The fourth annual Make It Challenge took place this week in Abu Dhabi with 184 Emirati students taking part from 11 schools from Abu Dhabi and 12 from Al Ain. The event aimed to encourage young Emiratis towards critically important science, technology, engineering, arts and maths subjects (STEAM), through the practical application of knowledge and a problem-solving exercise.
The Make It Challenge is an initiative of the UK Manufacturing Institute in partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Mubudala, Masdar, and BAE Systems.
This year’s challenge, in its fourth year and a result of a long-term strategic partnership, aimed to inspire young Emirati students to explore the important issue of energy efficiency at home. Teams of students were tasked with identifying how our living spaces and lifestyles can be managed to reduce their environmental impact through better energy efficiency practices and were asked to design super-low energy structures ranging from family homes to towers and eco-living units.
Speaking on the occasion, Fatima Al Marzouqi, Mubadala’s Head of Emiratisation, said, "STEAM education is the foundation for the UAE’s long-term development and is paving the way for a prosperous manufacturing industry. We are proud to partner with BAE Systems on this competition that is promoting crucial skills needed for our next phase of growth. Initiatives such as The Make It Challenge encourage and inspire the next generation of innovators, creators and designers who will ultimately drive the future of this nation."
Julian Donald, Managing Director of BAE Systems Middle East, said, "As a company we are determined to minimise the environmental impact of our manufacturing operations by embracing new, digitally integrated advanced manufacturing technologies. Each of our businesses sets clear targets to use resources as efficiently as possible, with a focus on energy, water and waste. The Make It Challenge demonstrates how this thinking can be applied to a domestic environment."
The students were supported by Emirati professionals and student volunteers from various UAE universities, Mubadala and Masdar, as well as BAE Systems graduates and apprentices, as they developed their ideas before the final judging which took place at the end of the events.
This year’s winners were Umm Al Arab School for Girls in Abu Dhabi, and Liwa International School in Al Ain. Both teams walked away with first prize trophies, and each student was awarded a 3D printers for themselves and the schools.