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Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, and Mubadala Development Company, Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi investment and development company, today announced the launch of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in Schools, ADSWS, an emirate-wide educational programme that increases awareness about sustainable development and encourages the next generation of scientists and engineers.

A key component of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, ADSW, the largest regional gathering dedicated to fostering global dialogue and cooperation on sustainability topics, the programme is designed to inspire the youth of Abu Dhabi to engage in science, technology, engineering and maths, STEM, subjects by integrating sustainability components in the curriculum.

Dr. Amal Al Qubais, Director General of ADEC, said, “We share Mubadala’s and ADSW’s goal to inspire youth towards STEM education and careers, and encourage the inclusion of a programme in the curriculum that highlights the importance of sustainability, which is one of Abu Dhabi Education Council’s priorities. In addition to instilling social, environmental and cultural values in this new initiative, students will learn more about what sustainability means, how it can impact them and the society as a whole in a positive way, and will also help provide compelling learning experiences that lay the foundations for tomorrow’s professionals.” ADSWS will involve thousands of students from more than 25 public and private schools in Abu Dhabi. A number of fun and engaging activations will be held in schools from January 11th to 22nd, 2015, promoting the three pillars of sustainability – social, environmental and economic. Through exciting and interactive initiatives, ADSWS empowers students to contribute to sustainable development by helping them understand how sustainability impacts their future.

Commenting on the launch of ADSWS, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, said, “Understanding sustainability and how it relates to the UAE’s past and future growth is of significant importance. With so many inspiring events happening as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week this year, we have a golden opportunity to reach out, excite and engage thousands of students across the emirate on why sustainability matters to them and how they can play a role.” “Education and community outreach are a core part of what Masdar does and stands for. By taking Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week into schools with Mubadala and ADEC, we hope to motivate and inspire, bringing the topic to life and encouraging the next generation of sustainability champions to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.” Schools will be provided with sustainability-focused activity kits, hands-on project based learning modules like “how to build an efficient model home”, and school-yard activities with life-size sustainability board games. Students will also learn how to build model solar cars as part of the Junior Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, JADSC. Schools will also be supplied with solar car kits, teaching the basics of energy conversion, energy efficiency and the sustainable use of energy.

A scaled-down version of the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, a competition which brings together universities from across the globe in order to design, build and drive solar-powered cars across Abu Dhabi, JADSC aims to motivate students aged 12-15 to pursue STEM education. Model races and competitions following the different initiatives will take place at various stages of ADSWS and an overall winner will be announced on 24th January at Masdar Festival. Young Petroleum Institute students, representing the UAE in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge, will battle against elite international teams, including entries from Japan, the United States, the Middle East, Australia and Europe.

Nadine Saleh, Head of Social Development and Partnerships at Mubadala, said, “ADSW is a global platform that provides industry players with a powerful way to address crucial issues like energy and water security as well as promote sustainable development. It’s important that we extend these discussions to the community to empower them to take responsibility for creating a sustainable future. Involving students is vital because they are our future. They are the key to making a difference.”