Sharjah: The 12th edition of Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF), organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) from May 19 – 29, will host a series of fun and educational workshops and activities to provide opportunities for children of all ages to develop new creative and critical thinking skills in line with the festival's vision to expand the knowledge of the young generations.

The interactive workshops will be led by qualified experts from across a spectrum of art and science disciplines, and will commence from 4pm daily. Participant numbers are limited to a maximum of 15 per workshop.

Discover the fascinating world of robotics and AI

Bright young girls and boys can acquire both basic and advanced skills in robotics and AI technologies through a series of workshops at SCRF 2021. During ‘The Robots’ session, children will build and programme robots using pieces of Lego; under ‘Automated Driving’, kids will use a robot kit to create a driving base and programme it to perform tasks; while the ‘Artificial Intelligence’ workshop is designed to create greater awareness of emerging technologies of the future.

Several other workshops will use STEM resources to further participants interest in scientific fields. Children will design, programme and control fully-operational model sets in ‘Robotics’; and in ‘Programming’, they will learn how to programme the microbit – a wearable device that calculates physical movements.

The ‘3D Printing’ workshop will integrate different engineering concepts where children can apply their ideas using 3D modeling software.

Get creative with science

Learn how to mix chemical elements to change their atomic structure and observe the changes that occur in their appearance and properties in ‘Crazy Lab’, or blend science and aesthetics in the ‘Ocean Layers’ workshop to create a jar containing layers of the ocean decorated with shells. Budding scientists will enjoy the experience of creating a car that runs on air in the ‘Balloon Cars’ session while in ‘Mars Explorers’, they will engage in building mini-Martian vehicles using LEGO and race them on a Mars-like surface.

Explore the magic of the visual medium

SCRF 2021 offers a range of unique, practical workshops to enable children to express their ideas through the visual medium. ‘We Make the Movies’ is designed to enhance movie-making skills using stop motion’ technology; in ‘Amazing Photography’, children will learn how to use photography tricks to give pictures depth and dimension; and ‘Slow-motion feelings’ aims to unveil techniques of capturing emotions and feelings through photography and video filming.

Master the delights of arts and crafts

Fun art projects specifically designed to nurture imagination and creativity and enhance children’s confidence are the highlight at SCRF 2021.  The various expression and communication driven workshops will facilitate children’s journey into the world of art and develop their problem-solving abilities.

The variety of creative and artistic activities include ‘The Art of Stars’ where the young ones will design a double-sided card featuring a magical night sky of stars; ‘The Art of Handwritten Letters’ where children are encouraged to create future memories using traditional tools of the past; and the ‘Pop-up book’ workshop.

In the ‘Enhanced Graphics’, children will use cardboard and coloured paper to create a character, which will be scanned and uploaded on a digital device and presented in an interesting story format.

Setting the foundation of futuristic skills

Guided by certified instructors, young visitors at SCRF 2021 can look forward to developing relevant machine-learning skills in a fun and engaging environment. From building a tech tool from scratch in ‘Machinery Design’ and learning how to build machines by combining the concepts of mechanical and electrical engineering in the interdisciplinary ‘Mechatronics’ workshop to creating homes with miniature, real-life building materials in the ‘Little Engineers’ workshop, children will have the opportunity to unleash their creativity through diverse tech and design workshops. Other interactive workshops include a personality building workshop, exploring cultures on a pop-up travel map, and identifying sounds and creating new melodies using a range of simple materials.

Participation by Sharjah government entities

The Child Safety Department (CSD) of the Supreme Council of Family Affairs (SCFA) in Sharjah will educate children on the basics of safety and teach them how to administer first aid in ‘My safety at home’. ‘Cyberbullying’ will enable attendees to explore ways to safely use the Internet, while the ‘Children's Rights’ workshop will touch upon the basics of the Wadeema Law and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Sharjah Public Library (SPL) will engage visitors with a virtual journey to Al Buhais Geology Park to learn more about the region’s rich geological history that is home to millions of years old fossils. SPL will also host several mental games to sharpen the focus of the young ones while ‘Shopping Bag’ is an environmental-based educational workshop where attendees can create a personalised reusable bag.


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