UAE youth's refugee project wins UN award

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High school students from the UAE receive the award they won at the world’s largest pre-college science competition, which was held recently in Arizona in the US. — Supplied photo
High school students from the UAE receive the award they won at the world's largest pre-college science competition, which was held recently in Arizona in the US. - Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi - The UAE's participation in the exhibition was part of the Think Science Ambassador programme.

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Published: Mon 20 May 2019, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 May 2019, 1:02 AM

 Students of Al Mawaheb School in Abu Dhabi won a United Nations award for the innovative shelters they have designed for refugees. Called Refushields, the shelters are portable and can be easily constructed.
Recognised for their outstanding research and presentation, they clinched the 'UN Sustainable Development Goal Award' at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest pre-college science competition, recently held  in Arizona, US.
The UAE's participation in the exhibition was part of the Think Science Ambassador programme, a platform that inspires and empowers outstanding youth, who had previously participated in the Think Science Competition.
Aside from Refushields, five other Think Science projects were showcased at the exhibition, including the Aroma Virtual Reality, which helps manage the symptoms of autism and anxiety by connecting aromatherapy and relaxing scents to virtual reality; the Smart Shoes and Exosuit, which can detect rheumatoid arthritis; an ozone technology for wastewater treatment; adopting  natural wastes and resources to find alternative, low-cost materials  for  boats; and using fish scales to absorb heavy metals from industrial effluents.
 The 'Aroma Virtual Reality' and the 'Tougher Boats Made from Local Palm Tree Fibre' projects were selected to be published in the prestigious International Journal of High School Research.
Maytha Al Habsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation, said: "We are honoured to engage the best young minds of our nation in the Intel ISEF, which provides an international platform for our aspiring young scientists to showcase their made-in-the-UAE scientific discoveries to the world's leading experts in science and technology.
"It also affords them a unique opportunity to interact with talented young scientists from across 80 countries in a rich knowledge exchange forum.
"Through the Think Science programme, Emirates Foundation aims to empower young people to get involved in the digital revolution by providing them with a platform that encourages them to innovate technologies and address some of today's socio-economic challenges.
"It is through exposure and hands-on experience at such international platforms that the youth gain the knowledge and self-confidence to overcome any limitations and boundaries, in order to transform their creativity into real solutions benefitting society," she added.
Think Science ambassadors shared a collective message, thanking the Emirates Foundation and the Think Science Programme for offering them the unique opportunity to participate and learn, as well as represent the UAE, at Intel ISEF.
Six projects, made by students of the UAE
> Refushields
Easily constructed, portable shelters that aim to support refugees and homeless people by protecting them from harsh environments and help them cope with the unpredictable weather conditions
Students: Dhabia Alhosani, Reem Alhajeri, Aamena Almarzooqi
Supervisor:  Dalia Eissa
School: Al Mawaheb School,
Abu Dhabi
> Aroma Virtual Reality
Stimulates the sense of smell by linking aromatherapy with virtual reality. It can also be used for teaching and as therapy for those suffering from anxiety, ADHD, autism, and other disorders
Student: Fatma Arif Albastaki Supervisor: Nafissa Mustafa
El Jabban
School: Dubai National School - Al Barsha
> Smart Shoes and Exosuit
This project comprises three main smart parts that detect arthritis in its early stages and provide therapy to treat the affected joint, in addition to relieving the pain that patients feel while walking 
Students: Sara Fekri and Hessa Ahmad
Supervisor: Nafissa Mustafa El Jabban
School: Dubai National School - Al Barsha
>Automated Ozone Tech for Wastewater Treatment
The project aims to investigate and provide a possible approach and technologies for water recycling by developing a feasible technology for wastewater treatment, using electrocoagulation technology for cheap and fast treatment of wastewater, along with Ozone gas
Students: Ahmed AlHammadi and Sultan AlHammadi,
Supervisor: Asma Oudat
School: Applied Technology High School - Fujairah
>Tougher Boats made from Local Fibre
The palm tree fibre used in this project can be woven into various forms, and it can withstand the high impact of rocks and sailing. It is a great alternative to conventional fibre materials used to make boats. The project provides an innovative way for proper utilisation of the accumulated date palm fibres, which are considered one of the most available natural fibre types worldwide
Students: Hussain Abdelnabi, Waleed Othman Alnaqbi, Hamad Ali Alyammahi,
 Supervisor: Khalid Hussein Ahmed
School: Secondary Technical School - Fujairah
>Absorption of Heavy Metals from Industrial Effluents using Fish Scales
The project explored whether the scales of local fish that are available in the UAE market are capable  of fighting water pollution. It led to a discovery of an environmentally friendly and inexpensive way to remove heavy metal contaminants from water.
Students: Fatima Alsuwaidi and Shaima Alhammadi
Supervisor: Naheeda Awan
School: Al Resalah International School of Science - Sharjah
reporters@khaleejtimes.com
 



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