ABU DHABI // Pupils will soon be able to learn about the country’s natural habitat when biodomes are built at their schools.
To help educate the youth of the nation on plant science, local company Indkarta and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi will erect biodomes – a form of greenhouse – planted with local mangroves, at schools.
The company started the project at the Philippines Glo
bal School and Aisha bin Abu Baker School.
"Plant science in the UAE is nonexistent," said Syed Amir, chief executive of Indkarta. "If you see the plants around the roads here, they are all from the UK and are brought in when already flowered.
"There is no way for the students to learn about the natural habitat of plants here. Through the biodome, children can observe local plants in a closed environment, watch them grow and learn. This sort of extracurricular learning environment is missing in UAE schools, and we want to fill the gap."
He said children at the Philippines Global School love their biodome and they study the entire life cycle of plants under its protective shell. But building the environment for these plants was not easy, he said.
"That was a little tricky.
"Our educational greenhouses provide the climate and light control of indoor growing, with the natural benefit of natural sunlight and fresh air for plants and for students to understand the underlying concepts of biodomes," he said.
"There are solar-powered fans that blow out hot air from the top vents and the water cooler mechanism pulls in cool air. Air is cooled through evaporation and natural sunlight is allowed to pass the translucent film."
The domes cost between Dh50,000 and Dh150,000 each, with one planned for Zayed Sports City and more schools talking to Adec about getting them. The installation of a biodome takes 48 hours and it can also be completely disassembled. They can withstand winds up to 150 kilometres an hour.
George Aglos, environment coordinator and teacher at the Philippines Global School, said: "As a science teacher, I could not be happier that my students will be learning how mangroves grow and reproduce in our school."