Texas A&M University at Qatar (Tamuq) hosted 70 student participants for two weeklong workshops on 3-D printing technology as part of the Teach for Qatar initiative, a partner of Qatar Foundation.
The camps, which concluded earlier this month, aimed to introduce the students — aged 10 to 14 — to the world of 3-D printing, including how 3-D printers function, the different types of 3-D printing technologies, and the Autodesk 123D design 3-D modelling software.
Students were asked to apply Boolean operations to 3-D objects, create shapes using Autodesk 123D design software and model various parts of LEGO blocks. Building the LEGO parts was the most intensive day as the students were asked to use the LEGO parts in a competition that challenged them to use their 3-D printed LEGO parts to build a bridge.
A basic bridge design was given and students were divided into small groups to work together on building their own bridges. The winning team was the one that created the most durable bridge.
The summer camps are part of Tamuq’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach initiatives to prepare young students for future studies in STEM topics, which are critical to Qatar’s future success.
Ziyad Shafik, the camps’ chief facilitator and a postdoctoral research associate at Tamuq noted that the whole point of STEM is to encourage students to become engineers.
“Not all of them are exposed to engineering so they do not really know if they would be interested in it. Here, we are giving them a chance to be involved in scientific activities that are different from what they do in school. In school, it is much more theoretical but we bring them here to get them involved in hands-on activities that are more related to real-life engineering experiences.”
An important partner to Qatar Foundation, Teach for Qatar is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to reaching the goals set by the Qatar National Vision 2030.
The principle aim is to help solve some of the challenges that Qatari students face and give them more confidence in their educational pursuits. Teach for Qatar is the most recent member of the 32 members in the global “Teach For All” network.
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