Over the past two years, Masdar has put in concerted efforts towards spreading the message of sustainable development among the youth. During the last six months, Masdar has hosted more than 2,000 students from over 50 schools to acquaint the younger generation with its sustainability efforts.
Earlier this year, Masdar had invited over 4,500 students to visit its pavilion at the World Future Energy Summit (WEFS). The Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) programme – an initiative lead by Masdar Institute for Science and Technology – has been made an integral part of WEFS in a bid to attract brightest young talents interested in applying their skills to the renewable energy sector. This brought the number of students that visited Masdar to over 6,500 since November, 2011.
The outreach programme’s visits can accommodate up to 50 students per visit. Interested students/schools can register to participate in this programme by filling in the required details in the school section at www.masdarconnect.com. Post-registration, a slot is provided to the school, during which it can visit the Masdar campus.
Khalid Hadi, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Masdar, said: “Masdar believes that being the future of a nation, students in the UAE should learn about the benefits of developing and deploying sustainable sources of energy from an elementary level. With this vision, Masdar kick-started its outreach programme by welcoming schools to visit its campus throughout the year.”
The bi-weekly outreach programme takes place every Tuesday and Thursday at the Masdar Institute (MI). The programme commences with a presentation, held at the MI Knowledge Centre, explaining the concept and benefits of renewable energy. This is followed by a highly interactive discussion and a quiz on sustainable sources of energy.
The students are given a tour of the campus with stops at the 10MW photovoltaic (PV) plant, material recycling centre, wind tower and finally comes to a halt at the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) station. The students are also explained the architectural nuances of MI in keeping with Masdar’s sustainability efforts.
Last week alone, 24 students from Al Tafawuq School, Al Ain, attended the outreach programme at Masdar. According to Hamid Saeed, a 13-year old Grade 8 student who won the quiz, “The sessions held, especially the quiz, were extremely informative and interesting. Today I became aware of the benefits of using clean technology. Seeing the students living on campus here with access to different types of renewable energy and clean technologies along with a recycling plant was so beneficial to know. It was a highly successful and useful trip.”
Abd Allah Mohammed Al Alawi, another 15-year old Grade 9 student, expressed: “We enjoyed the presentation as it provided a thorough explanation about Masdar City and MI as well as the specialisations offered at MI. Watching these cars and pods that work on renewable energy really showcased how this project preserves our environment. It is indeed great to know that our country has such an environmentally-friendly City, offering the opportunity to study at an esteemed academic institution.”
In addition to inviting students to Masdar, the renewable energy company also visits schools which are unable to schedule a visit to Masdar to trigger students’ interest towards research and development (R&D) in renewable energy. Recently, Masdar attended the Science Fair organised by the Emirates National School - Mohammed Bin Zayed City Girl’s Campus, and plans to attend a similar Science Fair being held in the boy’s campus of the same school next week.
Through the outreach programme, Masdar encourages the development of a spirit of enquiry among the youth towards innovative future energy solutions. It also reaffirms the company’s commitment to engage the youth to create a clean and safe environment by harnessing sustainable sources of energy, thus countervailing threats posed by climate change and global warming.