UAE students take part in ‘Make It’ competition

The WombOX prototype that was developed by Rice University students.
The WombOX prototype that was developed by Rice University students. | Courtesy of Rice University
For the second year, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), BAE Systems and Strata Manufacturing PJSC (Strata) are hosting Make It, the U.K.’s Manufacturing Institute’s engineering and Manufacturing challenge.

It was hosted in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain last year and celebrated great success. The 2016 Make It competition takes place on two different days. On Nov. 21, the event will be hosted in collaboration with Innovation Week at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, and on Nov. 23, the competition moves to UAE University in Al Ain.

Make It is designed to bring together the most innovative and create young talents across the UAE to encourage them into engineering and manufacturing.

“Innovation week is a time when the public and private sectors collaborate to help promote the UAE leadership’s vision to drive innovation in different areas,” Dr. Ali Al-Nuaimi, ADEC’s director general, said. “In line with our efforts towards equipping students with rich experiences, ADEC is partnering with Strata and BAE Systems to further expose our youth to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEMS) fields. The Make It Competition also compliments ambitious development plans adopted by the Council to drive a 21st century education system, and innovation-based learning experience.”

Most students involved in Make It are 13 and 14-years-old and congregate from schools throughout Al Ain and Abu Dhabi to collaborate to develop, price and promote a product that they will demonstrate to a panel of experienced judges pulled from BAE Systems and Strata.

Before the final judging happens, the products are examined by BAE Systems graduates and apprentices.
“Manufacturing has become one of the key sector pillars in the UAE today,” Ismail Abdulla, deputy CEO at Strata, said. “Events such as the Make It Competition can truly help promote the skills Strata will be looking for in the next generation of technicians and engineers for our business. In only its second year, UAE Innovation Week has become a landmark event that all citizens of the UAE can be a part of and we proud to partner with ADEC and BAE Systems during this time. My congratulations to all involved.”

The students come from 12 school within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and are organized into teams of eight members to compete for a number of prizes. The enticing prices include 3D pens for the students and 3D scanners and 3D printers for schools of the participants. The competition, as well as the prizes, is designed to support students’ interest in STEM related studies.

“We are delighted to be involved with Make It in the UAE for a second year,” BAE Systems Manufacturing Operations Director Dave Holmes said. “I am looking forward to seeing how the Emirati students tackle the competition in 2016. Whilst the experience will be both challenging and exciting, we hope the participants will be inspired to think about their future careers, hopefully in the engineering or manufacturing industries in the UAE.”

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