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Texas A&M at Qatar delivers professional development workshop for Qatar Academy teachers

Published Oct 18, 2020

STEM experts at Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, sponsored and hosted a virtual Teacher Professional Development Workshop for Qatar Academy teachers provided through LEGO Education Academy.

The workshop, LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3: Learning Through Play at School, is a hands-on, cross-curricular STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) solution that combines LEGO Technic elements, classroom-friendly software and standards-aligned lessons to spark creative confidence and critical thinking. This program tackles subjects such as engineering, coding and physics with intuitive guides and smart bricks, and puts real-life STEM topics right at participants’ fingertips.

The workshop topics emphasized hands-on training and LEGO Education Academy learning approaches, including “Learning through Play,” “Holistic Approach to Learning” and “Characteristics of Play.”

The workshop was conducted by Dr. Mohamed Gharib, STEM expert in the Office of Engagement and Certified Teacher Trainer by LEGO Education Academy. Gharib conducted two workshops for 14 teachers from Qatar Academy Doha, Qatar Academy Al Wakra, Qatar Academy Al Khor, Awsaj Academy, and Qatar Academy for Science and Technology.

Lauren Marcos, Gifted Education Coordinator with Qatar Foundation Schools, said, “The EV3 training was very fun and informative! As someone brand new to the world of robotics, it was a lot to learn, and Dr. Mohamed was very patient with our group of teachers who were mostly new to EV3. I can see this being a valuable tool in many classrooms and I am sure the students love it!”

The Lego Education workshop introduced teachers to several new strategies and curriculum ideas for teaching Lego Robotics, said Nicole Scott from Qatar Academy Doha. “I particularly enjoyed the interactive and 'hands on' nature of the workshop. Mohamed's knowledge and experience with problem solving of minor complications on the iPads and robot controllers allowed the workshop to run seamlessly. I came away from the workshop ready to teach my new grade 7's the intricacies of building and coding successful Lego robots.” 

From preschool to middle school and beyond, LEGO Education provides a continuum of hands-on, playful learning tools that engage every student’s natural curiosity and helps students develop the skills and confidence they’ll need in the future to pursue careers in STEM.

Sherri Long, a teacher at Qatar Academy Doha, said the program was both timely and enriching. “I learned how to effectively implement creative, hands-on learning while utilizing LEGO’s Mindstorms Education EV3 Classroom curriculum and pedagogy,” Long said. “I look forward to inspiring my students to construct and innovate with confidence as they explore the amazing lessons offered through the extensive online resources.”

Dr. César Octavio Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said helping school teachers develop their own skills fits into the university’s mission of being an essential partner to the State of Qatar.

“As engineering educators,” Malavé said, “we believe in developing human capacity in STEM in Qatar. We at Texas A&M at Qatar are privileged to be able to help teachers in Qatar enhance their skills in the classroom as we work together to drive students toward careers in science and engineering.”