* Education minister inaugurates 11th edition of the National Scientific Research Week

The Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), on Tuesday hosted the opening ceremony of the 11th edition of the National Scientific Research Week (NSRW), under the theme 'Promising Researchers for Qatar.

HE Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed Ali al-Hammadi, attended the opening ceremony at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) and officially launched NSRW 2019.

HE al-Hammadi said the exhibition enables students to acquire scientific skills and ethics.

Praising the valuable and fruitful partnership with QNRF, HE al-Hammadi said: "The promotion of scientific research is a strategic objective of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, in line with our mission to strengthen the human development pillar and achieve the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030, particularly in the wake of the development of new curricula under the framework of Qatar's national educational curriculum, which focuses on building 21st century skills such as research, problem-solving, critical thinking, and effective communication skills, in addition to language skills and mathematical competencies, which are important when it comes to scientific research methodologies."

HE al-Hammadi being briefed on a student’s project at the exhibition

HE al-Hammadi praised schools for participating in the exhibition and commended students for putting forward high-quality research projects in the computing, biomedicine, mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering fields.

"These efforts reflect growing student awareness and contribute to advancing Qatar's development priorities," he said.

HE al-Hammadi thanked school principals, teachers, co-ordinators, research evaluators, students, and QNRF for their contribution, while inviting institutions and companies to visit the exhibition to gain insight into leading scientific student initiatives.

He called on participants to invest in these initiatives to bolster innovation and entrepreneurship in order to support Qatar's knowledge-based economy.

Speaking on the occasion, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Dr Ibrahim bin Saleh al-Nuaimi, praised students for delivering high-quality and diverse research projects.

He said that the NSRW is an inspiring academic and educational initiative aimed at enhancing and celebrating the research skills of students, promoting a spirit of co-operation and competition, achieving excellence in scientific research, and empowering young scientists to participate in regional and international competitions.

He added that the initiative also strengthens partnerships with national research institutions through the exchange of expertise and best practices, empowering a promising generation of scientists who will, in turn, share their knowledge with productive and service sectors in Qatar.

Dr al-Nuaimi also said that the quality of research projects displayed at the NSRQ reflects the strength of the educational competencies that Qatari students have acquired, due to the sound strategies adopted by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

These include the promotion of project-based learning, school clubs, and curricula development, which contributes to building research capacity across Qatar.

He explained that the Ministry of Education and Higher Education seeks to empower students at a cultural, economic, and social level, and to encourage youth to employ their scientific knowledge and research outcomes in benefiting society and Qatar's sustainable development.

"The student exhibition has gained importance and its outcomes have attracted increasing attention from various educational partners," he said.

"By presenting their ideas and research outcomes, and discussing these projects in line with best practices in scientific research, students are promoting the exchange of research expertise as well as innovation and creativity in the educational field."

"The exhibition is also an educational investment aimed at building our human capital at different stages and achieving the Ministry's vision in terms of developing a world-class education system that provides equitable opportunities to access quality education and training, while equipping students with the necessary skills and competencies to achieve their potential in line with their aspirations and potential."

Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie, Executive Director, QNRF, said: "Since its establishment, QNRF has strived to instill a culture of scientific research in Qatar, from a young age, to equip youth with the necessary research skills and prepare them to contribute to the economic prosperity and development of this country.

Qatar has emerged as a pioneer in recognising and developing the potential of its students by building their scientific research skills through the various competitions and activities in the National Scientific Research Week.

"I am very impressed with the quality of the projects our budding scientists and researchers have created, which demonstrate their creative potential and innovative capabilities.

QNRF firmly believes that such initiatives will encourage more students to study STEM-based subjects and pursue scientific research, innovation, and discovery."

To develop a passion for science and technology at an early stage, QNRF organised on 10 March, for the first time, a Science Funfair for primary school students, which aims to introduce them to scientific concepts through various games and group activities.

Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Fawzia al-Khater expressed her happiness at the level of student research.

In the course of 11 years of this research event, Qatar began to reap the benefits of its implantation, spreading the culture of scientific research and developing the students' skills in this field.

She said that the excellence of the projects indicates that they have the skills of scientific research.

The week-long series of competitions and science-related activities received 722 research project submissions from students across schools in Qatar, out of which 150 research projects were selected to compete in the final round.

The annual science festival is a competition that enhances, develops, and recognises the scientific research skills of preparatory and secondary students in schools across Qatar, and promotes co-operation and competition among students to achieve excellence in scientific research.

The NSRW brings together over 3,000 students of all ages from schools across Qatar to take part in a series of activities and competitions.

It is a pioneering initiative that encourages students to learn research skills and approach science subjects through a hands-on, learning-by-doing approach from a young age, with the aim of nurturing the next generation of Qatari scientists and researchers.