The members of our school are members of UNESCO Associated Schools are the school itself is the official organizer of TEDx and TEDed events.
The passionate individual that Shady Elkassas, Assistant Principal of Academics at Sharjah American International School is, he has constantly aimed towards making a career in the field of education. A graduate of Science of Physics, he also holds a master’s degree in education leadership from the Walden University which shows his dedicated interest in teaching. His belief lies in making sure that the students at the end of their academic session are left empowered and inspired for their journey ahead.
A Deft Personality with Ulterior Goals
Shady Elkassas has a strong voice that calls out to his students with a visionary outlook while also making sure that when the students face any challenge, they are well prepared to tackle it to the best of their potential. Speaking of his long journey, he has said that it involved a lot of challenges. He states, “One of the major challenges I faced in my academic career is to engage students in a meaningful learning experience where they can enjoy learning.” His educational journey comprises of certificates such as:
- Google Certified Educator
- Apple Certified Teacher
- Microsoft Innovative Educator
- Certified Business Professional- CBP in Leadership Certified
- UNESCO School Network Supervisor- ASP.net UAE
- National Science Teacher Association Member
- American Physics Teachers’ Association Member
- Planetary Society Member
For his constant efforts and attempts to make education an interesting endeavour, he has earned many accolades such as:
- Khalifa Presidency Award for innovation in Science Education- 2017
- UAE UNESCO Schools’ Network Forum Award- 2018
- The Middle East Education Influencer Award – 2018
- Best STEM teacher Award – STEM best Practice Summit- 2017
- Best Community Project Award 2016, 17, &18
- UAE National Championship for robot VEX 2016 & 2017
- Space Education Leadership Award – AYVF & UN 2016 & 17
- GESS Education Award finalist 2016 & 2017
Creating Pathways of Brilliance for the Students
Shady Elkassas is a big follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s – be the change you wish to see in the world, philosophy. This why he intends to convey the necessity to be an example to the learners and ones actions are constantly noticed. Students are especially very attentive while taking note of an adults actions and introducing positive ones are always the right way to go. This will make sure that the youngsters have an ideal benchmark to be achieved and it also acts as a good enough learning challenge. He thus does his best to lead and be an example to all the students in his school. This thought of brilliance has brought a school with just two members up grow to over 300 students in the robotics club. The school is such that provides them with different courses such as robotics, programming and artificial intelligence. It also gives students the opportunity to take initiative and give them a chance to share the same with their fellow students and classmates. Youngsters who struggle with hardships in learning are also given extra attention along with an equal opportunity to learn via the SAIS Scientific Community Service Program. This has also earned the school the UAE National Award not just ones, but three years in a row.
With his years of immersive educative journey, his idea of an ideal future career that the students could opt for belong to the field of data science, mechatronics, Artificial Intelligence, aeronautical and sustainable energy engineers. He also goes on to add that the streams of STEM along with 21st century skills are what can earn them these effective career options. It is also interesting to note that students who are academically weak aren’t given such tag, but are in fact known as Students of Determination. This shows Shady’s efforts of not needing to differentiate between two students who may just have a slight differentiation among them.
SAIS: Rethinking Education
Sharjah American International School (SAIS) is a group of schools founded in 1997 by Dr. Aysha Alsayar and Dr. Nawaf Fawaz, two education figures in UAE. Apart from offering world-class education, SAIS group is a member of UNESCO Associated Schools. Additionally, SAIS is a TEDx and TEDed official organizers. Furthermore, the group is an official partner with VEX Robotics and REC Foundation (The Robotics Education and Competition Foundation). SAIS group collaborates with international STEM Education Leaders in UAE such as Prometheus Solutions and Horizon Educational. Sharjah American International School (SAIS) focuses on developing the personality of its students while giving equal importance to their academic performance. Here, the child develops not only academic skills but gain positive attitude towards learning.
The reputation and global recognition of Sharjah American International School is hard earned. Below-mentioned are some of the awards earned by the school.
- UAE UNESCO Forum Award
- UAE National Commission of Education, Culture, and Science Award.
- Rakaez Forum Award from Sharjah Education Council.
- Best STEM Project Award in the UAE Artificial Intelligence National Competition.
- Best Contribution Award from Sharjah Education Council – Sharjah Robotics Festival.
- Best Contribution Award from Sharjah Education Council – Sharjah Artificial Intelligence Festival.
- Best Scientific initiative Award from Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services.
- TEDx International License- for the third year.
- TEDed International License – TED Education.
- TED Global Participants- 17 schools globally.
- VEX Robotics Official Partner.
- EGA Best Contribution Award in Engineering the Future STEM Program.
- AUS Environmental Day honorary Award.
Future Visions and Endeavors
The future according to Shady needs to be impactful for both the students as well as educators which is in fact what every institute needs to focus on. It requires balance of large proportions while taking the form of bringing a transformation on the academic forefront. Traditional methods of teaching need to slowly start taking the backseat and give way to the gradual rise to research based strategies. It also gives the students the opportunity to engage in meaningful and challenging learning experiences.
“I really hope to have a great impact on both students and educators. This impact takes the form of transforming education and moving it from the traditional pedagogy into research-based strategies that target engaging students in meaningful and challenging learning experiences,” asserts Shady.
Events to Supplement the Students’ Knowledge Base
Shady knows the first-hand benefits of implementing practicality on the educational front and is ensuring that plenty of conferences are conducted. They are based on a plethora of topics and bring in the true essence of learning while also being involved in the activity. The various conferences conducted so far are listed below:
- GESS-Dubai Speaker 2015,16, 17, and 2018
- STEM Best Practices Summit-Dubai 2018
- MENA Teachers’ Summit-Dubai 2018
- FATiH Education Summit Speaker – Turkey 2016
The famed organization TEDx also holds its own events to enlighten students in the various life skills and external topics.
TEDx Speaker in TEDxYouth as Alouroba, KSA
TEDx Speaker in TEDxYouth at AIS, UAE
TEDx Official Organizer