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Texas A&M at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar host first STEM program Exclusively for young Qataris in Education City

Published Feb 17, 2014

Forty-six grade 8 and 9 students from Qatar’s independent middle schools are participating in the first Texas A&M University at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar Engineering Explorers STEM — science, technology, engineering and math development program at the University’s Engineering Building in Education City.

The University designed the program to familiarize young students with the different engineering disciplines offered at Texas A&M at Qatar. The program entails science activities, hands-on engineering projects and contests to challenge students’ math and science skills. Of the 46 participants, 20 are female and 26 are male.

The University’s STEM development programs teach basic principles of science and engineering, but more importantly they are designed to stimulate students’ interest in pursuing engineering studies, said Dr. Hamid Parsaei, associate dean for academic affairs at Texas A&M at Qatar.

“Engineering Explorers teaches young students that Qatar’s growth and development require talented engineers,” Parsaei said. “We hope to inspire them to develop the skills they will need to help build their country’s future.”

Students will learn about science concepts, design, teamwork and creativity through interactive activities conducted in Texas A&M at Qatar’s state-of-the-art labs.

Sheikh Faisal Bin Fahad Al-Thani, deputy managing director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said, “Maersk Oil Qatar recognizes the importance of nurturing and developing interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which is why we are delighted to work with Texas A&M University at Qatar on the Engineering Explorers STEM Development Program. Through initiatives such as this we are working to attract more young Qataris into the sciences, and inspire the next generation to follow a technical educational track that can lead to successful and rewarding careers in industries like oil and gas.”

"This is the first time such a program as Engineering Explorers has been delivered in Education City for middle schools, and its unique format means that the students get to experience a broad range of engineering disciplines in a fun and practical way. We hope the students enjoy the course and take away new knowledge and skills that will inspire a lifetime’s passion for the sciences."

The first two days of the program will focus on a range of engaging activities about science and engineering and involve teamwork to learn design and construction problem solving. These activities and projects aim to develop the students’ analytical thinking and teamwork skills, which will be beneficial as they pursue undergraduate studies and eventually careers in science and engineering.

During the last day of the program, all students will participate in a contest to enhance their inquiry and intellectual skills. The students will work in groups to design and construct a container or parachute that could keep a raw egg from cracking when dropped from ever-increasing heights. The goal of this activity is to measure the students’ problem solving abilities through trial and error, and to enrich their scientific knowledge.

Throughout this competition, students will be able to explore the different materials available and learn how to apply concepts of science such as momentum, impulse, force and energy.

In line with Qatar National Vision 2030, Texas A&M University at Qatar continues to host STEM development programs such as Engineering Explorers to help promote engineering as a field of study by inspiring prospective students to contribute Qatar’s fast growing economy and its national vision.