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What is it: A lab where students can work with tools and equipment to prototype ideas, and where anyone aged 8-24 can take up training in new technology concepts.
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Who runs it: The hub was established by Al Bayt Mitwahid Association, United Arab Emirates University, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, and Google.
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Why it’s great: The lab allows students to create products, not just software based but physical products as well. Being able to create a product and test it is among the toughest challenges of designing any kind of solution, and the lab eases that part of the journey. Also, the training programmes have been custom made by Google engineers specifically for the hub, so the course content in app development, machine learning, and 3D printing should cover all the basics.
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Who can use it: Any one aged eight to 24 can take up a course at no charge. The venue can host up to 120 students per day, with 2 sessions a day in each of the three learning areas: makers Space, app factory and machine earning.
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Where could it be better: The courses are introductory in nature and geared toward eight years old and up or 13 years and older. It’s hard to imagine they would carry the same level of comprehensiveness that would be relevant to 24 year old university students, but then everyone needs to start somewhere.