Dubai, UAE: Crows may be smart, but 16-year-old Shamsa Ali Khamis and Noora Abdullah Rashid are smarter.
The Emiratis got tired of crows eating their crops, so they decided to invent an electronic scarecrow.
“Farming is a source of livelihood for many families who live in the mountainous areas of the UAE. Crows are a problem for us, they eat all our seeds and the regular scarecrow had little to no effect.”
The two grade 11 students, from Al Tawyeen School in Fujairah, were one of the 550 Emirati youth who showcased their inventions and ideas at the Think Science Exhibition, which was inaugurated in Dubai yesterday.
Think Science Fair 2015 is a three-day-exhibition that showcases the innovations of youth in order to spark interest in science and technology.
“Our electronic scarecrow has sensors, so when a bird comes close to it, it makes loud sounds repeatedly until the bird gets scared and flies away.”
Noora said they have already tested the electronic scarecrow in different farms, comparing it to a regular scarecrow, and found that the electronic version is more efficient.
Shamsa and Noora’s invention will be evaluated along with the inventions of other students by a panel of judges, who will pick the winners of the Think Science exhibition.
Khalid Al Beloushi, 15, is another young innovator who, after seeing his mother struggle to carry his younger brother in and out of his wheelchair during regular hospital checks, took matters into his own hands. “I decided to invent a wheelchair that measures the weight and height of people who are wheelchair-bound, while sitting.”
Al Beloushi, who goes to Al Ma’ali International Private School in Abu Dhabi, said his younger brother often suffers from pain from sitting for long hours, so he also added a massage function to the wheelchair.
“I hope this invention helps anyone who is in a wheelchair. I think hospitals and charity centres would benefit from it. My brother uses it and he has benefited greatly,” he said.
One of the Judges, Dr Nael Saleh Ebrahim, assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at UAE University, said he was impressed by the students’ capabilities.
“The students’ inventions are very impressive, especially when it comes to the level of research they have done and their methodologies. Creating these inventions and coming up with these ideas at their age shows that there is a future for scientists in the region,” he said.
Another judge, Wael Abdul Samad Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology in Dubai, said promoting innovation in schools would encourage students to participate in such competitions.
“Student get to apply and innovate using what they learned from their core subjects only in college. For this reason, teachers should push students to take part in innovation and technology competitions so that they get a chance to explore and experience it at an earlier stage.”
36 companies at event
In addition to stalls showcasing more than 200 projects by students, the three-day-event has 36 private companies and governmental departments exhibiting their innovation not only to inspire the youth but to also get a chance to see first-hand what they are capable of.
“The aim is to first showcase the capabilities of students in the country in science and technology. The exhibition also brings private companies and the students under one roof so they can communicate and see what each other have in terms of innovation,” said Maytha Al Habsi, Chief Programmers Officer at Emirates Foundation.
Maytha said students who win from each category for their invention will be honoured by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister.
They will also get sponsorship from Emirates Foundation to travel and participate in competitions abroad. The foundation will also offer the winners workshops and training programmes with the aim of inspiring and helping them grow in the field of science and technology.
© Gulf News