Teachers have called for more lema? workshops and shows following another successful tour around the Abu Dhabi Emirate.

School principals and primary teachers have revealed that the fun and interactive way the lessons are presented is inspiring pupils to want to learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Operated by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) with the support of its Platinum Sponsor, Mubadala Investment Company, ‘lema?’ is held over the course of six weeks three times a year, delivering Arabic and English workshops and shows aimed at students in Grades 3 to 7.

The third and final tour of the 2017/18 academic year concluded in Abu Dhabi last week, inspiring 19,623 pupils in 162 schools across the Emirate.

Teachers are now hoping the programme can be rolled out to younger pupils and can cover some more key topics to help improve understanding among pupils.

Samar Al Samak, teacher from the Al Dhabiania School in Abu Dhabi said: “I would like to thank everyone who works on the lema? programme because we can see the huge effort that is being made to present it to the students in this amazing and fruitful way.

“The science communicators are always extremely nice and present the information in a funny and light way that helps make it really exciting and engaging. The pupils absolutely love it and want us to have lema? as often as possible. Their reaction to finding out the communicators are coming is absolutely priceless.

“It would be great if the topic of sustainability can be covered by lema? at some point as it is so important to the future of Abu Dhabi and this would help the children understand it by bringing it to life.

“I also think it would be great if the programme could be rolled out to even younger children as I am confident the fantastic workshops could be tailored for Grades 1 and 2 and that the science communicators would be able to engage with younger age groups, which would help children to gain an interest in STEM subjects from an even earlier stage.”

The four interactive lema? sessions - Secrets of Space, Radio Studio, Energy Future and Prepare for Takeoff, have been designed to align to the school curriculum as well as inspire innovation and curiosity in young minds. They are delivered by fully trained science communicators and specially designed versions of the show are also run to ensure inclusion of pupils of determination.

Ailbe Power, teacher at the Al Najah Private School at the Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi, said: “The lema? Communicators helps create a fun, interactive and engaging environment for students. It gives them a different perspective of science classes, which then makes them more enthusiastic and keener to learn.

“The science communicators were great, and you could see the pupils getting excited by what they would do next. Things like the foam balls flying out of a box (to show different densities) goes down really well as it’s such a fun and engaging way to learn.

“It also has a very positive impact on the teachers. The programme has inspired me and many of the other teachers here to incorporate more interactive sessions into our own classes and we have also found the workbooks provided really helpful to use as a tool for extra classes on the various STEM subjects.

“The students, and we as a school, would love to have lema? return for more sessions as it has made a world of difference.”

Lema? has been running since 2012. Its most recent six-week tour once again visited more than 28 schools in the Abu Dhabi region, 20 in the Al Ain region and 14 in the Al Dhafra region. The next tour will take place in September and will include new content created for the new academic year.

Reem Hamdan, Advanced Science Program (ASP) Coordinator at the Al Reem School said: “The science communicators were extremely well trained and they clearly knew important aspects like word choice and positive body language, which are key when trying to reach children of this age.

“The topics they introduced created a connection between what the students read in books and reality and the way in which the programme presented these topics was really exciting and engaging. They have all been asking for more workshops and asked that we use this method of learning in more of the lessons we give.

“We really hope that the lema? programme will return soon and might present topics like physics to the students, such as Newton’s Laws, because these workshops will be the best way for students to fully understand these subjects.”

STEM subjects are the foundation of a modern, well-rounded education and are at the heart of the UAE government’s drive to create an innovative and knowledge-based society. ‘Lema?’, which means ‘why?’ in Arabic, aims to inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers, innovators and leaders in technology who will be at the forefront of shaping the UAE of tomorrow.


Source: Seven Media