The annual conference of research and innovation organised by Al Bairaq programme of Qatar University presented 94 research ideas for primary and junior high school students, including projects, innovations and solutions to problems or obstacles that concern the society and the industrial and economic sectors.
The conference, attended by more than 350 students from 15 primary and junior high schools, was part of the fifth course of "I am Discovering Materials" which is one of the important tracks of Al Bairaq programme aimed at attracting Qatari students to study science and engineering and engaging them in scientific research.
This annual conference is considered as an incubator for the innovations of the participating students and a platform for presenting their ideas and projects with strong scientific foundations and great importance and effectiveness at the local and international levels.
The Team Leader of Al Bairaq and Outreach and Communication Section Head at Qatar University Dr Noora Jabor al-Thani, highlighted the role of the programme in providing opportunities for Qatari students and a competitive environment that helps them to innovate and invent in order to achieve the goals of Qatar Vision 2030, especially with regard to education and sustainable development.
She added that the challenge is to find effective ways to motivate young people and the new generation to bring out their potential, to provide them with the skills of doing scientific research, laboratory experiments and presentation, as well as to enhance self-confidence and their ability to explain their ideas.
Al Bairaq programme adopts a unique learning experience for all participating students, as scientific workshops in the field of materials are scheduled such as composite materials, solar cells, concrete and others, and this by adopting STEAM Education curriculum which combines science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics in an integrated approach to learning.
These workshops also use Inquiry Based Learning, a form of active learning that begins with asking questions, problems or scenarios rather than simply presenting facts or narrating a restricted path of knowledge and arts.
The outputs of these workshops are focused on scientific posters containing ideas, projects and important innovations that are subject to arbitration by specialised committees which in turn selects the most prominent and best projects to be honored during the conference.