News & Press Releases

Kuwait’s first experiment in space heads to ISS Sunday December 6th, 2020 15/Dec/2020

In a new historic achievement, Kuwait’s first experiment to be conducted in Space is headed to the International Space Station (ISS). On Sunday, December 6th, 2020, SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center in the US, carrying a payload containing an experiment conceived by students in Kuwait to astronauts onboard the ISS to conduct on the behalf of the students in space. An initiative of The Scientific Center, which falls under the Kuwait Foundation For The Advancement of Science, the experiment marks an historic event that enhances Kuwait’s position and place it on the global space map. The Scientific Center celebrated milestone by holding a private event to view the launch of the Falcon-9 into space.


Speaking during the event, Rana Al-Nibari, The Scientific Center General Manager, stated: “We are proud of the successful launch of the first Kuwaiti scientific experiment into space by our students, who have demonstrated their ability to succeed and persevere, continuing with their work even during this year’s challenging circumstances. Today we are pleased to celebrate this historic achievement.”


She continued by highlighting that The Scientific Center “strives to always undertake such initiatives, based on our Vision to be a continuously adapting center for future innovators in science, and in our belief in the importance of science and its role in understanding our world and building a sustainable future for Kuwait. We do our best to support students and the youth segment and encourage them to delve into the field of science. Our goal for this initiative was to raise awareness of space missions, and their role in sustainable development that can help lead to a sustainable future for Kuwait.”


The experiment was chosen as part of a competition held during the 2019 Space Month at The Scientific Center, with an objective of recording the effect of microgravity on the growth of E. coli bacteria, and its consumption of carbon dioxide. Run in partnership with Orbital Space, the first company in the Arab World to provide access to space through CubeSat technology, the competition was open to students of all school levels, with the winner chosen by a panel of respected scientists and educators. The winning team, comprised of students Omar Qamouriyeh and Malek Abdullah, was chosen for their idea’s feasibility as well as possible learning outcomes. The students were part of The American School of Kuwait’s 2019 graduating class.


 “This activity differs from other student competitions, as it includes a real journey to space,” Al-Nibari continued. “We have been excited about it at all stages, from the selection of the winning experiment, to the study and research phase, followed by the initial test-runs and data collection in Kuwait University laboratories, until where we have reached today, the launch of the experiment to the ISS. An entire year of effort has come to a head, and Omar and Malek have worked diligently, and we have been proud to be with them as they have moved step by step towards this goal.”


“All the difficulties and challenges that have been faced have been overcome, particularly in light of the global crisis, but the work did not stop and was continued to see it through to the end. Now we see the fruits of these efforts as we witness the launch, which thanks to everyone’s efforts has become a reality”.


The preliminary preparations for the experiment took place over a year, with technical and logistical support from Orbital Space and Kuwait University, helping the students in all ways make this experiment a success.


Founder and General Manager of Orbital Space, Dr. Bassam AlFeeli, speaking on the event, said: “Space innovation is happening right now, and we are proud to support The Scientific Center Kuwait in creating this opportunity to empower our youth and teach them the skills to be innovators in the space sector. As Kuwait’s first experiment in space launches to the International Space Station, we are thrilled to have ignited the passion in these students. This experiment launches not only their dreams, but also that of Kuwait as a nation, into the space sector.”


“As pioneers in space-based educational programs in Kuwait, we are excited to create opportunities and award-winning space initiatives enabling our youth to explore space technology, research and leadership,” said Nada AlShammari, Director of Education and Outreach at Orbital Space. “We are encouraged by the marvelous impact that Kuwait’s first experiment in space has had on our young innovators and future explorers, and we are continuing to offer more opportunities in space engagement and missions to youth in Kuwait and the region.”


To achieve this milestone, The Scientific Center and Orbital Space cooperated with the US Space Agency (NASA) and other international companies specialized in the field of space science to deliver the payload and realize the students' dream, providing all the required equipment and creating a suitable environment for them.

Speaking on behalf of DreamUp, one of the international partners to aid in the delivery, DreamUp’s Director of Programs, Lauren Milord, stated: “DreamUp is incredibly proud to support the students who launched the very first Kuwaiti payload to the International Space Station today. Not only have these students made history, they have demonstrated incredible tenacity, adaptability, and persistence as they remained on schedule for launch despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We congratulate them, as well as their mentors and the organizations who have supported them through this journey. We will be watching to see what’s next for the E. coli C⁵ team.”


