Qatar Foundation’s Summer Activities Empower High School Students to Explore Career Options
Education and community development are central to Qatar Foundation’s (QF) ethos; they are the driving force behind building a passionate, engaged, and empowered society that strives to further the development of the nation. As part of this dedication, QF hosts a series of exciting and educational summer activities designed to inspire high-school students with a sense of discovery and self-belief in their future academic and career opportunities.
From creative art projects to practical research internships, hands-on medical experience to writing news articles; QF oversees a diverse range of educational summer activities across its various centres and partner universities, reflecting a wider year-round programme of community engagement and education.
Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, President of Community Development, QF, commented:
Many of our comprehensive summer programmes focus on young students considering university and on those wanting to explore their creative talents and future careers. These summer programmes prove immensely popular every year and are an integral part of the world-class learning environment provided by Qatar Foundation.’
Al Qahtani added:
The education journey these young people are embarking upon is fostered at QF as the vital next phase of their personal growth and development. At every stage, our students are immersed in a culture of learning that nurtures their creativity and innovation, prioritises the development of research skills, and prepares them not only for university, but also to become the future leaders of Qatar.’
Students taking part in this year’s summer internship programmes at Hamad bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) three research institutes were given the opportunity to learn directly from industry specialists and work on innovative research projects.
Chosen students were immersed in eight-week summer internships at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI); each organisation has been specifically designed to build national research capacity and attract young people to the sciences.
HBKU interns gained practical laboratory research experience under the supervision of distinguished QBRI scientists and were able to select projects to work on in the areas of diabetes, cancer, stem cell research, and neurological disorders. At QCRI, interns worked on research, and developed projects in the areas of Arabic language technologies, data analytics, social computing, cyber security, distributed systems, and computational science and engineering. Six students participated in this year’s QEERI summer internship programme and learned about the organisation’s work on the country’s energy and water security grand challenges.
Dr Eman Fituri, QCRI’s Director of Educational Initiatives, said:
The programme provides students the opportunity to work closely with our world-class scientists and software developers. It was designed to support the best computer scientists and engineers of tomorrow.’
Students attending the Summer Engineering Academy at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) were introduced to advanced topics in engineering and science while also learning important problem-solving skills. The academy is an elite 10-day STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – enrichment programme, organised and hosted by TAMUQ and Maersk Oil Qatar. A total of 24 academically outstanding Qatari students, named Qatar National Vision Scholars, worked with faculty members on hands-on research projects related to Qatar’s research challenges in autonomous vehicles, petroleum production, water desalination and wireless energy.
TAMUQ also ran the Future Engineers Program, in which more than 30 Qatari students worked on projects related to space, including the design of a near-space weather balloon that was launched from the Texas A&M Engineering Building on 27 June.
Nasser Al Thani, a student on the Future Engineers Program, said:
I feel privileged to get the chance to experience and feel the spirit of being a student at Texas A&M at Qatar, and as an engineer specifically. I’m excited to know more about the majors in engineering and what they provide, and about the workspace available.’
At Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), young media enthusiasts received an introduction to the world of journalism on the Summer Media Program. The two-week course offered 25 high school students valuable first-hand exposure to the inner workings of media and communication fields using popular digital platforms. The course, now in its seventh year, introduced students to the basics of journalism, including how to conduct interviews, capture high-quality images, craft educational infographics, create content, and speak publicly.
Students attending Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar’s (VCUQatar) series of summer art-camps were given the opportunity to explore their creative side and get to grips with different art and design techniques. The QF partner universities held one and two week programmes for students aged 14+ and 16+ including ‘Fashion Illustration’ and ‘Fashion Design Portfolio’ courses, where aspiring designers were introduced to different fashion illustration styles and shown how to create a basic portfolio of fashion design work. The ‘Arts Intensive’ and ‘Design Intensive’ programmes for students aged 16+ allowed students to participate in creative artistic exercises and to gain confidence with a range of art materials and design skills.
A select number of high-school students who hope to become young doctors got a taste of college life on the Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) Summer Enrichment Program. Students with a good foundation in biological sciences and an interest in pursuing a career in medicine got first-hand, on-campus experience and the opportunity to mimic current WCM-Q students’ programmes of study as part of the two-week hands-on course.
Moreover, bright young scholars and university hopefuls got the opportunity to put their academic skills and abilities to the test at the Summer College Preview Program (SCPP) at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q). This year, nearly 60 students, almost half of whom were Qatari, participated in the fast-paced, three-week course, experiencing college level math and writing, as well an exciting hands-on project in a chosen area of interest: Business Administration, Computer Science, or Information Systems. On the programme, students learned how to set goals, take notes in a lecture setting, how to manage their time effectively and become a more competitive candidate in the college admissions process.
Finally, 30 high-school students, aged 15– 18, on the Georgetown Pre-College Summer Programme (GPS) got first-hand experience of all that’s involved in university life and the admissions process. The Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (GU-Q) pre-college initiative features three-weeks of full-time classes taught in an English-speaking, coeducational setting where students gain valuable experience developing and practicing the academic and personal skills necessary for university-level success. The programme provides local students with the skills and resources necessary to succeed and join a university community. Students receive daily instruction in English, Math, and SAT prep, as well as an introduction to the Georgetown majors.
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit qf.org.qa.