Today, the annual National Scientific Research Week (NSRW) was launched by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). QNRF is a member of Qatar Foundation (QF) and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education produced this showcase of scientific exploration and innovation at Qatar National Convention Centre.
The annual science festival is a nationwide competition that enhances, develops, and recognises the scientific research skills of preparatory and secondary students in schools across Qatar, and promotes cooperation and competition among students to achieve excellence in scientific research.
Participants will compete across nine different categories in the Scientific Research and Engineering Design Competition, with the top-performing students going on to represent Qatar in prestigious regional and international competitions. This includes the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in the US and the International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX) in Malaysia.
Students will showcase their scientific research projects, focused on local and global challenges, in various categories at the 11th National Scientific Research Exhibition, which is open to the public on the 13 March. Meanwhile, a Science Funfair for students from Grades 1-5 will take place on the 12 March, with the aim of motivating students to study STEM subjects.
The finals of the FameLab competition will be held on the 13 March when the winners of the various competitions will be honoured at a special awards ceremony to mark the conclusion of this year’s edition of the NSRW.
Finals of the Qatar National Scratch Coding Competition and 4th National Physics and Astronomy Olympiad Finals were held today, among other events.
Reema Abu-Khadija, Director of the Curriculum and Learning Resources Department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, explained:
In line with the Second National Development Strategy 2018-2022, the Ministry’s Curriculum and Learning Resources Department will be organising competitions among teachers to foster the research skills of educators, while diversifying student competitions. Engaging research institutions across the country will enable our youth to master research skills and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, thus enabling them to contribute to the development of Qatar.’
The week-long series of competitions and science-related activities received 722 research project submissions from students across schools in Qatar, out of which 150 research projects were selected to compete in the final round. Dr Aisha Al-Obaidly, the Capacity Building Director of QNRF, said:
We are very proud of our partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education’s scientific team, as we seek to promote a culture of scientific research at pre-university education level, particularly across preparatory and secondary schools. This year, we have a special surprise for our elementary school students in the form of a Science Funfair, organized with the help of our partners, to give the students a hands-on experience and motivate them to further develop their talent and learn new concepts and skills.’
Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), committed to make Qatar an international hub for scientific and technological innovation, tech-based entrepreneurship and high-tech businesses, is supporting the NSRW as its main strategic partner. Students will be made aware of the various funding and development opportunities available to those interested in pursuing a career in scientific research and development, through QNRF and its partner organisations.
Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director of QSTP, said:
QSTP is honoured to once again participate in the National Scientific Research Week, a programme that nurtures the creativity and inquisitive minds of our youth and, through hands on experience in science and technology, teaches them to identify and solve global problems.’
As well as being a learning experience for students, the NSRW will enable teachers and staff of local schools to learn from focused workshops presented by experts from the Education Development Institute, part of QF’s Pre-University Education, and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.