Highlights on Sci-Fi science festival Dubai

From a single droplet of water to the vast cosmic void, science is everything and everywhere. There’s an element of science in everything we do, even in the simplest things.

This is what SciFest Dubai is all about according to founder and CEO, Lara Matossian. “Our motto is ‘You don’t have to be a scientist to love science’. I’m not a scientist, but I understand the importance of being scientifically literate,” she explains.

“We don’t just want people to realise science is cool – because it is! More importantly, it also explains everything. If you understand how the scientific method works, you then become sceptical and look at the world from a scientifically literate perspective.

Science is important to develop the intellectual integrity and honesty with yourself and the world around you, because science has answers and when it doesn’t, it continues to seek them.”

UNESCO announced 2015 as the international year of light and Science Film Festival in Dubai also featured movies about the topic, so this year’s theme is centred on the beauty and power of light-based technologies.

Here are some edutainment shows to watch out for as SciFest opens to families and public tomorrow at Children’s City, Creek Park.

Magical Science

The entertaining science magic shows are something the kids and parents will love. Magician Taher Kathawala will do amazing street magic with science and reveal the secrets behind it all.

The guys from Mad Science will stage a ‘Burning Blizzards’ demo with bubble showers and dry ice storms. The DNA Sequencing and Extraction workshop at 5pm will allow kids to see what a DNA looks like in real life.

Nosy schoolboy watching reaction of experimentSci-Flicks
The Science Film Festival organised by Goethe Institut has showcased an international selection of movies this week that addresses important scientific and environmental issues.

The 3pm movie tomorrow is ‘Fascinating Universe’, which asks the question ‘Are we alone in space?’ There’s also an episode screening of National Geographic channel host Jason Silva’s ‘Shots of Awe’.

Show and Tell
Sit down for some science-style spoken storytelling in the afternoon with visual books like Jason Chin’s ‘Gravity’ and Steve Metzger’s ‘Pluto Visits Earth!’ – perfect for an audience of up to eight years old.
Or learn about the important Arabic figures in science world like Ibn Sina, who largely contributed in the world of philosophy and medicine, and Ibn Al Haytham, an influential scientist known for his work in optics and astronomy.
The Meet the Scientists performance at 6pm is the brainchild of founder Lara, who’s keen to reintroduce scholars from the Arab world. There are also one-act stage plays to enjoy.

Our Solar System
We are told never to look directly at the sun, but at the outdoor Solar Viewing sessions you can safely see and study our solar system’s star and its sunspots using telescopes with solar filters.

While inside the Children City’s Planetarium, the audience can travel through space and time to explore the wonders of the universe through the hourly audio-visual show. The Earth Science Gallery will be showcasing four exhibitions including a look at the effects of climate change

Let’s Talk Science
The event has a full line-up of panellists including Saeed Al Gergawi speaking about the Emirates Mars Mission, astronomer Keith Cobby, science-fiction author Noura Al Noman and more.

The discussions will vary from astronomy, sci-fi literature and improving education. Dubai’s Café Scientifique group will talk about dinosaur remains with fossil hunter Nirmal Rajah.

Mikolaj Zielinski, one of the astronauts shortlisted for The Netherland’s Mars One Project will also share his experience and preparation for the planned one-way mission to the red planet.

SciFest Dubai opens to the general public tomorrow, 3-8pm, at Children’s City. See scifestdubai.com


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