Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Thousands of students will participate in a thrilling 5-day event as Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in Schools (ADSWS) launches fun-filled, educational activities tomorrow in schools throughout the emirate. The initiative, which is a collaboration between Mubadala, Masdar and the Abu Dhabi Education Council, is an educational program that aims to increase awareness of sustainable development and encourage youth to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and STEM careers.

The ADSWS program provides students with information on sustainability issues facing society and the importance of sustainable development. From 17-21 January, students will learn about sustainability through fun, hands-on activities, and the role they can play in helping promote it. Last year’s ADSWS featured bespoke competitions and educational programs, engaging thousands of students from more than 30 schools across Abu Dhabi.

“Sustainability is essential to our nation’s development goals,” said Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, director of Sustainability at Masdar and director of Zayed Future Energy Prize. “It is a broad discipline that impacts our society in many ways—from business to technology, to the environment and social sciences.”

Dr. Al-Hosany added, “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in Schools provides the perfect platform to familiarize students—Abu Dhabi’s next generation of leaders—with sustainability and its importance to the UAE and the global community.”

The program’s engaging activities include two key projects, Solar Car Challenge and A Sustainable Home Model. Teachers received manuals that include information on sustainability, clean energy and environmental conservation, as well as tips and guidelines for the in-school projects.

Mr. Humaid Abdalla, Director of the Division of Student Affairs, Abu Dhabi Education Council, said: “We are delighted to support Masdar and Mubadala through its schools program during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and commend their efforts to inform and educate our youth about the importance of sustainable development. ADSW is an important initiative in shaping tomorrow’s scientists and innovators of industry and provides the ideal opportunity for our students to develop a better understanding and knowledge of clean energy, water sustainability, resource conservation and waste-related issues.”

Solar Car Challenge) – Students ages 12 – 15 will design, build and race mini solar-powered cars. As part of the program, schools are provided with solar car kits that highlight the basics of energy conversion, energy efficiency and the sustainable use of energy. One qualifying team from each school will enter a 25m race.

A Sustainable Home Model – Teams of 3-5 students from participating schools will build a sustainable house for a family of five that takes into consideration energy and water consumption, waste water management and sustainable building materials. The final project will be a two-minute presentation, with a poster to support and highlight their reasoning and decision-making process, to their class and guest evaluators.

Commenting on the program, Nadine Hassan, head of Integrated Marketing and Outreach, Mubadala said, “Working in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council, this initiative is one of many programs we’ve established to engage and empower the youth of the UAE. By presenting this project, we seek to support schools and students as strategic actors in the drive to transform the world’s energy and resource consumption, toward more sustainable patterns of development.”

She added, “Our actions have a deep impact on the environment, and it is key that we educate our youth and equip them with the necessary tools and methods to ensure we all have a sustainable future.”

Model races and competitions following the different initiatives will take place at different stages throughout ADSWS. An overall winner for the JADSC and A Sustainable Model Home will be announced on 23 January at the Masdar Festival.

ADSWS aims to support the #ActionsSpeakLouder and #ADSW2016 campaigns. To join in the conversation and receive updates and photos from the program, please visit www.weyana.ae, www.facebook.com/, www.twitter.com/ and www.instagram.com/