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Hundreds attend popular annual AUS Environmental Day
School students and teachers from 27 educational institutions from all over the United Arab Emirates visited American University of Sharjah (AUS) to participate in Environmental Day 2018. Organized by the university’s Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, the theme of this year’s event was “American Chemical Society (ACS) Celebrates the Environment in the UAE.”
Held annually at AUS, the popular event reflects the university’s long-term commitment to promoting and creating a sustainable environment. With a range of engaging interactive displays, Environmental Day aims to promote awareness of local, regional and global environmental and sustainability issues among high school students as well as introduce them to exciting careers in the sciences. The event also highlights the AUS bachelor of science degree programs in biology, chemistry and environmental sciences.
“Through this event, the College of Arts and Science aims to enable the young generation to identify and understand environmental issues and to equip them with basic tools and knowledge to overcome these growing challenges,” said Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), speaking at the event.
The session was also addressed by Dr. James Gannon, Head of the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences; Mohammed El-Shahed, Director of Student Recruitment at AUS; Dr. Michael Boyd McGinnis and Dr. Ingrid del Carmen Montes-Gonzalez from the American Chemical Society; and John Pereira, Environmental Specialist, Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Sharjah.
The day-long event featured a range of exciting and informative activities, such as live demos, environmental quiz competitions and talks by prominent speakers. The event this year also included the involvement of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and its visiting delegates, who attended a Chemistry Festival held as part of the Environmental Day.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ingrid del Carmen Montes-Gonzalez, ACS Director-at-Large, and Lily Raines, Manager, Office of Science Outreach at the American Chemical Society, said, “Environmental Day is an exemplary science outreach event. I am thrilled that the event organizers also volunteer their time with various ACS programs in the United Arab Emirates, and that the ACS Chemistry Festival program can be involved. Our volunteers who spent the week at AUS training to host outreach events in their home nations will leave with a great example after seeing this event. It also demonstrates how partnerships and collaborations between scientists across nations can help address global problems.”
The event ended with the announcement of winners of the day’s three competitions. The first competition involved AUS students reusing waste material. Winners were Mahmoud Almaazmi (first place), Fatima Alketbi (second place) and Aya Ali (third place). In the sustainability poster competition, the winning schools were Al Shola Private School-Girls (first place), GEMS Modern Academy (second place) and Al Ain Juniors School (British System) (third place). The third competition consisted of a two-round science quiz and Environmental Jeopardy, with Abu Dhabi Indian School taking first place, GEMS Modern Academy in second place and Al Ma’arifa School in third place.