Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival

Armed with little more than a plastic cup, two elastic bands, a roll of duct tape and three lollipop sticks, young scientists at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival have learnt the principles of ejecting a space capsule from its mother ship to land on Mars…

The Engineering for Kids workshop at the festival, which runs until 29 April at the Expo Centre Sharjah, aims to instil a love of science in pupils aged from six to fourteen across a range of different subjects and situations. In the session ‘Space Journey’, children as young as eight were learning the concepts of kinetic and potential energy and the forces needed to propel an object.

Workshop presenter, Myrna Agsalog Masin says the feedback from the teachers and the natural curiosity of the children is a great barometer of how much interest there is in science.

“In this session, we showed the students the different types of energy that is all around us and then put that into a context, making a model space capsule with the capability of breaking free under its own power at a certain trajectory. They are quite daunting subjects, but if you put them across in a fun, hands-on way, the message becomes clearer and less intimidating.”

Apart from aerospace, ‘Engineering for Kids’ also has programmes covering chemical, electrical, electronic, environmental, industrial, marine and mechanical engineering. It is one of several organisations at SCRF to offer inspirational and educational workshops, combining the latest technology and visual arts to unlock and nurture the skills of children and young adults.

The 11-day SCRF is a fun-packed, entertainment-filled festival of discovery, creativity and excitement and an interactive platform that also brings together some of the world’s best children’s authors to read their popular works to their fans. SCRF also offers an ideal platform for publishers to showcase their new titles.