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High school students explore robotics concepts in QF partner Texas A&M at Qatar’s Future Engineers Program

Published Aug 24, 2022

More than 30 high school students participated in the Future Engineers program that was organized by Texas A&M University at Qatar, A Qatar Foundation partner university.

Future Engineers introduced students to engineering elements in freight transportation, the fundamentals of robotics, 3D CAD design, and basic programming. The participants spent an immersive week designing and building a focused engineering project based on this year’s theme: robotics and transportation. Throughout the program, students learned about mechanical design, radio-controlled systems and taking experimental measurements.

Benjamin Cieslinski, STEM laboratory manager at Texas A&M at Qatar said, “The Future Engineers Program encourages students to think out of the box, and to build robots from scratch. Our participants had to assess the gaps in the freight transportation industry and then address those with their novel creations. The workshop also showcases how engineering is not just about building something, but about addressing real-world concerns. During our summer programs at Texas A&M at Qatar, we want to show students that engineering can also be enjoyable, while building solutions to challenges we are facing – not just in Qatar, but on a global scale.

At the end of the program, the students competed in teams to design, build, program, and test an advanced robot that can transport freight between various shipping locations. Using state-of-the-art components and engineering materials, participants were able to build a robot to complete the assigned mission. They also presented and defended their designs to a panel of robotics experts.

Dawud Baker-Markar, a student of the Gulf English School, said, “I am glad to have participated in the Future Engineers program organized by Texas A&M at Qatar. We learned to convert a few metal pieces and nuts and bolts into a functioning robot. And to see it come together has been very exciting and informative. This workshop has been a lot of fun, and we have learned a lot about engineering too.

The program aims to encourage the youth and increase their passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

12th grader Meenakshi Ram said that participating in Future Engineers was a productive experience.

“When I joined the program, I — like the rest of my team — had no experience in robotics,” Ram said. “I still can’t believe that we managed to build, code and customize a robot in just one week. The approach to the sessions were quite refreshing and engaging. Apart from just being about robotics, the program also highlighted what engineering is and what engineers do on a day-to-day basis. This perspective reaffirmed my own decision to get into engineering.”