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School students take part in bridge-building contest
Wael Khedr
/ Categories: In the Media

School students take part in bridge-building contest

Students from 10 Independent schools took part in a competition of designing and building bridges at the Science Challenge programme organised jointly by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and the Supreme Education Council (SEC). The event was held at the Student Centre of the Education City yesterday.

Speaking to Gulf Times, Abdulla al-Kamali, special programmes manager, QNRF, said that it was a pilot programme.

“This year we have opened the competition to 10 schools, and 5 students each from the schools will take part in the competition. The topic for this year’s competition is to design and build a bridge. Next year we will open the competition to all the schools on a different topic.”

“The competition is for the students of grade 9 and it is based on the unit 9 of their science syllabus. They have to plan and execute the designing of a bridge in the competition that lasts for two hours. The projects are judged by a team of 10 judges from different organisations who will decide the winners of the competition.”

He also said that top three of the 10 schools will be awarded prizes. “We had already trained the teachers to develop critical thinking and the same was taught to the students by the teachers. When we visited the schools we could see many models were created by the students.” 

One of the judges,  Dr Othmane Bouhali, director of research computing at Texas A& M University at Qatar, said that the competition had two parts.

“The project is designing a bridge and building it. The participants have been  provided with the materials such as wooden logs, sticks, paper and glue. They have to decide the course of action.”

“We evaluate whether it is a team work or just one person who is doing all the work. We will  see the plan they have developed which will be followed for  the actual construction of the bridge. We will also analyse how they overcome a problem that emerges during the work. It is all about planning , execution and assessment,” he added.

The 10 teams comprise equally of five boys and girls groups. The programme aims to attract middle school students to research and develop science projects through a fun, interactive and educational approach.

It is designed to encourage young students to learn more about research, in addition to creativity and teamwork. By taking part in the Science Challenge, young students will also obtain useful learning tools that can be applied to their work in the future.

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