Science festival to spur innovation in students
MUSCAT– The second Oman Science Festival 2019 comes within context of the national efforts aimed at paying attention to sciences by providing a suitable environment that could incentivise students towards innovation and scientific excellence. This was stated by Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education, during the inauguration of the festival. Speaking on the occasion, she said: “We seek to hone the students’ scientific competence and support their talents and skills in the fields of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. Besides enabling the students to display their scientific skills, the festival gives participants an opportunity to meet researchers and specialists in various scientific fields from the Sultanate and other countries.”
The festival, which kicked off on Monday under the theme “The 4th Industrial Revolution: Technologies without Borders,” was held at Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre. The opening ceremony was held under the auspices of Shaikh Al Fadhl bin Mohammed al Harthy, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, who said that institutional and student projects and programmes that we witnessed at the festival are promising, and reflect the government’s orientation with regard to enhancing innovation and keeping abreast of latest technologies to prepare qualified national cadre capable of competition and utilising them in the overall development process.
The festival targets students from schools, colleges, universities, educators, academics, researchers and parents, as well as government, civil society and private institutions involved in various fields of science. The festival, a national programme established as per the Royal directives, seeks to introduce the programme of knowledge development in science, mathematics and environmental geography concepts to contribute to raising students’ academic achievement and encourage them to research, investigate, organise scientific thinking, develop their innovation faculties and apply the knowledge they learn in their daily lives, in tests, competitions and projects in science subjects, mathematics and concepts of environmental geography.
The festival aims to introduce science to students in particular and the society in general through easy means and stimulating ways of creative thinking, finding a positive trend towards science, innovation and scientific research, encourage students to recognise the importance of science in life, urge them to innovate and keep pace with global trends based on the dissemination of science and technology and changes and expected future developments from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as enhancing their skills to integrate into a knowledge-based society and encourage students to continue learning scientific disciplines. Over 1,200 participants from 60 government, military and private institutions are taking part in the second edition of the festival.
In its second edition, the exhibition will feature broad participation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and Rolls-Royce Foundation. The festival hosts international speakers in various fields, in addition to more than 300 events including leading programming and robot competitions, hackathons, drone competitions, scientific shows on the festival stage, as well as scientific cinema. “The organisation of the festival is in line with the Oman Vision 2040’s axis of ‘Education, Learning, Scientific Research and National Talents’ which is aimed to create an efficient national system for scientific research and innovation that can contribute to the establishment of the knowledge economy,” Dr Al Shaibaniyah said.
The 5-day festival will serve as a window that will contribute to the transmission of science and knowledge to the Sultanate besides acquainting the participants about the Sultanate’s efforts in this field, she said, confirming that the Ministry of Education is keen on providing sciences and knowledge to the Sultanate in an easy way that stimulates the innovative thinking of the students and encourages them to understand the importance of innovation and keeping pace with the technology-based global trends.