UAE: Former Abu Dhabi Awards winner inspires young people to pursue careers in STEM – News

Through private lessons and workshops, Fatima Al Kaabi encourages her generation to strive for excellence



Published: Thu 5 May 2022, 15:47

Fatima Al Kaabi, a former Abu Dhabi Awards recipient, says being recognized for her work in innovation has motivated her to work harder to continue pushing and inspiring young people in the UAE and in the region, especially girls.

Through volunteer tutoring and workshops, Al Kaabi aims to encourage them to pursue science, engineering and technology programs. The 20-year-old Emirati was honored as the youngest inventor in 2015 by the UAE Pioneers Award, and later in 2017 received the Abu Dhabi Awards.

Established in 2005, the Abu Dhabi Awards recognize individuals who have selflessly contributed to supporting and benefiting the community of the United Arab Emirates.

The Abu Dhabi Awards are considered the capital’s highest civilian honor and the nomination period for the 2022 campaign runs for an eight-week period between April 21 and June 16, 2022. Members of the community are invited to name unsung heroes who have selflessly touched the lives of others in the UAE.

Al Kaabi, who is currently taking a computer engineering course at Virginia Tech in the United States, said Khaleej times she is looking to take her knowledge home and work to improve technology in the UAE.

She has had a passion for creativity and innovation since the age of seven. Her love of science was immediately recognized by her parents, who nurtured her penchant for experimentation and pursuing her dreams.

Recognition by the Abu Dhabi Awards

Recalling when she was honored for her innovations at a young age, Al Kaabi said: “I have been humbled by the recognition of the Abu Dhabi Awards, especially from an inspirational leader, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Winning the award was a life-changing experience.

“I am happy that the work I was doing contributed positively to my community which has supported me over the years and receiving this recognition just pushed me to work harder to keep pushing the young people of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates to follow their passions in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The Emirati says she has always been inspired when it comes to STEM. “I incredibly enjoy helping people and solving problems. STEM has given me the chance to explore two areas that I really enjoy, namely engineering and science,” Al Kaabi said.

“From an early age, I have always been curious about the inventions around me and the different technologies. After a while, I became very curious and started learning how to create my own inventions and innovations using simple components around me.

Raising awareness of STEM among young people

After being honored by the Abu Dhabi Awards in 2017, the Emirati has worked on several projects involving the education of young people on STEM, and in particular encouraging young women from the Middle East and the world, to continue in the field. and meet the resulting challenges. .

“I’ve had the honor of working with great organizations around the world on women’s empowerment such as the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, the Malala Fund and big companies like Lego to inspire young girls to be creative and innovative,” said Al Kaabi.

Emiratis have made positive contributions to the Abu Dhabi community by creating social platforms around innovation and creativity. Through volunteer tutoring and workshops, she shared her passion and knowledge of science to encourage her generation to strive for excellence.

In 2016, Al Kaabi obtained an internationally accredited certification for peer-to-peer training and consultancy. She also participated in more than 22 student activities and events covering all educational levels.

The last invention she worked on was the Teleporter in 2017, which was a robot that attends school for sick children. “He navigates the campus and helps children who have to leave school for health problems to be able to take lessons through this robot and interact with their friends,” she explained.

“After Covid-19, this invention became important in giving children cancer to go to school in these difficult times.”

The Emirati has taken a bit of a break from inventing since graduating from high school in 2019 and has focused more on education and empowerment efforts while at university.

Al Kaabi says she opted for a computer engineering major in college because it combines both her technical interests while establishing a foundation in software programming that is both necessary for creating new technologies and building new ones. inventions.

“Many of the skills I’ve learned over the years working on my inventions have made my time in college easier and inspired many of the projects I’ve created for my classes. My inventions have helped me in my studies in university and I really see that my time spent in university inspires me to contribute more to the world of engineering and STEM in general.”

Advice for young inventors

Al Kaabi’s advice to young inventors is to keep improving. “When I started in STEM, I was looking for perfection with all my inventions and no matter what I did, I never felt complete. That’s the charm of working with technology and working in STEM in general. There is always room to improve, learn and grow,” she said.

“Keep educating yourself and find an area that interests you and start brainstorming ideas to support the area you love. Focusing on yourself and finding a goal to work towards will help you.

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