The three-day first Oman Science Festival, organised by the Ministry of Education, was inaugurated by His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tareq al Said, Adviser of His Majesty the Sultan, and Chairman of The Research Council (TRC) in the presence of Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education, and other ministers on Tuesday.
HH Shihab toured the venue at Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre organised around eight categories of the festival: Science corner, technology corner, engineering corner, mathematics corner, environment corner and the theatre.
He listened to the students and exhibitors talking about the models and experiments on display.
The opening ceremony also included signing an agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Omani Authority of Partnership for Development. This agreement is a cooperation programme for the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in 30 schools from different governorates starting from the second semester of the current academic year.
Dr Hamoud bin al Harthi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Curriculum, signed the agreement with Dr Dhafer bin Awad al Shanfari, CEO of the Authority. The programme aims at stimulating curiosity and inspiring students’ innovation. The curriculum will also develop the skills of creative thinking and critical thinking among students, which in turn contributes to creating a generation capable of effective participation in the sustainable development of society, and the introduction of a knowledge-based economy.
The education ministry honoured the winners in the Kuwait Innovation Competition, the Gulf Olympiad for Physics and the Gulf Mathematical Olympiad.
Minister Dr Madeeha said: “The opening of the festival is an achievement in itself and represents an extension of the integrated system of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The Ministry launched the Knowledge Development Competition for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Geography in 2017 to develop the creative abilities of the students and instill the scientific culture.” Dr Madeeha said the ministry has a special department for innovation to develop science and mathematics majors. Oman Science Festival 2017 brings together many activities and programmes aimed at visitors of different ages and different interests. It includes more than 300 diverse activities in technology, innovation, mathematics, engineering, robotics and science.
It also includes an exciting corner on robotics. The exhibition includes an exhibition of GLOBE environmental research, the PDO Renewable Energy Award, and the Be’ah Center, where students compete with each other supervised by a team of specialists and academics from several quarters.
Oman Science Festival 2017 is part of the education ministry’s bid to promote interest in science among young people. — ONA