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Outstanding Qatari high school students experience engineering at Texas A&M at Qatar

Published Jun 24, 2009

Texas A&M University at Qatar this week continues its mission of educating world-class engineers this week by introducing a new summer enrichment program aimed at reaching outstanding Qatari high school students.

Named for the University’s four engineering programs, Texas A&M at Qatar has implemented the weeklong the EMPC summer program on 21 June. The program aims to familiarize outstanding Qatari high school juniors to the electrical, mechanical, petroleum and chemical engineering programs offered at Texas A&M at Qatar. The goal of the program is to further the understanding of what engineering is, making choosing a major a less daunting task. The program also seeks to encourage students to undertake engineering to contribute and support the changing needs of the State of Qatar.

Mariam Al-Mannai, director of the University’s Office of Student and Community Relations, said the program is an essential part of a new outreach strategy to encourage Qataris to pursue education and careers in engineering and sciences. “There is a gap between the number of engineers needed and the number of engineers available,” she said. “I am working to help fill that gap with talented Qataris.”

Al-Mannai also lauded the companies that sponsored the program: Dohaland, Dolphin Energy, Qatar Petroleum and Oryx-GTL. “On behalf of Texas A&M at Qatar, I would like to thank these companies for their generous support,” she said.

Students participating in the program will be introduced to the Texas A&M at Qatar campus, experiencing students life and activities planned by the Department of Student Affairs. Throughout the week, the high school students will work in groups to solve an engineering project. On the final day of the program, each group will present its final project to a panel of faculty judges. Upon completing the program, students will receive a certificate of completion.

Students participated in presentations by Qatar Petroleum and Oryx-GTL about the need for engineers in Qatar. On Tuesday, the summer program participants, accompanied by Dr. Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M at Qatar, and other members of the faculty, toured facilities of Dolphin Energy. Also, representatives from Dohaland introduced students and faculty to the “Heart of Doha” project, and Katrin Scholz-Barth of SustainableQatar gave a presentation about environment issues.

Forty-three students from Al-Wakra Independent School for Girls, Al-Bayan Secondary Independent School for Girls, Omar Bin Al-Khattab Educational Complex for Boys, Qatar Leadership Academy, Rabaa Secondary School, Qatar Academy, Al Resala Secondary School and The Learning Center will participate in the summer program.

Texas A&M at Qatar continues to provide educational support through means of new learning activities not only for current students, but prospective students as well. The EMPC summer program is an example of Texas A&M at Qatar working toward a better future for Qatar by reaching out to those who want to engineer a world of difference, Weichold said.

“Texas A&M at Qatar has already graduated 100 engineers in the past two years and we're eagerly looking forward to having the next group of students join us," Weichold said. "Summer pre-college enrichment programs are the perfect opportunity to get these future engineering students on campus and experience first hand the exciting things ongoing at Texas A&M at Qatar. I would like nothing better than to see every one of these fine students enroll in our program.”