Tribune News Network
MORE than 25 students from middle schools and high schools across Qatar brought their inner inventors to life through a weeklong engineering camp designed to encourage innovative solutions to real-world challenges in Qatar.
Qatar Invents, an intensive engineering invention and design experience, engaged students in hands-on projects that pushed their innovation, creativity and communication skills. Students developed their own novel solutions to engineering challenges in energy, environment and healthcare, and then built prototypes to demonstrate their inventions. The programme was designed to motivate students in science and engineering while teaching skills essential to becoming leaders in engineering and innovation.
Participant Saud Abukishk said he learned a lot from the programme, such as communicating as a team and what engineers do. “I used to think that engineering and science were boring until I joined this programme and was taught that the world needs engineers. This has had a huge impact on me, teaching me about what engineers do, and inspired me to be a successful scientist or engineer.”
Abdallah El Zamli echoed the same view, saying, “The programme teaches students how to think out of the box and how to brainstorm. In addition, the programme is a lot of fun.”
Qatar Invents was presented by Texas A&M at Qatar (Tamuq) and sponsored by Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Ltd (Oxy Qatar). Occidental has joined the branch campus’s strategic educational outreach efforts that aim to motivate young Qataris to choose educational pathways for careers in fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The initiative supports both teachers and students through a broad portfolio of programmes and workshops.
Andrew H Kershaw, president and general manager of Oxy Qatar, said: “Oxy Qatar looks forward to working with the dean and with Texas A&M University at Qatar to advance the goals of STEM. The university’s expertise is an enormous resource in the campaign’s efforts to teach young people about STEM through practical and interactive sessions.”
Some of the inventors, including Afsha Shaikh, have previously participated in Tamuq’s programmes. Afsha said, “The programme has always been an enriching experience here in Texas A&M at Qatar. Being here has helped me narrow down my options of studies in university. Engineering it is!”
Dr César O Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said outreach programmes such as Qatar Invents help young students understand the importance of engineering in Qatar. “Engineers have helped propel Qatar to be a world leader in energy,” Malavé said. “Engineers and inventors are needed in Qatar to meet the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030, and each of these student inventors participating in this camp has the potential to be a future innovation leader in Qatar.”