BlackBerry, in partnership with non-profit organization INJAZ UAE, a member of Junior Achievement Worldwide, recently held the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Innovation Camp hosted at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce in Dubai.
The initiative was launched to encourage 14- to 18-year old students to consider STEM careers by raising awareness of the field’s possibilities and introducing them to industry role models. The day camp included two key sessions – in the morning session students were tasked with using smartphone devices to devise innovative services and solutions to everyday problems. The second part of the challenge entailed coming up with a business and communications plan that would enable the students to implement the business idea.
Rashid Al Banna from Dubai International School (DIS) commented on the day’s event saying: “Today I gained knowledge, met other people, had fund, and learned new communication skills. Following INJAZ UAE’s STEM workshop my fear of presenting was gone, and I feel really confident about pursuing computer software studies. I also loved having the volunteers with us. It was great.”
“BlackBerry is committed to building business leaders by supporting innovation, community development, and entrepreneurship,” said Nick Horton, Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at BlackBerry. “We are proud to support Junior Achievement UAE’s quest to develop socially responsible attitudes among business leaders and companies operating in the UAE. Through regular STEM camps, we hope to help create an environment that is appreciative of, and committed to developing business, science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.”
Sulaf al-Zu’bi, INJAZ UAE CEO added: “This was the second year we partner on the STEM I-Camp and the results were just as astonishing as last year. Again, all the great elements of committed volunteers, ideas and interaction were there. I’m really proud of the winning team from Zaabeel High School for Girls. It sends a message to young female students that science and math can be integrated into their everyday learning and life in a fun way. This event makes such things possible.”
There were over fifty students from four schools participating in the STEM I-Camp. The winning team from the previous I-camp in Spring went on to participate in the Junior Achievement global final in June 2013, alongside students from Nigeria, Spain, Italy, India, Thailand, Argentina, China, Sweden, Mexico, Malaysia, South Africa, Columbia and Indonesia.
The winning team from the latest STEM I-Camp Zaabeel High School for Girls came up with a unique learning application that impressed judges for its ability to compete against other international Junior Achievement teams. The application is described as ‘an idea that grows with users, learns from users and gets to be their best friend’. The team will now be part of the global online competition taking place later this month.