Texas A&M at Qatar engineering camp encourages innovation by school studentsPublished Jan 29, 2018
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 health care, and then they built prototypes to demonstrate their inventions. The program 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 program, such as communicating as a team and what engineers do. “I used to think that engineering and science were boring until I joined this program 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 very successful scientist or engineer.”
Abdallah El Zamli agreed and said, “The program is quite helpful. I spent about a year searching for answers for questions concerning engineers and scientists, and I finally found the answer. The program teaches students how to think out of the box and how to brain storm. In addition, the program is a lot of fun.”
Qatar Invents was presented by Texas A&M at Qatar 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 programs and workshops.
Mr. Andrew H. Kershaw, President and General Manager of Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Ltd., commented: “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. Learning to question, to ask why, how, what and to explore is crucial to establishing a solid understanding — and this partnership will help increase awareness about science, technology, math as well as engineering issues. Oxy Qatar is honored to be a part of STEM at Texas A&M University at Qatar.”
Some of the inventors have previously participated in Texas A&M at Qatar’s STEM programs, including Afsha Shaikh. She said, “The program has been impactful in the past few days. It 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 programs 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. “Qatar Invents, and programs like it, shows students how engineers can help solve problems people face every day. 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. I hope they have learned a lot and enjoyed their time with us, and I hope they enroll in our engineering programs and pursue careers in engineering.”