WEP 2017 kicks off at the Hub

The KAUST community enjoys the opening night of the 2017 Winter Enrichment Program in the University Library on January 7. Photo by Denis J. Boutry.

​​The opening night of the 2017 Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) in the University Library on January 7 took place around the all-new WEP Hub, which functioned as the beating heart of this year's WEP. The Enrichment Team welcomed a large and enthusiastic crowd with speeches, giveaways and a walkthrough of the new Hub and the exceptional two-week-long program.

Giant board games, a mime and more attracted the attention of visitors at the library's entrance, while varied activities gave an overview of what was on offer during WEP and at the Hub. The evening also recognized the collaboration between the Enrichment Team and the University Library, as they worked together to transform the area into the bustling WEP Hub, making the program an even greater experience. The opening night also provided the opportunity to thank members of the community who helped make WEP possible.

Gilles Lubineau, chairman of WEP 2017, and Marie-Laure Boulot, Enrichment Team manager, presented the rich 2017 program that featured lectures from renowned international speakers, workshops, a science fair, a poster competition, field trips and activities that encouraged participants to explore the limits of science and engineering.

A hub of activity 

Among the great features of the Hub this year, visitors discovered the "WEP on Air" space that connected the program's guest speakers and the KAUST community twice a day through daily morning and afternoon interviews followed by a Q&A session broadcast on Facebook Live.

​A "Create and Make" space encouraged community members to take part in activities involving creation, engineering and science for a personal "pushing the limits" experience. ​

WEP 2017 opening event

The first week of WEP focused on creation, with LEGO bridge building, origami, Chinese painting and calligraphy, kinetic sculptures and ceramics, while the second week was an invitation to make and focused on the basic concepts of IoT, designs for 3-D printing, analog and digital electronics and the KAUST research poster competition.

Two Pop-Up Exhibit areas featured fascinating displays, including the photography exhibition KAUST, an Oasis for Birds, Chinese painting and calligraphy and the KAUST research poster competition.

The WEP Hub also included an info desk, a coffee corner, a story wall and a Link Up area to connect visitors with the program's guest speakers.

Lubineau noted, "the Hub was an excellent showcase of the richness of WEP 2017, with this year's program focusing on engineering and projects for the 21st century."

- By Denis Boutry

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