ABU DHABI // Observing the stars using astronomical instruments and learning about how the Moon revolves around the Earth are some of the things children will be able to do in Abu Dhabi this month.
A month-long space event starts on Tuesday at Bawabat Al Sharq Mall in Baniyas to create interest in science and astronomy.
“As the UAE is moving towards space research, we want to educate children – to create awareness about such programmes – because this will help open their eyes towards research and development,” said George Itty, chief executive of Nahtam, the Abu Dhabi-based social responsibility organisation in charge of the event.
Nahtam has set up a planetarium for children to learn more about the Solar System.
“It’s important to get them interested at a young age,” said Dr Humaid Al Nuaimi, director of the Sharjah Centre for Space Sciences and Astronomy.
He said most advanced countries shared a lot of information about astronomy and space sciences with children. The UAE was no exception, having recently placed space technology as one of its seven priorities.
“Such programmes are vital,” said Hassan Al Hariri, chief executive of the Dubai Astronomy Group.
“This is the seeding time for children to understand and try to incubate ideas because the future relies on them.”
He said encouraging children’s interest was an important step for the space sector in the UAE.
“Children are open minded and their imagination is as vast as you can imagine,” he said.
“They are the ones who are going to make the future for us so providing the information as early as possible will give them the opportunity to be the innovators of the future.
“If you want to create a genius, it does not happen at once, you have to seed it.”
Participants will also have a chance to celebrate National Day by painting about what the country means to them.
“We want to give an opportunity for children to show how they see the UAE,” said Dr Al Nuaimi.
“A number of paintings will be selected, framed and exhibited in the last seven days of the month in the mall.”