Qatar University’s (QU) Al-Bairaq program, which is a non-traditional educational project, in which students from local schools work in teams with highly exquisite university-level scientists, have extended their program to include students in the elementary and preparatory level.
Al-Bairaq recently started activities and workshops for their “I am Discovering Materials” track for the fifth cycle of the primary and fourth preparatory cycle, continuing their efforts to enrich Qatari youth and the young generation, thereby allowing them to qualify in playing vital, leadership roles for their futures and the country’s future, as they play a crucial role in achieving Qatar National Vision 2030.
The “I am Discovering Materials” track is one of the most active and attractive tracks for students and schools, as it provides exceptional learning experience based on creativity and innovation, given by specialists in the field. The track includes 15 primary and preparatory schools including English and public schools, within and outside Doha. For this program, the number of schools wishing to participate from the primary and preparatory stages exceeded 50 schools.
The “I am Discovering Materials” track aims to provide students with the opportunity to engage in scientific research, inspire their curiosity and encourage them to study science and engineering in innovative ways. The program also prepares students for university and coaches them to be researchers and engineers of the future.
The students take part in an intensive scientific workshop that covers a field of materials science, such as solar cells, concrete, composite materials and food packaging. They also learn new concepts through experimentation and teamwork and are taught through their school laboratories, activities run by the Al-Bairaq team.
Al-Bairaq is keen to use the latest learning tools such as STEAM Education, which combines science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics into an integrated learning curriculum. The program also employs Inquiry Based Learning which is a form of active learning that begins by asking questions, problems or scenarios rather than simply presenting facts, depictions, or narratives of a limited path of knowledge.
Al-Bairaq participants learn many skills such as research skills, laboratory work, critical thinking and problem solving. They are also given the opportunity to create scientific posters, which includes the idea of the new project, innovation, or practical application that benefits industry, the environment, or the community.
The students’ journey will conclude with a conference for innovative learning and education, which will take place at QU in March. The conference will showcase student’s posters and allows them to present their ideas to a diverse panel of judges represented by significant Qatari and international companies. The most innovative posters and projects will be honored to motivate students to continue in the path of excellence.
Dr. Noora Jabor Al Thani, President of Al-Bairaq Program and Head of Outreach and Communications in the Research and Graduate Studies Office at QU, expressed her pride and happiness in the achievements of Al-Bairaq students each year in the various tracks. She also expressed the importance of supporting the students and encouraging them to develop and expand their potential for the renaissance and development of the country. Dr. Noora also thanks the partners of Al-Bairaq, UNESCO, the Doha Office, the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science, as well as the efforts of all university professors, researchers, assistants, and members of Al-Bairaq team.