Festival also saw the participation of 20 signature government entities who presented their own innovative strategic initiatives. Over the ten days of the event, more than 100 workshops and live shows were organised, in addition to 500 special school visits that aimed to familiarise students with innovations and encourage their participation in ADSF workshops and the various interactive activities.
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