- Title: SAUDI-ARABIA/SCIENCE FESTIVAL Riyadh hosts science festival for students
- Date: 4th February 2015
- Summary: SCREEN SHOWING ELECTRIC EXPERIMENT
- Embargoed: 19th February 2015 12:00
- Location: Saudi Arabia
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA8OPJF3CO8I4TTTMW0PDAVJ7KL
- Story Text: Hundreds of young people took part in activities at the six-day Saudi Science and Innnovation Festival that began on Tuesday (February 3).
The event aims to discover talent among young people and encourage them to take part in scientific activities.
Among the exhibits at the show was an experiment in which vegetables are used in a music system.
Participant Mishaal Suliman said the idea was to make the activity fun.
"We are here to offer something to the community and young people. Since we loved these experiments, it is certain that young people will love it too. We offer them something beautiful and useful," he said.
Organisers said Arab countries must start encouraging scientific innovation.
"It's time that the Saudi community and the Arab and Gulf countries change from a recipient of technology and to participate in the achievements. And to transition to phase of production and innovation; to compete globally with all seriousness and confidence in scientific fields," said teh festival's executive manager Abdul-Hakem al-Dawood.
Among those taking part is German student Christian Knobloch, whose work had many visitors curious.
"They always ask - 'oh, how does it work? How does it go up?' Many people don't know how a roller-coaster works, that it's from kinetic and potential energy levels, that it's accelerated probably with the launch. And I explain it to them how this works, and they are also inspired to build their own things and to think like an engineer," he said.
High school student Ahmed Shdaied had brought a game to the show. He hopes to win the competition, after picking up a similar award last year.
"I participated and represented Saudi Arabia in the competition in the ITEX exhibition in Malaysia last year and won the first position among more than 1,200 inventors. Today we are participating for the second time in this exhibition and hope we keep the title of first place."
Teengaer Suleiman Balahmar's project was inpired by a personal setback. He came up with his idea after his father and brother had a road accident, and the ambulance could not reach them on time because of traffic bottlenecks cause by road works.
"My project is the mobile traffic light. The idea is it organise the traffic if a natural disaster happens. Or if road accident or floods or heavy wind destroys the traffic light, we can have mobile traffic light in our bag that we carry, which we open and we have a traffic light."
The students displaying their experiments were chosen from among the 16,000 who took part in the national Olympics for scientific innovation.
Seventy-two winners will get a total prize money of 700,000 riyals (186,564 US dollars).
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