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AUS holds physics competition for Sharakah partner schools
Over 20 high school student teams from seven Sharakah partner schools displayed various physics projects as part of the American University of Sharjah's (AUS) FUNtastic FZX competition held at the university today, April 30.
The competition was part of a day-long physics open day organized by the AUS Office of Enrollment Management in collaboration with the Department of Physics, and included interactive participation, public lectures, live demonstrations, and an exhibition displaying physics projects done by over 20 high school teams for the competition. The event aimed to show high school students how physics can be fun while simultaneously providing fundamental understanding of how most things work around us. It also featured lectures, including an address by Dr. Nasser Hamdan, Professor of Physics at AUS, on X-rays and their applications as a non-destructive technique.
In his welcoming address, Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said, "There has been a lot of interest in physics, especially these days and in the UAE. This is confirmed by the many new initiatives of the UAE government in the last few years, such as the Mars Mission and Green Cities. This will create many jobs for physics majors and physicists."
"If you want to join AUS, I encourage all of you to minor in physics. We hope to have a major in physics in the near future. We have an excellent, outstanding and exceptional group of faculty in the AUS Department of Physics," he added.
The teams displayed their interactive projects throughout the day, demonstrating and explaining the physics concepts they were working on to members of the AUS community, the judging panel and other teams. The competition revolved around four themes: applications of classical mechanics laws in the stability and dynamics of different constructions; optics and light; applications of different energy sources; and applications of the laws of static and current electricity, magnetism and electromagnetism. Members of each of the three winning teams received laptops and mobile phones as a reward for their hard work. They were judged on how well they explained the concepts, and the success of their projects.
"Physics day is amazing, especially with all these creative projects. This event, along with the lecture, is very informative and I have learned a lot about physics. Thank you, AUS for providing us with this opportunity," said Walaa Hisham, a grade 10 student from the Dubai-based Sharjah American International School.
Omar Shahib, AUS electrical engineering freshman and volunteer at the event, said, "The experiments are different and contribute to a better understanding of physics as they relate to the physical and electrical state of physics. There is also a great level of competition, and a lot of preparation and effort seems to be put into it."
Participating schools included Liwa International School, International School of Arts and Sciences, the Dubai-based Sharjah American International School-Dubai, Dubai International School, Al Ma'arifa International Private School, Al Shoula Private School and International Community School.
The event was held as part of the Sharakah program under which AUS has signed Memorandums of Understanding with 12 secondary schools in the UAE whereby the university will offer workshops to teachers and students; offer patronage of selected research, cultural, social and sporting activities and events organized by the Sharakah partner school; award partial scholarships to deserving students selected from lists provided by the schools; and offer university preparation courses, including SAT and TOEFL preparation courses, as well as recruitment of outstanding students from varied sociocultural and economic backgrounds to AUS.