Madinat Zayed and Ruwais Colleges’ first Research Fair a resounding success
HCT Madinat Zayed and Ruwais Colleges were proud to hold their first Research Fair this week.
Held over two days, students from all four campuses at all levels of learning presented their current research projects, sharing their enthusiasm for their chosen topics and listening to others presenting theirs.
Dr Phil Quirke, Director of the Colleges thanked students and staff for “making our first Research Fair such a phenomenal success".
"Watching Foundations students presenting to our Scottish visitors and the new VETI Director was as impressive as the standard of technical presentations by our program students. Well done everyone, it was beyond brilliant,” Dr. Quirke said.
Research is a fundamental part of learning. When doing research students have to take charge of their own journey, their own learning and in doing so, they take ownership of the whole body of knowledge around their chosen subject. This takes them forward to making suggestions for change and development and further research.
When students have to find things out for themselves they are not fed a body of facts which they learn and then regurgitate in an exam. Rather, they are learning how to be part of the world around them and a part of making that world a better place to live in. This is very much the philosophy at the HCT Colleges throughout the UAE.
At the fair, Bachelor’s students presented the research they had been doing as part of their majors. Engineering students brought the robots they had been working on as they set out to answer the question: 'When is a machine not a machine, but a robot?'
Other students had been researching alternative energy sources, and created an experiment to release hydrogen from water, ending with a noisy demonstration on the power of hydrogen as a fuel.
The IT students had been finding out how to create applications for educational games and for social networking that could be used on mobile tablet devices, such as the iPad. They are now working to create their own applications, using the results of their research. One student described how she had created an ibook that was now in 36 istores worldwide.
Medical Lab Technology students had been researching the properties of blood and various illnesses that can result when things go wrong. By finding out for themselves, they were able to see how they needed to take their own learning forward.
Foundation students had been doing various projects. One group had been researching iPad applications that would help improve their language skills. Another group had been looking at different countries and finding out all they could about them. Several students had been researching their favourite artists, with choices as diverse as David or Jackson Pollock, yet another group were looking at different shopping outlets and comparing one with another.
A major outcome of the fair was the confidence gained by students from having to present their research to an audience. “Students reported back to me that before presenting they felt very nervous, because they had not spoken to an audience before," Research Fair organizer Keith Hill said.
"They were afraid of making mistakes with their grammar and vocabulary and they were worried that they might forget key facts. Afterwards, they said that they just wanted it to go on and on, as they felt so relaxed and confident. It has really boosted their self-esteem. This will have very positive results when they go out into the workforce,” he added.