Sanea Bus, a new initiative that is expected to “enrich the making and discovery culture” in Qatar, has been launched.
The bus, which is described as a ‘mobile fab lab’, contains 3D printers, milling machines, electronic kits and other tools used in the prototyping and fabrication process. It will provide interactive maker-oriented educational sessions to visitors in public areas and schools, according to a press statement.
Sanea Bus was launched by IbTECHar Digital Solutions in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Qatar Scientific Club (QSC), and under the sponsorship of Occidental Petroleum of Qatar (Oxy Qatar) and Qatar Development Bank (QDB).
The bus project falls under the Sanea initiative and aims to “expose the community to the maker’s philosophy by bringing the ‘fab lab’ to them”, the statement notes.
Fawzia al-Khater, Assistant Undersecretary of Educational Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, said Sanea Bus is a “meaningful and purposeful beginning supporting the new direction of the ministry, which significantly encourages project-based education”. It will help discover the talents of students and give them a chance to innovate and create values in their society.
Hareb al-Jabri, CEO of QSC, said: “It was always necessary to have a mobile lab that can be used in different places to contribute to spreading the culture of making and discovery and provide the appropriate environment to execute the creative ideas of youth.
“By having Sanea Bus, it becomes easy to organise workshops and transfer it to schools and youth clubs and create an inspirational environment for creativity and innovation.”
A ‘fab lab’– or fabrication laboratory – is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication, according to information available online. A ‘mobile fab lab’ is a computer-controlled design and machining ‘fab lab’ housed in a trailer or bus.
Andrew H Kershaw, president and general manager of Oxy Qatar, noted: “We are expecting that this mobile workshop will take students through an enriching purposeful journey of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts. Oxy Qatar is proud to be a sponsor of this Qatari educational technology startup that will provide a great opportunity for visitors to discover first-hand the journey of design, creativity and production.”
Ibrahim al-Mannai, executive director of Advisory Services at QDB, added: “Our sponsorship for ibTECHar’s Sanea Bus is a continuation of our vision to spread the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation between students. The bus provides students with easy, mobile access to the latest technological devices that they may use as a tool to learn and bring their ideas to us. We are confident that Sanea Bus will achieve its goal and create a change in the society.”
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