Dubai - The best sustainability-related projects designed by students of public and private schools were recognised.
Representing a perfect celebration for the Year of Tolerance, the Dubai Vision Competition held its second edition of awards on Wednesday.
Under the theme 'UAE schools in joint action for sustainability', the best sustainability-related projects designed by students of public and private schools were recognised.
The ceremony held at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) in Al Fahidi neighbourhood saw the winning team - comprising both Emirati and expatriate students - walk away with Dh10,000 in prize money, while the runner-up schools received cheques of Dh5,000. A total of 50 schools took part in the competition.
The cultural competition focused on the partnership between students of different nationalities with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. During the competition, public and private schools were paired up to work together and deliver a joint project representing their shared vision of sustainability, particularly in the areas of solar energy, water conservation and green mobility.
Securing the top position, the girls from the French school Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidu (Academic City) and Al Dhait School (Ras Al Khaimah) created a sustainable project called Hydro-LuLu. The concept behind their creation was written in English and Arabic, showing the efforts put in by both teams.
Ines Abi Mourad and Noor Feriel from the French school said: "Our joint project aims to find ways to recycle water using solar energy. It is in the form of a pearl with water in it, which we created using glass. We use solar energy that evaporates the water, which then condensates and settles on the pearl glass before being used again as usable water."
Emirati students from Al Dhait school said they were happy to interact with the French school students for the first time. "It was amazing to work with them as apart from the project, our regular interactions helped us learn about each other's cultures, food and language."
The competition, which is an initiative of the SMCCU, was implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
"We were happy to be part of the Dubai Vision Competition as it is not only about science and technology but about connecting students of private and government schools. This exposed students to different nationalities, helping them become more open-minded and understand the real meaning of the word tolerance," said Zainab Albaloushi, from the curriculum development unit at the Ministry of Education.
GEMS Millennium School, along with Al Meleiha School for Boys, was also honoured with a Dh10,000 cheque as Year of Tolerance award for not only creating a sustainable project but also for conveying the message of how a competition can lead to a constructive and creative process involving different backgrounds.
The two schools jointly developed a solution that can charge electric cars in just few minutes by using graphene (a kind of metal) charger. Charging these cars usually takes four to six hours.
Grade 10 student Anulome Kishore, from GEMS Millennium School, said: "Although our schools are far from each other, we arranged four face-to-face meetings and stayed in touch with one another through a WhatsApp group, where we put our ideas together. Apart from work, I was also introduced to how a public school works. I also learnt how to greet in Arabic and loved their open-mindedness and enthusiasm to work with us."
Architaly Green Energy DMCC was the main sponsor and provider of technical support to the schools. " We started this contest in partnership with SMCCU to support schools to participate in sustainability programmes which w have designed in two ways - one is this cultural competition and the second is our Dubai Solar Schools programme where we provide free solar panels to schools in UAE to produce cleaner and cheaper electricity and also to inspire children to learn about renewable energy," said David Provenzani- managing director of Architaly.
The event was inaugurated by the welcome address by Abdullah bin Essa Alserkal - director of SMCCU; hosted by Giulia Senigaglia, assistant director for development at SMCCU.