iSpark program seeks to empower Saudi youth

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The King Abdulaziz Center’s iThra Youth initiative is reaching a new milestone of engaging adolescences in STEM edutainment workshops by cooperating with SciTech Al-Khobar to provide iSpark experience in their facilities.

The forward-thinking step of taking iSpark experience to the next level is intended to serve and reach out wider audiences that will be indulged in a world-class STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Science) training sessions.

iSpark is one of the educational outreach programs that are conducted by iThra Youth in King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, a Saudi Aramco initiative that aims to enrich 2 Million Saudi Youth by 2020.

Recently, iSpark reached over 5,500 teens in the eastern province throughout a total of one hundred-thousand enriching hours. Four tracks compose iSpark: Green City, Powering the World, Decoding Life, and Bridges, and are facilitated by professionals trained by experts from Lawrence Hall of Science, in California University in Berkeley, CA and local educational entities. In each track, students are engaged in hands-on training that utilizes new teaching methods of student-centered learning environment focusing on group work, problem-solving skills, and strategic thinking.

The iThra initiative has been working towards achieving the main mission of the King Abdulaziz Center for world culture, which is shifting the Saudi society to a knowledge base society, by providing educational opportunities that empowers the Saudi youth.

"Saudi Aramco is actively serving the Saudi Society in making the difference by targeting the youth.It promotes STEM education via a wide range of outreach programs," Program Champion Abdullah Al-Juwiber said.

The one week long iSpark program will be conducted in SciTech facilities starting from next Saturday January 26th, 2013 and will continue to be delivered in one-selected week of each of the four upcoming months,” al-Juwiber said.

The program manager, Shreen Abdulrahman, asserts that iSpark influenced thousands of students in the Eastern province so far, and to be held in SciTech, will definitely make iSpark more accessible to a larger group of participants since it is taking place in the evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition, the experience will be held in separate training rooms for females and males that are allocated specially for the purpose of conducting the program.

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