UAE school pupils offer ideas for future innovation

DUBAI // Children from local schools offered a glimpse of the future by devising technologies they think can make an impact on society.

Pupils taking part in the three-month-long Dubai Saturday Club came up with ideas ranging from a smartphone for the blind to a “magic mirror”, which would allow people to see what clothes look like on them without trying them on.

The initiative was inspired by the UK National Art and Design Saturday Club and aims to hone the children’s creativity, collaboration and communication skills. The 110 pupils from 42 schools who took part chose various problems such as war, poverty, racism, the environment and disabled people before devising solutions and presenting them either in a poster or as a model at Dubai Design District on Saturday.

Jordanian Grade 7 pupil Aya Darwazeh found the project very fulfilling. “I really learnt a lot, such as designing, creativity and business,” she said.

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The 12-year-old was part of the team that came up with the smartphone for blind people, which they envisage with a 3-D-printed, customisable Braille screen.

Anirudh Ramalingam, 14, who was on Aya’s team, said that the initiative had been a journey for him and had made him a better person.

“It was a really good experience. It really helped me with communication skills and working in a team,” said the Indian, who is in Grade 10.

The magic mirror creators came up with the idea to save shoppers time, said Sreesha Ghosh, a Grade 10 pupil from India. “You’ll be able to stand in front of the mirror and display clothes on you to see how they look on you,” said the 14-year-old. “It saves time and is more hygienic because it protects you from putting on clothes tried on by other people.”

One of several interesting ideas presented was a mobile app called GASP – Good At Solving Problems – where users ask can any question about war and the app offers advice on how to avoid the conflict.

roueiti@thenational.ae

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