Engineering-focused learning initiative gives Emirati students insights into higher education programs and future career opportunities.
Abu Dhabi, UAE – Mubadala Investment Company PJSC (Mubadala) and Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) have selected the winners in the first edition of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outreach program for high school students, held between 29 July and 16 August 2018. The awards ceremony drew a close to an intensive three-week learning initiative geared towards providing first-hand knowledge of various STEM streams to young Emiratis, familiarizing them with high-tech industries in the UAE and offering them opportunities to learn more about related fields of study in higher education.
The winning team put their knowledge to the test by successfully flying a payload mounted on a drone. The students were judged on technical sophistication, presentation delivery and final flight testing. All competing payloads were developed by the students using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and then 3D printed following a series of interactive tutorials on production, assembly and operation.
The initiative introduced 100 UAE nationals between the ages of 14 and 16 to the fundamentals of various engineering disciplines including Electrical, Computer, Chemical, Mechanical, Civil and Aerospace. It also allowed them to showcase their skills in the design and development of different engineering systems.
Over the course of the program, the students attended Product Innovation and Creativity Workshops that offered technical insights and honed the students’ commercial acumen used to enhance and reinforce their projects. They were also invited to take educational field trips to Tawazun Industrial Park, Emirates Global Aluminium, Turbine Services and Solutions, Etihad Airways Engineering and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi where they gained first-hand accounts of the experiences of local industry professionals.
Stressing the critical importance of STEM education to the long-term development of the UAE, Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Human Capital & Corporate Officer at Mubadala, said: “This summer project is championing a 360-degree view on innovation and engineering, exposing our talented youth to opportunities that will drive the sustained growth of this nation. Through a carefully crafted agenda of activities, the program is exposing our next generation to all aspects of production and development— from design and inception, to marketing and final testing— providing a well-rounded approach to this STEM exercise. I would also like to thank all our industry partners for facilitating this venture, which is helping inspire the leaders of tomorrow.”
Ms. Sultana Al Ketbi, Guidance and Scholarships Acting Division Manager at ADEK, lauded efforts exerted by the Mubadala Investment Company PJSC (Mubadala), who have partnered with ADEK to ensure the selected students receive high-level hands-on industry exposure.
Ms. Al Ketbi added that the summer program correlates with the nation’s prudent leaderships vision to empower youth with some of the most innovative and creative disciplines.
“Students not only gained educational experience during their field trip to high performing organizations, but were also offered the opportunity to learn more about the world of science and engineering, which is of pivotal importance for both our youth and our nation’s economic development,” said Ms. Al Ketbi, adding that the UAE relies on a highly skilled and experienced calibre who are expected to maintain sustainability while driving the economy forward. “The future is competitive, and knowledge is limitless, which is why ADEK prioritizes such learning experiences for our emerging generation.”
Students from over 30 public and private schools across Abu Dhabi were involved in the program this year. The initiative will induct its second batch of students in summer of 2019.