Did you visit the awesome National Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTI) Festival last month? Saman Haziq from the Khaleej Times wrote about this fantastic event. 

The second edition of the National Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTI) Festival saw the presence of hundreds of students who were excited to fuel their imagination at the Dubai Festival Arena on the first day. The event will continue until February 19.

At the conference held to mark the opening of the event, Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said “the future is bright for those who are creative and innovative”. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited the festival and encouraged the student exhibitors.

“We have to get ready for the post-oil era. Our new generation should be equipped with knowledge and creativity to become leaders of tomorrow. Dear students, you must pursue gaining new skills, research and get knowledge because future is changing rapidly and you are the ones who have to shape the future of the UAE,” said Al Hammadi. He said the ministry is now looking to integrate the culture of innovation and creativity in the curriculum of Emirati schools from Grade 3 onwards.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the NSTI Festival reflects the growing importance of science and technology to the nation.

The festival includes a science fair arena where students have displayed their innovative projects for the visitors. High school students of Wasit Model school, Marwa and Mahra were excited to display their braille piano for blind people. “Since we are pianists ourselves, we wanted to create something for the visually-impaired who have interest in music but are unable to play because of their visual impairment.”

Other important activities include the Family Festival; Industrial Revolution X (IR-X) programme and the Young Scientist Award.

Jameela Bint Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education said: “The NSTI Festival demonstrates the aspirations of our government and the vision of our wise leadership that recognise the importance of innovation and shed light on its invaluable contribution in various spheres of life. It allows students and community members to stay up to date on the latest developments in science, technology, modern techniques, artificial intelligence and the latest trends in advanced educational solutions.”

The festival is offering a comprehensive agenda with its various events, programmes, competitions, initiatives, sessions and workshops.

The Family Festival

The Family Festival section at NSTI Festival has 14 experimental stations from the Swiss Science Centre Technorama offering hands-on experiences with phenomena related to perception, mechanics, aero-dynamics, plasma, energy, puzzles and sound. Visitors can engage in art activities at the Medaf Studio and TheJamJar workshops, in addition to the interactive graffiti wall from Zayed University students. Budding astronauts will have a chance to learn all about space from the UAE Mars mission, how to build a satellite and the future of housing from Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) is offering an interactive space to raise awareness on environmental challenges and the Ministry of Community Development is providing an innovation lab for the deaf.

The acclaimed game design company, Pixel Hunters, will run a series of workshops including ‘Think as a Game Designer’ that will appeal to gamers and virtual reality enthusiasts alike. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies will be providing dreamers with a simulator that mimics their futuristic pods that transport commuters from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain in just nine minutes.

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