May 7, 2019,
The Department of Biotechnology of the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) hosted Ras Al Khaimah high school students at their annual Biotechnology Day to encourage future interest in the discipline.
Biotechnology Day is an annual event where the Biotechnology Department invites students from local Ras Al Khaimah schools to educate them about the past, present, and future of biotechnology. The event commenced with a welcoming speech by the Chair of the Department, Dr. Rachel Matar, who introduced students to biotechnology, its use in the present world, and what the discipline hopes to achieve in the coming years. She also described recent breakthroughs in this field and the possible effects of those breakthroughs. The second part of the day opened discussion concerning ethical issues prevalent in the present and future of biotechnology and was followed with a tour of the biotech laboratory, where they were introduced to the cutting-edge equipment and instruments used by the Biotechnology Department. Students participated in Buccal Swab DNA Isolation and were shown how to isolate DNA from the cells of the mouth cavity. Students also competed in a Science Quiz Contest, a Poster Presentation, and a Science Brain Teaser Competition for trophies and cash prizes. One hundred fifty students from four schools participated in the fun-filled day where Biotechnology faculty, Biotech students of AURAK, and high school students interacted with each other to learn more about biotechnology and its future prospects.
AURAK President, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, was pleased with the initiative in that it exposed a future generation of students to the possibilities possessed by an emerging scientific field, laying the ground work for student interest not only in the advancement in the field, but also in the creation of life-long learners.