International Community Schools Inaugurates the Astronaut Al Worden Innovation Center in Abu Dhabi

International Community Schools Inaugurates the Astronaut Al Worden Innovation Center in Abu Dhabi

Beloved goodwill ambassador for STEM education memorialized as role model for future explorers


Abu Dhabi, UAE and Waldwick, NJ / November 30, 2023 — Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot, Al Worden, holder of the Guinness world record for being the human farthest ever from earth during his solo orbits around the moon in 1971, will never be too far from the hearts and minds of students at the International Community Schools (ICS) Al Mushrif campus in Abu Dhabi.

This month the school inaugurated the Astronaut Al Worden Innovation Center, a hands-on, interdisciplinary classroom inspired by his visit there in 2017 and dedicated to graduating future generations of explorers and pioneers.

Worden’s visit then was his first to the UAE, coinciding with the Dubai Airshow where he was serving as a goodwill ambassador for U.S. industry and an advocate for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education with Kallman Worldwide, the long-standing organizer of the U.S. presence at the show. In the years before his death in 2020, Worden would become a fixture in Kallman’s USA Partnership Pavilions around the world, including the airshow in Dubai and ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi.

Among those in attendance for the center’s inauguration were Kallman Worldwide President and CEO, Tom Kallman, and former NASA Space Shuttle Commander, Col. Mike Bloomfield (USAF, Ret.), who were in country for the 2023 edition of the airshow. Like Worden before him, Bloomfield participated as a goodwill ambassador for U.S. industry and toured area schools to promote STEM education and careers.

“Every country we work in — at least 50 over our company’s 60-year history — is facing the same challenges to prepare young people for the future,” said Kallman. “In 2017, as an extension of our work to advance global trade on the exhibit floor, we started sharpening the focus of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts on exciting and empowering young people, the future workforce. Bringing an Apollo astronaut to schools in Dubai and Abu Dhabi seemed like a cool way to do that, so when we were here with Al that’s what we did.”

For ICS Managing Director and CEO, Mohammed Al Shamma, Worden’s visit to Mushrif was a milestone event.

“First of all, how many people in our country had ever met an Apollo astronaut? And second, his visit coincided with growing anticipation for the UAE Space Agency’s planned launch of the Hope Mars Probe in 2020,” said Al Shamma. “Our country was becoming part of the global space community, and our students were meeting face-to-face with one of only 24 people who had been to the moon! Needless to say, this was a teachable moment for everyone, our students and our organization.”

Spawned from that visit, six years later the Worden Innovation Center embraces its namesake’s spirit of discovery and passion for STEM learning and collaborative problem solving. In parallel, the Kallman Foundation, the not-for-profit arm of Kallman Worldwide is wrapping up the fourth year of its own Worden-inspired workforce advocacy program, the Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship.

Launched at the 2019 Paris Air Show with Worden and fellow Apollo Astronauts Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7) and Charlie Duke (Apollo 16), the Endeavour scholarship is Kallman’s lead CSR initiative. In communities that host events the organizer represents, the foundation partners with space, industry, and education leaders to select “Mission Teams” of students and educators to represent their countries in an all-expenses paid, week-long, hands-on astronaut training experience at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp in Huntsville, AL.

To date, the program has awarded scholarships to 48 students and 12 educators from eight countries, including three teams from the UAE. Two were led by ICS educator, Rasha Abou Arkoub.

“The Endeavour Scholarship brings STEM learning to life in ways we could not have imagined, and gave us experiences we will never forget,” said Arkoub. “As a lifelong educator, I especially appreciated the instructional design, content, and pace of the Space Camp curriculum. And I loved being an astronaut for a week! The lessons I learned in Huntsville absolutely inform my work at ICS and are reinforced now by seeing Al Worden’s name on our new Innovation Center.”

For information about the Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship, visit


Since 1963, Kallman Worldwide has worked with individuals and organizations in more than 50 nations to advance global trade in STEM-driven industries. The company’s portfolio of international trade shows, event management services, custom stand building and design, global supply chain networking tools, and workforce advocacy programs connects thousands of buyers and suppliers to more opportunities around the world every year. As an international U.S. representative, Kallman is a strategic partner of the U.S. Department of Commerce and a proud recipient of the President’s “E” and “E Star” Awards for its active role in aiding U.S. exporters and in recognition of its export promotion efforts. The company is headquartered in Waldwick, NJ, with U.S. satellite offices in Washington, DC and Houston, TX, a Latin America office in Santiago, Chile, and a bureau in London, UK. For more information, visit


Taylor Kammerman
Media & Communications Specialist
Kallman Worldwide, Inc.