NASA, CERN to take part in Oman Sci­ence Fes­ti­val

Times of Oman - - OMAN -

Times News Ser­vice


Top sci­en­tific and re­search or­gan­i­sa­tions from around the world, such as NASA and CERN, will be tak­ing part in the sec­ond edi­tion of the Oman Sci­ence Fes­ti­val, a top of­fi­cial at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion said.

Sched­uled to be held in Novem­ber 2019, the sec­ond edi­tion of the Oman Sci­ence Fes­ti­val aims to de­liver sci­ence to stu­dents and com­mu­nity mem­bers in an easy and in­ter­ac­tive way that mo­ti­vates cre­ative think­ing, thus cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­wards sci­ence, in­no­va­tion and sci­en­tific re­search. The first fes­ti­val saw more than a hun­dred thou­sand vis­i­tors, which was held across all 11 gov­er­norates of the coun­try.

“It con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly in en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents in schools, col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties to pay more at­ten­tion to sci­ence, math­e­mat­ics and in­no­va­tion,” said Saud Al Balushi, the Un­der­sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion for Plan­ning and Hu­man Re­sources De­vel­op­ment, who is also the Chair­man of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee of the fes­ti­val. “It will en­able us to take the Oman Sci­ence Fes­ti­val to the re­gional, if not the global, level be­cause sci­en­tific in­sti­tu­tions such as NASA, the Euro­pean Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Nu­clear Re­search (CERN), the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency (IAEA) and the lead­ing in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions in STEM pro­grammes are par­tic­i­pat­ing in it.”

“The first edi­tion of the Oman Sci­ence Fes­ti­val 2017 cov­ered all gov­er­norates of the Sul­tanate with 350 ac­tiv­i­ties and events in which stu­dents, teach­ers, su­per­vi­sors, par­ents and uni­ver­sity in­struc­tors par­tic­i­pated. Around 120,000 peo­ple vis­ited the five-day fes­ti­val in all the gov­er­norates.”

Oman’s Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion is hop­ing to top the num­ber of vis­i­tors who came to the first Oman Sci­ence Fes­ti­val, when its sec­ond edi­tion is held this year.

It also aims to en­cour­age stu­dents to recog­nise the im­por­tance of sci­ence in life and en­cour­age them to in­no­vate and keep pace with global trends based on the dis­sem­i­na­tion of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy. In ad­di­tion, the fes­ti­val aims to en­hance stu­dents’ skills to in­te­grate them into the knowl­edge-based econ­omy, and en­cour­age young peo­ple to con­tinue learn­ing in sci­en­tific dis­ci­plines.

“The se­cret of suc­cess of the Oman Sci­ence Fes­ti­val 2017 lies in three facts,” added Al Balushi. “First, the pri­vate sec­tor has gen­er­ous and ef­fec­tive sup­port. The sec­ond fact is the true part­ner­ship be­tween the Min­istry, the Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil, the Sci­en­tific Re­search Coun­cil, Sul­tan Qa­boos Uni­ver­sity and the rest of the uni­ver­si­ties and other in­sti­tu­tions. The third is the firm faith of Oman’s young men and women who dreamed of the fes­ti­val in their minds and then ex­e­cuted it.”

“The part­ner­ship with the pri­vate sec­tor is cru­cial in the suc­cess of the Oman Sci­ence Fes­ti­val 2017,” he said. “The pri­vate sec­tor strongly be­lieved in the idea and its wealth, its im­por­tance, and its re­turns to not only ed­u­ca­tion and sci­ence, but also re­alised its re­turns to the econ­omy in gen­eral, and to the pri­vate sec­tor in par­tic­u­lar. It was a con­scious and fruit­ful part­ner­ship.”

Saud Al Balushi, Un­der­sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion

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