Young Qatari students expanding science and engineering skills means bright future for QatarPublished Mar 13, 2016
Dhia program sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar driving students towards STEM subjects
DOHA, Qatar — More than 100 Qatari students from schools across Qatar have now participated in experience-based science and engineering challenges so far in 2016 during the Young Engineers and Scientists program at Texas A&M University at Qatar. The latest round of interactive workshops took place at the branch campus last week and featured AlBayan and Omar Bin Al Khattab and many other primary independent schools.
Young Engineers and Scientists is a component of the Dhia: Engineering Leaders strategic partnership with Maersk Oil Qatar. The program caters to Qataris in grades 5–6 and teaches engineering concepts through experimentation and problem-based learning that challenge students to apply science and math to real-world problems.
Dr. Ann Kenimer, interim dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said the program was an essential element of efforts for developing young Qataris on STEM education pathways that meet Qatar’s long-term development goals.
“Through our strategic partnership with Maersk Oil Qatar we are motivating young Qatari students toward enthusiastic learning in science and engineering,” Kenimer said. “These young people are tomorrow’s engineering leaders, and they will help build Qatar’s knowledge-based economy.”
Dhia outreach initiatives engage hundreds of students per year through sophisticated educational enrichment programs in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math.
Lewis Affleck, managing director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said the company is supporting educational initiatives that contribute to the sustainable development of a highly skilled workforce in Qatar for generations to come.
“Maersk Oil Qatar is investing widely in science and engineering education to support the Qatar National Vision 2030, and to ensure Qatar has the graduates it needs to secure its continuing prosperity,” he said. “Through programs such as Young Engineers and Scientists, part of the broader Dhia program, we are focusing squarely on areas we can make tangible, lasting differences to Qatar and its people.”
Kylie Gunn, a teacher at Qatar Petroleum's Dukhan English School, said she was grateful for the opportunity to bring students into the university for such a unique learning opportunity.
"This was a thoroughly enjoyable and valuable experience for the children," she said. "It was well organized with practical, hands-on activities that enthused the children and ignited their curiosity and imagination to solve problems collaboratively."
Jowaher Al-Marri, coordinator of STEM outreach programs at Texas A&M at Qatar, said activities for Young Engineers and Scientists were designed to inspire students toward learning as they experience how science is applied through engineering.
“We understand from research that students develop their attitudes toward math and science at a young age,” she said. “Our hope is to spark students’ interest early and then to work to ensure that they are prepared for university studies in engineering and science. Qatar needs technical expertise, and our young Qatari students are the greatest source for that in the years to come.”
School administrators who are interested in participating in science or engineering outreach activities may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.