Based in Washington, DC, DreamUp is the first company bringing space into the classroom and the classroom into space. Uniquely positioned to inspire kids globally and engage them through scientific discoveries in space, DreamUp aims to foster an educational community where space-based research and projects will be available to all learners of all ages. DreamUp has a proven track record with more than 400 student research payloads from around the world launched on SpaceX and Northrop Grumman rockets to the International Space Station via a partnership with Nanoracks and its Space Act Agreement with NASA.


After completing the final preparations for the experiment on November 13th, 2020, in the laboratories of the College of Medical Sciences at Kuwait University, which took placeover four months, the experiment was shipped to the United States of America to make arrangements for the launch to the International Space Station. Jack Muhs, Regional President of FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa, the chosen logistical partner to deliver the experiment, said: “We’re excited to carry this potentially game-changing package, and support the student’s scientific research. Thank you to The Scientific Center of Kuwait for trusting us with a shipment and program that is literally out of this world! Like FedEx, you value empowering the next generation to explore and bring positive change.”


Speaking during the launch event, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Larry Memmott highlighted the Embassy’s work to strengthen U.S.-Kuwait scientific cooperation. “In addition to professional development and academic exchange programs for Kuwaiti students and researchers, we bring American scientific experts to Kuwait to share expertise and inspire students to pursue careers in science.  We look forward to broadening our partnerships with Kuwaiti institutions to help spur future space-based research coming from Kuwait.”


Al-Nibari confirmed that this is not the first initiative adopted by the Scientific Center to promote space science or to cooperate with the International Space Station, but it is the most distinguished. It came as a continuation of the Center’s march in strengthening Kuwait’s position in the field of space science internationally. Since the Center’s opening in 2000, and on the occasion of the establishment of the region’s first IMAX Theater, the flag of Kuwait was raised at the ISS during the filming of the 2002 3D film “Space Station”. In 2006, the Center organized an event that met wide acclaim from those locally interested in space culture, where students and outer space enthusiasts had the opportunity to speak to astronauts on the ISS. In 2018, on the occasion of World Space Week, the Scientific Center organized a month-long celebration of space, which included special offers and educational activities for all ages, as well as an exclusive talk with Emirati student Alia AlMansoori, who like the students celebrated today, had her own experiment sent to the ISS. In 2019, the Scientific Center continued the Space Month event, in line with the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Umm Al-Aish station, the first terrestrial space station in the Middle East, which was located in Kuwait.


Concluding the event, Al-Nibari thanked all the parties involved in achieving this milestone. “We thank all the parties and individuals who participated with us in completing this experiment, headed by Orbital Space, which had the greatest role in financing and managing the experiment, coordinating between the students and other parties, and was the link between the Scientific Center and the International Space Station. We also thank Kuwait University, which opened the laboratories of the College of Medical Sciences for us to conduct the initial experiments under the supervision of Professor of Microbiology, Dr. Leila Vali. I extend my sincere thanks to Ambassador Alina L. Romanowski, the Ambassador of the United States of America to the State of Kuwait, who worked hard to facilitate the movement of the experiment between our borders. We also thank FedEx, which transported the experiment from Kuwait to the United States of America and Dream Up for providing the equipment required to transport and conduct the experiment on board the International Space Station.


احتفل المركز العلمي بالزائر رقم 11 مليون 22/Jan/2020


نظم المركز العلمي التابع لمؤسسة الكويت للتقدم العلمي يوم الأربعاء الموافق 15 يناير 2020 مفاجأة سارة غير متوقعة للزائر رقم 11 مليون وذلك احتفالاً بوصول عدد زوار المركز منذ الافتتاح في 17 أبريل 2000 إلى إحدى عشر مليون زائر. حيث تفاجأ السيد علي أحمد الحداد وعائلته عند دخولهم المركز باستيقاف المدير المساعد للعلاقات العامة السيد محمد سليمان السنعوسي وتهنأته لهم. كما تفاجأ بالهدايا وشهادة التقدير التي قدمتها لهم السيدة رنا النيباري مدير عام المركز العلمي.

وقالت السيدة رنا النيباري- مدير عام المركز العلمي- في تصريحٍ لها عن هذا الحدث: نشعر بالفخر كمؤسسة ثقافية تعليمية بتحقيق هذا الرقم الذي يعطي مؤشراً واضحاً على ثقة الناس بما نقدمه، الثقة التي نسعى دائماً إلى تعزيزها. ومن منطلق مسؤوليتنا الاجتماعية، أخذنا على عاتقنا الالتزام بتقديم أفضل الخدمات وبأعلى جودة.

