Abu Dhabi, UAE: The third edition of The Make It Challenge – the UK’s Manufacturing Institute’s engineering and manufacturing competition – returned to the UAE this week. The initiative invited Emirati students to showcase their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi yesterday and anticipates another successful event at UAE University in Al Ain tomorrow.
Supported by Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), Strata Manufacturing PJSC (Strata) and BAE Systems, The Make It Challenge is designed to attract the UAE’s best and brightest young talents and inspire them to embark on manufacturing and engineering careers. The inspiration for this initiative is rooted in UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 that call to enable the UAE youth by giving them the tools they need to fully develop their talents and meet the demands of future career opportunities.
HRH The Duke of York attended the event which was held at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi as part of his visit promoting his pitch@palace initiative. The initiative was established by HRH to support his work with entrepreneurs to guide, help and connect them and early stage businesses with potential supporters including CEO’s, influencers, angels, mentors and business partners. It also aims to develop links with between entrepreneurs from global locations and the UK.
The Abu Dhabi Make It Challenge saw 96 sixth- to ninth-graders from 12 schools at each location work in teams to design, create, cost and market an unmanned rescue vehicle (URV) and pitch it to a panel of industry experts from Strata, BAE Systems and the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
His Excellency Dr. Ali Rashid Al-Nuaimi, ADEK’s Chairman said: “It is with great pride that a prominent figure, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, the Duke of York is amongst us today. A huge part of our mission in ADEK is to recognize talent amongst youth, and to highlight what they are capable of achieving. The challenge serves as a great opportunity for our Cycle 2 students to showcase their confidence, communication skills as well as STEM and manufacturing related capabilities. Contestants are not only required to design their products, but to convince high-notch entities to purchase them, all these are traits that the Nation aspires to witness and further improvise amongst its flourishing generation.”
Ismail Abdulla, CEO, Strata commented: “STEM 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 ADEK and 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.”
BAE Systems’ Manufacturing Operations Director, Dave Holmes, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Manufacturing Institute, Strata and ADEK again to bring the Make It Challenge to the UAE for the third year in a row, and welcoming His Royal Highness to the event really marks how special the event is. Last year we had some extraordinary entries from the students and we can’t wait to see what the best and brightest will do in 2017. We hope they find in this challenge the inspiration to pursue further studies and an exciting, diverse career in manufacturing and STEM.”
The students will be supported by Emirati professionals and student volunteers from Mubadala and Strata, as well as BAE Systems graduates and apprentices as they develop their ideas before the final judging takes place at the end of the event.