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High school students design assist devices in Texas A&M at Qatar online STEM program

Published Oct 04, 2020

High school students in Qatar designed a variety of assist tools that could be used to provide protection against COVID-19 as part of the STEM@Home Creative Fusion 3D modeling online STEM program organized by Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university.

Texas A&M at Qatar’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experts designed the Creative Fusion program to allow high school students to explore the fundamentals of 3D modeling while learning in the comfort and safety of home. More than 300 student participants in grades 9-12 learned the basics of creating, editing and analyzing their 3D designs, as well as the importance of creating 3D models in engineering and understand how 3D printing works as they created their own 3D models.

Program leader Tala Katbeh said, “Everything around us is engineered and starts with a basic engineering design concept. That is why teaching Qatar’s youth about the engineering design process to be used to create 3D models was very rewarding as the students used their creativity and gained skills to learn how to design and construct different objects. Creative Fusion enabled the students to learn how objects, tools, machinery and many other parts and products go from the concept design to a final engineering product.”

The program ended with a challenge in which the participants were tasked to use 3D CAD software to design and model a tool that can be used for protection against COVID-19 and to help them in their daily lives.

First place went to Maryam Shafee who designed a product that enables users to avoid touching surfaces that may be contaminated. Her product has a button clicker on the side that opens a hook for opening doors and hanging bags, a tool for pushing shopping trolleys, a tool for opening rectangular doorknobs, and a tool to hold cups for drinking water. Second place winner was Fadi Hassen, third place went to Ebil Jacob, fourth place went to Areej Mahmoud and in fifth place was Muniba Maqbool Ahmed.

Third-place winner Jacob said the program taught him about 3D modeling and gave him a newfound respect for the design process. “Creative Fusion taught me much of the basics of Fusion 360 software along with some other advanced techniques. I used to want to take up programming as my future profession but after experiencing Fusion 360, it made me feel like diversifying my options. This workshop was very inspiring for future computer engineers.”

Ahmed said the course encouraged her to look at the things around her in a new way. “This course gave me new vision to look at things more carefully. I have learned many marvelous things throughout this course. I will surely take part in upcoming courses and definitely recommend it to others. 

Creative Fusion participant Latifa Alemadi said, “I was interested in the Creative Fusion program because I wanted to learn more about engineering, which will help me decide my future career path. I also wanted to learn new skills that are useful in real life applications. I would encourage students to join such programs as it will help them gain important and useful skills. It also helps improve our creativity as we model the designs based on the shapes in our minds.”

Another student participant, Alreem Alasmakh from Almaha Academy, thanked Texas A&M at Qatar’s STEM team for providing the opportunity to participate in this fun and educational program.This program has given me a chance to challenge myself and learn a new useful skill. Taking part in this program was a fun thing to do during the quarantine and I would definitely love to attend more programs like this and would recommend it to others as well.”

Texas A&M at Qatar dean Dr. César Octavio Malavé said that students interested in engineering should capitalize on opportunities to learn more about 3D modeling, which is a critical component of the engineering process. 

“As engineering and education leaders in Qatar,” Malavé said, “Texas A&M at Qatar is uniquely positioned to be able to offer our expertise to school students to help them continue to learn and grow. I’m proud of each of these students who participated in Creative Fusion and of the tools they designed. They learned a lot on just a few short weeks and I’m excited to see what they design in the future.”