Saudi Arabia re-launches ‘iSpark’ drive to encourage youth’s interest in science and math

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Saudi Aramco’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture launched the iSpark initiative to inspire the minds of youth and guide them towards love of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

The program was launched in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Tatweer, the education overseer.

So far, iSpark has inspired 5,500 students in the Eastern province of al-Hassa during a total of 100,000 hours throughout the summer and via educational outreach training sessions.

The program has returned to the al-Hassa region with its dynamic ‘iSpark-Mobile’ technology, for two more weeks to reach 400 more students.

iSpark Mobile tours public and private schools to disseminate a passion for science and enhance students’ perspectives on STEM education. “Conducting this valuable program in al-Hassa is definitely a step forward,” said engineer Abdullah Al-Eyaf, Communication and Partnership Team Leader in iThra Youth at the Center.

“The program aims to achieve its goals of serving the local society and to enrich al-Hassa’s youth in a memorable experience.”

As the program moves forward, it is reaching out to new schools in the region and will provide ninth and tenth graders the opportunity to take part in new courses; Powering the World, Green City, Bridges, and Decoding Life.

The iSpark experience is built upon a student-focused learning environment. In each session, two instructors train 25 students using iSpark curriculum that was provided by the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California in Berkely and the National Talents Company.

“Besides the scientific knowledge that the students gain in iSpark, the program inject doses of character-building, team-work, and problem-solving skills during the five days experience to build well-rounded students whom will hopefully constitute robust pillars for the knowledge- based Saudi society that the King Abdulaziz Center is envisioning to shape,” said Shatha Hamed Al-Qurashi, communication and partnership coordinator in iThra Youth at the Center.

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