Four inventors on Qatar Foundation’s edutainment show, Stars of Science, set themselves apart this season, overcoming challenges posed by COVID-19 and earning their places in the grand finale. 

In this week’s prototype testing episode, finalists Ahmed Fathalla, Eiman Al Hamad, Mohammad Almogahwi, Sarah Aboerjaib, and Wadah Malaeb took to the stage to prove that their projects met consumer needs, conducting user testing on their inventions.

Stars of Science  long-time host Khalid Al Jumaily
Stars of Science long-time host Khalid Al Jumaily

Stars of Science’s long-time host Khalid Al Jumaily said the talented Arab innovators overcame incredible odds to reach this point in Season 12 – conceiving and constructing their inventions under challenging circumstances and eyes, of a watchful jury.

He said that everyone on the show, from the contestants to the experts and jury, showed perseverance and an unyielding dedication to scientific excellence.

Stars of Science upholds a tradition of technological discovery and innovative thinking in the Arab region, and this season is no different.

Two of the contestants excelled during prototype testing. Wadah made great progress on his Ductal Organoid-on-a-Chip, pitching his idea to experts and potential users to gain validation of his product, while Eiman’s Arabic Conversation Fraud Detection programme impressed experts as they praised its huge scale and ambition.

Wadah Malaeb with his Ductal Organoid-on-a-Chip prototype
Wadah Malaeb with his Ductal Organoid-on-a-Chip prototype
Eiman Al Hamad, with her Arabic Conversation Fraud Detection programme prototype
Eiman Al Hamad, with her Arabic Conversation Fraud Detection programme prototype

However, Mohammad’s Automated Hands-free Toothbrush made users uncomfortable during testing, because of its large size and the excessive amount of water used. Ahmed’s Educational Platform using Electronic Cubes engaged one young user, but occasionally failed to register some of the child’s behaviours, and the data presented was unclear.

But it was Sarah who was ultimately sent home. Her Fractured Bone Optical Scanner failed to show convincing results, and the jury criticised the lack of comprehensive testing and deemed the project unproven. Despite being voted out, the Kuwaiti remained confident in her project, pledging to continue its development in the future.

My departure from the show does not imply that my idea was a failure, it just simply didn’t fit the criteria of the jury.

Mohammed Al Jefairi, a top four finalist from Season 9, assumed the role of co-host alongside Khalid Al Jumaily.

Founder and CEO of Creativity Qatar, an incubation centre for young Qatari innovators, Al Jefairi was especially proud to see an alumna of the centre, Eiman, reach this advanced stage of the competition. He also told contestants that Stars of Science is only the beginning of their innovation journeys and that they must take advantage of the show’s alumni network in the future.

Ahmed, Eiman, Mohammad, and Wadah will make the case for their inventions in the Grand Finale which will air on Friday, 6 November, showing off their market readiness and determining their final share of the US$600,000 seed fund. Online viewers will also help determine the winner, as their votes count for 50% of the final score.

Online voting is open via starsofscience.com until Thursday, 5 November, 6 pm.