The stakes were high in the penultimate episode of Stars of Science Season 11, as the final four contestants in the edutainment TV show of Qatar Foundation were determined to earn top marks from the jury in the last elimination round and secure their place in the Grand Final.
In this week’s Prototype Testing episode, there was no margin for error for Nuha Abu Yousef, Abdulrahman Salah Khamis, Youssef El Azouzi, and Husam Sameer as the jury demanded that they met higher standards than ever before. Their products underwent vital user testing to demonstrate that they had addressed consumer needs in their design, the last step before deeming them viable for the market.
User testing is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, according to Dr Khalid Al Ali, Stars of Science jury member.
Our contestants may have spent weeks pushing their technical expertise to the limit when designing, constructing and building their prototypes, but all this work will count for nothing if consumers aren’t able to actually use the product.’
He said they want to make sure that the amazing ideas on Stars of Science are not only realised, but also have the potential for worldwide impact.
Nuha confidently assured the jury that the customisation app connected to her Active Lazy Eyelid Sticker – designed to stimulate the eyelid in patients with afflicted facial muscles – would reap successful results by the Grand Final. Accepting the jury’s feedback, Abdulrahman stated that constructive criticism is exactly what he needed in order to properly develop his Interactive Educational Prayer Carpet for the consumer market. Meanwhile, Youssef emphasised that his Flow Modulator Stent would eliminate maintainance costs of current treatments, and save congestive heart failure patients thousands of dollars in the long term.
In the end, viewers bid farewell to Husam and his Efficient Comfort Concrete Panel. He felt the heat this weekend as his invention struggled to replicate the same impressive results as the week prior. While he had to leave the competition, he was grateful for the chance to turn his idea into a reality and remained committed to developing it further.
For the remaining finalists, I wish them all the best in the Grand Final. I encourage all Arab innovators to not forget the child within them and pursue their dreams with optimism.
Walid Albanna, winner of Stars of Science Season 10, co-hosted the episode alongside longtime host Khalid Al Jumaily and leaped to the defence of the innovators at times throughout their evaluations, sympathising with them as a former contestant. He also encouraged them to treasure their experience and the people around them.
My greatest memory was mingling with fellow innovators in a unique environment. I still remember all the moments we had backstage during our time, and I consider them some of my closest friends to date.’
Nuha, Abdulrahman, and Youssef will proceed to the live Grand Final, where they will finalise their products for the market and determine their final share of the US$600,000 seed fund. Voters will play a huge role, as they will help determine the winner of Stars of Science Season 11 in the next and concluding episode – and shape the future of innovation in the region.
Online voting is now open on starsofscience.com. It ends on Wednesday, 6 November at 3 pm (Qatar)/12 pm (GMT).