Young scientists given opportunity to shine
David Edward Moore
/ Categories: In the Media

Young scientists given opportunity to shine

Projects developed by young scientific minds from schools across Qatar have been placed in the spotlight through a new national competition organised by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education

A total of 2,127 students, 31% of them Qatari, from 130 schools presented the outcomes of their scientific inquiry and innovative thinking at the National Scientific Research Competition (NSRC), which took place recently with the six winners of its grand awards now preparing to represent Qatar on science’s global stage.

The competition was held as part of the Education Conference and National Scientific Research Week, organised jointly by the Ministry and QNRF under the theme “Pioneering and Creativity”, and attended by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohammed Abdul Wahed Ali al-Hammadi, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, and other dignitaries.

The NSRC grand award-winning projects were developed by: 
* Thajiba al-Hail and Sharifa al-Muhannadi from Al Khor Independent High School
* Ahmad al-Asmar and Fahad al-Mokhlaf from Ibn Taymiyyah Boys Independent Secondary School
* Amany al-Rajhy and Abeer al-Harbi from Qatar Secondary Girls School and Al Kawthar Secondary School for Girls respectively
* Saleh al-Mahazaa and Abdullah al-Sulaiman from Al Shamal Secondary Boys School
* Ahmad El Iwa and Khalifa al-Marri from Ahmed bin Mohammed Secondary Independent Boys School, and
* Sara al-Kaabi from Qatar Al Masrafia High School for Girls.
NSRC aims to enable and inspire students to develop the skills required for scientific discovery and success from a young age, nurture creativity and critical thinking, and enhance Qatar’s human capacity in the field of science and research.

It was formed through merging QF R&D’s Qatar Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math Fair (Qatar STEAM), QNRF’s Secondary School Research Experience Programme, and the Ministry’s Scientific Research Competition.

QF R&D executive vice-president Dr Hamad al-Ibrahim said: “We welcome the fruitful collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and QNRF to promote a culture of scientific research and discovery in Qatar, and build the capabilities of our students and teachers in this field.”
“QNRF’s partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has enabled the development of a national competition that supports our joint vision of spreading a culture of scientific research in all schools across Qatar, allowing our students to build their knowledge and capabilities in this field and develop high-calibre and innovative projects,” said QNRF executive director Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie.

The aspiring scientists’ projects in the fields of computer science and communications systems, biomedicine, animal and plant sciences, math and physics, chemistry and materials, energy, earth and environmental sciences, engineering, and behavioural and social sciences were assessed by a 50-strong panel comprising experts from government, the education and research sectors, and industry, with key criteria including students’ capacity to demonstrate innovation and sound research skills.

The award winners will now go forward to Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Los Angeles in May.

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