The visit was part of Masdar’s youth outreach program that aims to promote knowledge among the future generation about the different sources of renewable energy, clean technologies and the concept of achieving sustainable development within the UAE.
The visit commenced with a presentation at Masdar Institute’s (MI) Knowledge Centre by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, who delivered a comprehensive presentation about Abu Dhabi’s multifaceted renewable energy company and its objectives to develop and deploy renewable energy and clean technology solutions.
Dr. Al Jaber said: “Throughout the year, we welcome schools to visit Masdar to help empower the students, our future generation. As part of Masdar’s commitment to social responsibility, we invite thousands of students to visit the World Future Energy Summit annually to offer them the opportunity to observe the latest innovations and learn about the clean technology sector. As part of the Zayed Future Energy Prize (ZFEP), we have recently added an award category specifically for high-schools to encourage and motivate the students’ spirit of innovation.”
To test their knowledge in the renewable energy sector, the delegation of students was quizzed about the different renewable energy sources and technologies. Dr. Kenneth Volk, Outreach Manager at Masdar Institute (MI), provided simplified experiments, demonstrating how photovoltaic cells of solar panels function and generate electricity when exposed to sunlight. The students also had the opportunity of conducting these experiments themselves. Dr. Volk also explained how electricity is generated by wind turbines, illustrating the components of the turbine that include magnetic pieces and coils.
The students were taken on a tour through Masdar City to understand how the design of the buildings increases energy efficiency. The buildings at MI are built close to one another, at a certain angle, to maximize the amount of shade throughout the day and channel wind breeze to minimize the absorption of solar heat during the hot summer months. The students were briefed about the environmentally-friendly building material used at Masdar and the solar panels on MI rooftops. They also visited the 10MW PV station that contributes to meeting the electricity needs of Masdar.
The tour included a stop at the wind tower, inspired by the traditional ‘Barjeel’ that channels breeze downwards to cool the square and pathways at the MI courtyard. They also toured Masdar’s recycling center to understand how excess quantities of building material such as timber, concrete and cement, can be repurposed for sustainable development.
The visit also included a stop at the digital signature panel, a ride on the driverless personal rapid transit (PRT) pods and a drive in the Masdar-Mitsubishi Electric Vehicles (EVs) that are powered by solar energy. The students’ final stop was at the MI laboratories where they witnessed the artificial intelligence experiments at the robotics laboratory and learnt how the robots emulate human movements.
Dr. Al Jaber commended the success of Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls for providing a curriculum that combines the best in UAE, UK and US curricula, providing a well-rounded educational experience to UAE students. Dr. Al Jaber also stressed on the importance of outreach programs for academic institutions to enhance awareness about energy challenges.
The Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls in Abu Dhabi was accredited last year by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the second accreditation received by the Academy following another accreditation by the Council of International Schools in the US. It was also rated as one of the “A” category schools with the highest quality during an inspection conducted by the Abu Dhabi Education Council.