Hessa al-Shammari, a biology teacher at Roda Bint Mohamed Secondary School for Girls, was named the 2016 Engineering Leaders Stem Educator of the Year by Texas A&M University at Qatar (Tamuq) and Maersk Oil Qatar at a recent ceremony that featured some of Qatar’s top science teachers.
Al-Shammari, who is the first Qatari to be named Stem Educator of the Year, received a cash prize of QR20,000.
The award recognises teaching excellence in math and science, and encourages educators to instruct and inspire students in these subjects in innovative ways.
The competition received a record number of entries in 2016, its third year, and continues its direct efforts to support Qatar’s development of a knowledge-economy through education, according to a statement from Tamuq.
Sheikh Faisal al-Thani, deputy managing director at Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “This award strongly reflects the shared commitment of Maersk Oil Qatar and Texas A&M to support and promote Stem education in Qatar, to build local skills capacity and support development and progress in engineering and science education.”
The award is part of the Dhia: Engineering Leaders partnership between Texas A&M at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar.
Tamuq interim dean Dr Ann Kenimer said: “Texas A&M University at Qatar is proud to be creating the next generation of Stem leaders in Qatar. The teachers we recognise are helping students develop their potential to excel in math and science and to pursue careers in Stem fields.”
The winner, al-Shammari, is described by her colleagues as an ambitious and proven problem solver who works well under pressure, and an energetic and enthusiastic teacher committed to her profession.
She was also praised in particular for her use of technology in the classroom, which al-Shammari said helps motivate her students and increase the effectiveness of her teaching, making biology a more appealing and enjoyable subject to learn.
“I am proud to be the first Qatari to win the competition and would like to extend my gratitude to Texas A&M University and Maersk, and their initiatives to increase the awareness of teaching Stem, which also encourage teachers to be innovative in teaching Stem,” al-Shammari said.
She succeeds Wasan Yousif Muhsin al-Ani, a chemistry teacher at Amna Bint Wahab Secondary School for Girls, who was named the 2015 Engineering Leaders Stem Educator of the Year, and Faiza Hassan Musa, a chemistry teacher at Al Bayan Educational Complex for Girls, who won the inaugural award in 2014.
Other finalists recognised at the ceremony were runners-up Nour Elhouda Tabet from Al Arqam Academy for Girls and Hafsa Taibi from Raba’a Al-Adawiya Secondary Girls’ Independent School.
Honourable mentions went to Manar Ghaloul from Raba’a Al-Adawiya Secondary Girls’ Independent School, Nizar Kilani from Dukhan English School and Magda Al Jabari from Al Maha Academy for Girls.
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