وبهذه المناسبة قدم المركز العلمي للسيد علي أحمد الحداد وعائلته عضوية سنوية عائلية مجانية، والتي تتيح لهم الدخول لمرافق المركز العلمي لعدد غير محدود لمدة عام كامل، والمشاركة ببعض البرامج الخاصة مجاناً وغيرها من المزايا القيمة التي تتيحها العضوية السنوية، بالإضافة إلى جولة خاصة في الأكواريوم، جولة خلف الكواليس، وبطاقات مشتريات مقدمة من محل الهدايا في المركز العلمي. وبالتعاون مع فندق شيراتون الكويت قُدم للأسرة جائزة عبارة عن إقامة لمدة يومين في الفندق. كما قدم مطعم أبل بيز المركز العلمي وجبة عشاء مجانية للعائلة. وقد أعرب السيد علي عن سعادته شاكراً أسرة المركز العلمي على الجوائز التي قدمت له.

واختتمت النيباري تصريحها بتقديم الشكر لكل من فندق شيراتون الكويت ومجموعة كوت الغذائية على دعمهم لأنشطة المركز العلمي وتقديمهم الجوائز في هذا الحدث المهم بالنسبة لأسرة المركز العلمي. كما دعت كل شخص مهتم بالعلم والبيئة لزيارة المركز والاستمتاع بجديد ما يقدمه. حيث يهدف المركز من خلال الموضوعات العلمية التي يطرحها إلى توفير خبرات تعليمية عالية الجودة، بالإضافة إلى نشر العلوم والثقافة البيئية بين أفراد المجتمع وإلهامهم ليكونوا مبتكرين في المستقبل وليتفاعلوا بشكل أفضل مع العلوم.

Scientific Lecture and Meetings to be Held with Sophiathe Robot for the First Time in Kuwait 23/Oct/2019

Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) organizes a special event on 24 and 25 October at the Scientific Center

On 24th and 25thof this month, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) is organizing a special event, during Space Month, hosted by KFAS' Scientific Center. This event includes a meet and greet with Sophia the Robot, as well as a scientific lecture on robotics and artificial intelligence (AI)presented by Sophia the Robot  andherdeveloper, Dr. David Hanson.

On the evening of Thursday, 24 October, Dr. Hanson will delivera lecture in the Scientific Center as part of the KFAS Links lecture series, accompanied by Sophia the Robot, in which they will talk about robotics and artificial intelligence, and how these inventions and recent developments contribute tospacejourneys and explorations.

In this special event, Sophia the Robot will be on display in the Scientific Center to interact with visitors from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM on Thursday 24th October, while on Friday 25 October, Sophia the Robot will engage with TSCK's visitors from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Dr. Hanson's lecture and meetings with Sophia the Robotwill take place as part of the Space Month eventthroughout October of this month, organized by the Scientific Center.These lectures and meetings focus on a number of space-related topics, while its main subject is dedicated to moon landing and space exploration.

It is to say that Sophia the Robot is the brain child of Dr. Hanson. This inventiongives a glimpse into the awe-inspiring potential of AI and robotics and provides enlightening insights into the provocative moral and ethical questions that accompany non-human intelligent life forms.

Sophia the Robot has spoken before the United Nations General Assembly and was named the first non-human citizen of Saudi Arabia. It possesses superhuman intelligence and advanced ability to read faces, empathize with emotions, understand the nuances of language and communicate with thousands of facial expressions.

It is noteworthy to mention that Dr. David Hanson has a worldwide reputation for inventing the world’s most human-like, empathetic, intelligent character robots in which he integrated figurative arts with science and engineering. He also invented novel skin materials, facial expression mechanisms, and intelligent software to animate the robots in face to face interactions with people.

David Hanson started as a Walt Disney Imagineer, working as a sculptor and a technical consultant in robotics;he published dozens of papers on materials science, artificial intelligence and cognitive science. He also wrote two books and received several patents.

In 2017, KFAS launched the KFAS Links Initiative; it is a series of dynamic lectures and panel discussions held throughout the year, aimed at enhancing the dissemination of science, technology and innovation, by creating an interactive platform through which members of the community share knowledge. The lectures will be delivered by leading international experts and researchers with expertise in science, technology and innovation.