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Students explore the FUNtastic world of physics at AUS
Exploring the many exciting facets of the field of physics, over 500 high school students and their science teachers from 21 schools around the United Arab Emirates took part in FUNtastic FZX 2020, held at American University of Sharjah (AUS) on February 27. The popular physics fair aims to connect students with the university and share with them the fundamental understanding of how many of the things around us work.
Organized by the AUS Office of Enrollment Management in collaboration with the Department of Physics, and sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the day-long event was the sixth iteration of the fair which is held as part of the AUS Sharakah program every year. The event saw live displays, fun games, a physics-based project competition, hands-on activities, and demonstrations of the principles of physics and their wide applications in our daily lives.
Thirty seven projects submitted by participating schools competed for top awards in the physics-based project competition. The top place was won by Jumeirah English Speaking School. Dawha School came in second with Al Maarifa International Private School, Dubai Scholars Private School, Cambridge International School Dubai, and Al Shola Private School, winning third, fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively.
Speaking about her experience at the event, Raghad Abu Alwan, a grade 12 student from Al Shola Private School, said:
“I enjoyed the event as it helped me gain more knowledge about physics and its importance in our daily life. I also participated in the competition, which improved my research and communication skills and motivated me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in physics.”
Events such as this, along with the university’s bachelor’s degree program in physics, showcase the university’s commitment to bringing together students and their teachers interested in STEM subjects, and provide them with a platform where they can explore the potential of these disciplines. They also raise awareness among students about the importance of sciences in general and physics in particular and how essential they are to the development of the country and the region.
Speaking on the occasion, Mary Niju, a science teacher from Cambridge International School, Dubai, said: “The event is a good experience for our students because they exchange knowledge with other students and learn about the latest trends in physics. Plus, the students learn about the importance of physics and the way it is involved in everything that is around us.”
Commenting on the popularity of the event and the role it plays in the promotion of physics among high school students, Dr. Ali Alnaser, Professor and Head of the Department of Physics at the AUS College of Arts and Sciences, said:
“We are extremely pleased to welcome such a large number of students from our Sharakah partner and other schools to campus. It has been always our duty to educate students about the importance of a physics degree. Such a degree allows students to pursue various job opportunities related to astronomy, research and development, data analysis, and many more. The physics program at AUS, equips our students with computational, instrumental and hands-on skills that help them excel in every way possible.”
Funtastic FZX is held as part of the Sharakah program under which AUS has signed Memorandums of Understanding with a number of secondary schools throughout the UAE. According to these agreements, the university offers workshops to teachers and students; it offers patronage of selected research, cultural, social and sporting activities and events organized by the Sharakah partner school; awards partial scholarships to deserving students selected from lists provided by the schools; and offers university preparation courses, including SAT and TOEFL preparation courses, as well as recruitment of outstanding students from varied sociocultural and economic backgrounds to AUS.
Known throughout the country for its commitment to academic excellence, many of the university’s science graduates have achieved great success both in the field of academia as well in corporate and governmental sectors.
Schools participating in the event this year included: International Community School, Abu Dhabi; St. Mary's Catholic High School, Dubai; Al Mawakeb School Al Garhoud, Dubai; Sharjah American International School, Dubai; Jumeirah English Speaking School, Dubai; Dubai Scholars Private School; New Indian Model School, Dubai; Gems United School, Dubai; Philadelphia Private School, Dubai; Cambridge International School; Dubai; Ras Al Khaimah American Academy for Girls; Al Zuhour Private School, Sharjah; Al Shola Private School, Sharjah; Al Shola Private School-Boys, Sharjah Providence English Private School, Sharjah; Dawha School, Sharjah; Al Durrah International School, Sharjah; Al Maarifa International Private School, Sharjah; American School of Creative Science, Sharjah; Gems Westminster School, Sharjah; and Brilliant International Private School, Sharjah.
For more information about the university’s Bachelor of Science in Physics degree, please visit: https://www.aus.edu/physics