SMD at Asia-Pacific Conference
The Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) participates in the Asia-Pacific Conference on Giftedness 2012, which takes place from 14-18 July at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The UAE is the first country in the Middle East to host the Asia-Pacific Conference on Giftedness under the theme “Nurturing Talent, Growing Potential.”
Giftedness 2012, a major global scientific forum, gathers the brightest minds from across the globe with their educators, parents, administrators and professors to create educational benchmarks for gifted children and youth. The five-day conference features many educational workshops and seminars as well as plenary sessions. A forum for gifted children and youth from all participating countries will also be held on the sidelines of the conference.
SMD is participating with a selected display of objects from three of its museums, and a number of workshops delivered by education specialists from the museums. The Sharjah Science Museum will display a model of the solar system and its 12 planets as well as a balance game for children, which has a significant impact on the development of children's thinking and enhancing the students’ skills.
The Museum is also exhibiting a human heart model, which explains the basic parts of the heart including its arteries and veins, a model skeleton that illustrates the vertebrae of the human skeleton and bones that facilitate movement, as well as a Newton disc with segments in rainbow colours that fade to white when rotated.
The Sharjah Discovery Centre is displaying devices that test the power of audio-visual memory as well as devices that measure reaction speed, showing that reaction to sound is normally faster than that to light.
In addition, the centre will offer challenge games and puzzles such as Sudoku, a Color Match game, and the Tower of Hanoi which is a mathematical puzzle consisting of three rods and a number of different sized disks which children can slide onto any rod.
The participation of the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization in the Asian Talent Conference comes in line with its mission to encourage appreciation of the Islamic culture, art and science. The museum displays two models from its Science and Innovation gallery; a machine for raising water and the spiral screw pump. These are examples of educational tools that highlight the importance of research and innovation and encourage children to learn.
Muslims are always encouraged to contribute to the enrichment and development of human life as it is a duty central to the principles of Islam. Muslim scientists throughout the Islamic world have made extensive contributions to the development of various fields of science. An example of one such contribution that is displayed at the conference is the discovery of ways to maximize the efficiency of the use of water in agriculture.
The SMD’s Department of Interpretation and Education is also participating in the event through a number of creative workshops. The ‘Mosaics’ workshop which is inspired by the collections of the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization allows participants to create decorative artworks using Islamic geometric shapes. Moreover, the 'Paper Weaving' workshop gave participants the opportunity to acquire a new skill and create contemporary artworks by mixing colors on several papers and finally weaving them. Whereas in the ‘Prayer Beads’ workshop, each participant designs one of their own and then learns about the history and various uses of the Islamic prayer beads.
Commenting on the event, Aisha Deemas, Director of Executive Affairs, said: "The participation of the Sharjah Museums Department in this event reflects the importance of the educational role of museums in society. The Sharjah Museums cover a wide range of topics from sciences to arts, heritage and culture, through which we are keen to always engage members of the community and encourage learning and communication. SMD seeks to effectively participate in international forums hosted and organized by the UAE to enhance and promote culture in the Arab region and the world."
The Giftedness Conference 2012 offers a unique platform for academics and talented students to meet and exchange experiences as more than 350 essays on giftedness are presented during the five-day event. A large number of education ministers from around the world as well as more than 2000 professionals, educators, professors, researchers, and those interested in gifted education will be attending the conference in addition to 500 gifted students from over 30 countries.
The Giftedness Conference 2012 emphasizes the importance of honoring human capabilities and the education of gifted children in the region. During the conference, it is expected that several recommendations to enhance the education of gifted children and promote trends of education in the Asia-Pacific region will be made. In addition, all talented students and professors from the UAE are invited to participate in the Shanghai Giftedness Conference in 2014.