Fest to celebrate budding scientists

MUSCAT, Jan 12 – The Sultanate is hosting the second edition of science festival that aims at encouraging students to “recognise the importance of science in life and make them innovate”.
Thousands of scientific ideas will be brainstormed and taken to the next level at the Oman Science Festival (OSF), whose theme is ‘industry’.
The festival, which will be held in November this year, is the brainchild of the Ministry of Education. It will also see participation from Nasa, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and leading international institutions in STEM programmes.
“The Oman Science Festival aims to encourage our students to innovate and keep pace with the global trends,” said Saud al Balushi, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Education, Planning and Human Resources Development.
OSF will be held in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Education Council, the Scientific Research Council, Sultan Qaboos University and other universities and institutions.
“We aim to integrate students’ skills with knowledge-based economy and encourage them to continue learning scientific disciplines,” Al Balushi, also the Chairman of Organising Committee of the festival, has said.
Students interested in participating can log on to the Ministry of Education portal and register themselves.
“We are expecting more than 100,000 students from both Omani and expatriate schools from across the country. We expect more than 300 science projects,” Azza al Harthy, Head of Science Festival Projects, said.
Speaking to the Observer on the sidelines of the introductory meeting of the festival, Saud al Balushi attributed the success of first edition of the festival to public-private partnership.
The first edition of festival in 2017 covered 350 activities in which hundreds of students, teachers, parents, supervisors and university instructors took part.
As many as 120,000 students visited the five-day festival held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC).
“Oman Science Festival reflects the ministry’s efforts to enhance the interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the hearts of young people as an important element in enhancing the economic and development value outputs.” He said the second edition of Oman Science Festival coincides with the entry of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in various fields.