February 08, 2013
By Melanie Swan, The National
Rustein and Travis Merriweather were among 50 invited high school and university students who presented their ideas for a better future for the United Arab Emirates at the recent Global Issues Network conference in Abu Dhabi this past January.
|The Merriweather brothers meet His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali al Nuaimi of the governing UAE Royal Family, who was a conference keynote speaker.|
Topics covered included health, education, energy, technology and waste management.
The brothers' presentation examined the use of music in education, aimed at the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and its focus on "increasing creativity and parental involvement" in schools.
"We presented our research initiative to the Abu Dhabi Education Council, and it was a very powerful cultural experience," said Travis Merriweather.
Rustein quoted studies that have shown the positive effects of music in learning, from increased brain capacity to improved exam scores.
They proposed a one-year trial of various extra-curricular activity in schools, which they predicted would see a "10 percent increase in standardised exam scores" as well as "structural brain growth" that could be proven by MRI scanning.
Additional reporting by Sherrie Voss Matthews