The 5th Intel Science Competition Arab World 2014 opened on Sunday 9 November 2014 at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).

Intel Corporation (Ltd.), the Research and Development Division of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF R&D), and Qatar’s Supreme Education Council, (SEC) have jointly organised the three-day competition aimed at Grade 9 – 12 students. Alongside Intel and SEC, QF R&D’s involvement in the competition stems from its core mission areas of supporting programmes in education, driving the science and research culture in Qatar and furthering learning and knowledge. Head of Research Training at QF R&D, Dr Ayman Bassil, said:

Qatar Foundation is proud to co-host the Intel Science Competition Arab World, as it is more than a competition; it is a valuable educational programme encouraging continued learning and the pursuit of scientific knowledge. We welcome some of the brightest young scientific minds to the competition and we hope the Intel Science Competition Arab World inspires many of the students participating towards promising careers in science. Qatar Foundation plays a crucial role in contributing to human development locally, regionally, and internationally, and this competition is firmly in line with this role.’

More than 100 students are participating from nine countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Students qualified for the pan-Arab Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) competition by winning their home country’s science competitive heats. This week’s event, being hosted in Qatar for the first time, provides students with the opportunity to compete on an international stage.

The Intel Science Competition Arab World began with an opening ceremony, with speeches from representatives of the co-organisers represented by Dr Wyatt Hume, Executive Director of Education, Training and Development at Qatar Foundation; Taha Khalifa, Intel General Manager for the MENA region, and Rabea Mohammed Al Kaabi, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar. Khalifa said:

Young people in the Arab region have high potential to enable them to compete on a global level, as we have witnessed over the past few years. With sufficient training, these students will have the opportunity to contribute positively to the development of society and the growth of the economy. We look forward to a successful competition with results that can enable our students to be the next generation of innovators.’

Director of the Education Institute, Supreme Education Council, Fawziya Abdulaziz Al Khater, said:

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects are key subjects for students in the MENA region, as they equip students with the skills needed to contribute towards an Arab future based on knowledge, innovation and scientific research…the Intel Science Competition Arab World is an outstanding competition as it not only encourages students to study the key science subjects at school, but to continue with these subjects at the university level and beyond.’

Head Judge Dr Khalid Al Subai Scientific Director, Special Projects, at Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute (QEERI), announced the rules of the competition and the criteria for judging. The opening ceremony ended with an inspirational talk given by keynote speaker Dr Hamad Al Ibrahim, Director of Planning and Strategic Initiatives at Qatar Foundation.

The objectives of the Intel Science Competition Arab World are to empower Arab students with skills and greater proficiency in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects, and to raise confidence and experience in these subjects in the Arabic language. Longer-term, the Intel Science Competition Arab World hopes to inspire students to pursue a career in science and contribute to supporting knowledge-based economies in the students’ home countries.

The students have now installed a total of 58 science projects in QNCC, and over the next three days, will be presenting their projects to Qatari and international judges. The students’ projects are also on public display from 9 am to 12 pm (noon) on Tuesday, the last day of the competition.

The science projects are entered into six diverse categories, including: Energy and Transportation; Engineering; Mathematical and Computer Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Health Sciences; and Social Sciences. Prizes will be awarded at a closing ceremony, with a grand award for the overall winning project.

Although the Intel Science Competition Arab World is primarily a contest promoting healthy competition, it also encourages cultural exchange and social interaction. Visiting students had the opportunity to become acquainted with Qatari culture during a visit to Katara Cultural Village. Students networked during the welcome dinner and were invited to wear their national dress to represent their home countries.

For more information about the 5th Intel Science Competition Arab World 2014, visit the website.