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Engineering Explorers program draws students from across Qatar

Published Nov 26, 2015

Qatari school students traveled from as far as Dukhan this week to participate in the Engineering Explorers academic enrichment program at Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Engineering Explorers is an initiative of the Dhia: Engineering Leaders partnership between Texas A&M at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar. More than 30 students from five schools participated in the three-day program, which caters to Qatari students in grades 7, 8 and 9 to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and math, which are known as STEM disciplines.

Dr. Mark Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M at Qatar, said the program was designed to encourage students’ learning in academic fields essential for Qatar’s growth and prosperity.

“These young students are part of Qatar’s future generation of engineering leaders,” Weichold said. “We are excited to engage them to demonstrate how important engineering and science are for Qatar’s future, and we are grateful to Maersk Oil for its leadership in supporting academic outreach for Qatar’s youth.”

Sheikh Faisal Al-Thani, Deputy Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said Dhia programs such as Engineering Explorers reflected the company’s commitment to developing a high-quality workforce to build Qatar’s knowledge-based economy.

“At Maersk Oil Qatar, we are ambitious and committed to Qatar for generations to come,” Sheikh Faisal remarked. “As one of largest private sector supporters of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in the country, we’re focused on developing the human potential of the country as well as the safe and efficient delivery of more than 40 percent of the country’s oil production from a unique and very complex offshore oil field.”

Sheikh Faisal continued: “Engineering Explorers and other programs within Dhia are leading the way in Qatar in making science and engineering learning fun, and have been experienced by more than 450 Qatari students this year alone. Popularity and demand is growing rapidly, which is a great indication that we are succeeding in our aim to inspire and encourage more students to pursue science and engineering disciplines and provide the next generation of engineers and scientists that Qatar and companies like ours will rely on in the future.”

Patricia Burnham, Qatar Petroleum schools and community counselor, said students who attended Engineering Explorers from QP’s Duhkan English School were impressed by the opportunity to work on an engineering challenge in a university.

“The Engineering Explorers event was inspirational, and TAMUQ staff made learning fun,” Burnham said. “The QP students from Dukhan English School thoroughly enjoyed building their own robots and programming them for competition.”

Prizes were presented to a team from Khalid bin Ahmad Preparatory Independent School for Boys for winning the robotics race, and a team from Khalid Bin Al-Waleed Preparatory Independent School for Boys won prizes for best project teamwork.

School administrators who are interested in participating in science or engineering outreach activities may contact