Fourth edition of National Science, Technology and Innovation Festival kicks off
The fourth edition of the National Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTI) Festival 2020, organized by the Ministry of Education (MoE) concurrently with the UAE Innovation Month, kicked off yesterday at Dubai Festival Arena and would continue until February 8.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by H.E. Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, H.E. Jameela Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and a large number of officials, education leaders, experts and specialists and students.
The festival is receiving increasing attention as it features innovative programs and showcases students’ projects that simulate future orientations in scientific disciplines consolidated by the MoE to raise students’ awareness and skills by keeping students abreast of the latest updates related to artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced technology, which serves such areas as environment, public health and other vital cognitive and scientific fields.
The festival includes several major sections, the most important of which is the Science Fair (Emirates Young Scientist Competition), which provides a platform for public education students to display scientific research results of their innovative projects. It also includes a world-class conference, which attracts a group of prominent local and global speakers, as well as an innovation lab, which features specialized workshops offered by a group of governmental and private establishments. Other sections include a student retreat, which is concerned this year with discovering and supporting entrepreneurs while in school, and a family festival, which provides an ideal platform to bolster community involvement and familiarize the public with the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a wonderful entertaining and interactive atmosphere. Additionally, the festival hosts a group of artists and innovators in several contemporary disciplines and features a competition titled Junior Innovators Challenge.
Held in line with the national policies and strategies aimed at bringing innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE to higher levels, the festival has adopted the Science, Technology and Innovation Higher Policy, National Innovation Strategy, Strategy for Advanced Skills, UAE National Agenda, UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071 Plan as main pillars to achieve the desired goal and familiarize students with the future national orientations that have rendered qualified human resources one of its most important starting points and targets during the upcoming stage.
The Emirates Young Scientist Competition has attracted 2,472 projects submitted by 5,791 male and female students from 427 UAE government and private schools. The competition simulates multiple disciplines, these being technology, biological sciences, environment, chemistry, physics, mathematics and social and behavioral sciences. It enables students to participate later in dedicated international scientific festivals and events as per each student’s discipline and project submitted to the competition.
The festival also features a scientific conference, which is regarded as a vita platform for exchanging ideas and sharing experiences. The conference displays success stories and provides an opportunity for inspiring and motivating students by a group of UAE ministers and Emirati dignitaries and international speakers, highlighting various topics on the conference agenda. The scientific conference is held in the first 3 days of the festival.
The festival offers 34 prizes, 18 of which are cash prizes offered by the MoE, 8 dedicated prizes offered by several entities participating in the festival, 3 prizes for the participants in the Junior Innovators Challenge and 4 prizes for the best teacher in each category of the Emirates Young Scientist Competition. A dedicated prize is also offered to the best participating school, bringing to AED326,000 the total cash prizes.