Abu Dhabi Science Center to Promote STEM Education Opens in 2016
Posted by Rachel S on Friday, June 13th, 2014
The largest city in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, has been actively encouraging students to embrace science and technology through their annual science festivals. Based on the popularity of these annual events, the capital city has decided to invest in a Science Center. The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC) along with H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarek Al Nhyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, announced the creation of the science center.
The new Abu Dhabi Science Center will have seven galleries that feature informal science education in a fun, hands-on setting. The 70,000 square foot facility will be built in Masdar City near the Abu Dhabi International Airport. They are planning 120 educational programs that will include workshops for educators, science camps and clubs. There will be 200 hands-on interactive exhibits designed to stimulate interest in science among six to 11 year old students.
Clare Woodcraft, Chief Executive of the Emirates Foundation says, “When science and technology is taught in formal academic institutions, often young people don’t see the relevance to their daily lives and to their future. Young people are passively consuming technology and we want them to become active consumers of it, to learn about it and apply it.”
The project was spurred by the success of the annual science festivals and requests from students to experience science fun more than once a year. Organizers of the science center anticipate 200,000 visitors per year with 30% drawn from school outings. The intent is to establish a science, technology and innovation base to encourage UAE youth to pursue careers in science and tech.
H.E. Mohammad Ahmad Al Bowardi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee, said, “The Abu Dhabi Science Center will be a landmark for informal science learning throughout the year. The center will serve as both a prestigious local project and a major attraction for the people of the UAE and visitors from around the world.”
The design of the science center will include…
Welcome Hall – Visitors to the science center will be greeted by a two story rolling ball sculpture, geysers that erupt and a giant slinky suspended to demonstrate compression waves in motion.
Universe and Planetarium – A 75 seat planetarium and space exploration simulator will explore space and planetary sciences with 20 exhibits to include the solar system, lunar calendar, asteroids, comets and our sun.
Natural Resources – More than 40 interactive exhibits will explore the science, technology and engineering that goes into locating, extracting and processing oil and natural gas reserves – a field critical to the economy of the UAE.
In the Making – This area of the center will explore electricity and magnetism with a Making Studio where visitors can create and build devices in a workshop designed to encourage open-ended exploration.
Sensing Your World – This will be one of the largest galleries in the new science center and the exhibits will focus on understanding the physical properties of light and sound and how the human body perceives them.
Science in Motion – This will be a general gallery that covers basic physical science phenomena.
Land, Sea and Sky – Visitors will be able to explore hands-on the forces of nature including wind, water and see how these natural forces build and erode landscapes and formations.
Outdoor Exhibits – Here guests can see how natural forces interact including light and wind. This area also encourages guests to explore the natural environment they live in.
The science center will break ground in 2014 with construction anticipated to finalize for an opening in Fall 2016.
image source: tdc.gov.ae