The final frontier will inspire the young to pursue inventive lines of scientific inquiry.
There is no canvas bigger than that of space. Of all the subjects that can fire the imagination of young minds, nothing is as potent as the infinite possibility of the final exploration frontier. It is with this in mind that this newspaper launched The National Space Programme. And small wonder indeed that the UAE Space Agency and the aerospace company Boeing, as well as many others from the public and private spheres, should join us in seeing space as perhaps the best means to get young minds excited about science.
That said, the two competitions launched yesterday are intended to go a step further than merely piquing interest. Through them, students – in secondary schools and at universities – will be encouraged to seek lines of inquiry that go beyond the confines of their existing science studies. And they will need to work at the intersection of a variety of disciplines. Genes in Space, for secondary school pupils, will require consideration over biology, chemistry and physics. The second competition will challenge university students to come up with an idea for a satellite. This will involve problem solving in the areas of physics, electronics, material science, information technology and much more. Both competitions will challenge students to expand their facility with mathematics.
In short, students are being presented with an opportunity to see how science and technology really works, with goals and ends sketched out, expanded and moderated by the possibilities and the boundaries of the physical and biological worlds.
It is, in a way, a little like a lesson in life.
But more than that, this is also a life of the near future as envisaged for this country. Technological innovation of the useful sort tends to happen at the keenest edge of science. We at this newspaper hope that we can contribute to widening the horizon for the country by challenging young people to press forward into new frontiers of the mind and science.