For the fifth consecutive year, FameLab, one of the biggest science communication competitions in the world, took place in Qatar.
FameLab was initiated by Cheltenham Science Festivals in the UK, and brought to Qatar by the British Council in partnership with Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) – a member of Qatar Foundation (QF) – and supported by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
FameLab is a competition for scientific communication where the participants present scientifically proven ideas to a general public audience in just three minutes.
The judging is based on clarity, scientific content and performance on the stage. The participants in FameLab are divided into two categories: students (school students from 15 years old) and adults (including teachers and researchers).
Nearly 300 participants took part in this year’s FameLab competition, all of who were trained to compete to reach the finals. Twenty-one participants who made it to the finals received an intensive Science Communication training delivered by experienced and qualified international science communicators from the UK.
The National Final was held online yesterday. More than 200 people watched the final where the winners were announced at the end of the ceremony.
The first three places from the students’ category were won respectively by Ahmed Walid Rabiea (first) from Doha Secondary School, Omar Mohamed (second) from Al Zubara School and Dalal al-Suwaidi from Al Bayan School (third).
In the adults’ category, Ahmed al-Maani from Qatar Science and Technology Secondary School won the first place and will represent Qatar at the international finals in Cheltenham Science Festival, the UK. Abdul Saboor Saeed from Qatar University won the second place.
Ahmed al-Maani said, “The FameLab experience is one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. I got to know friends and learned various and new information, and most importantly, I gained an important lesson in life, which is that you have to persevere and try to reach your goal. I participated for three years in a row and finally succeeded and achieved my goal and became the Qatar national finalist for 2019/2020.... Thanks to FameLab.”
Ahmed Walid Rabiea said, “My FameLab journey was a war. I fought with passion, not weapons. Never thought of being a FameLab winner, but my heart has been always beating with enthusiasm for cardiology. I can now say that FameLab truly revealed my ardour.”
Commenting on the FameLab competition this year, Sam Ayton, director of the British Council Qatar said, “I am delighted at the overwhelming response that FameLab has had again in Qatar this year. It has involved a large number of school students and young researchers.
The success that we have had is the fruit of an outstanding collaboration with our strategic partner, Qatar National Research Fund, and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Being able to talk about science, explain science and make science relevant to young people and to engage their interest is a skill that is important in order to ensure the commitment and success of Qatar’s next generation of young scientists.”
Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie, executive director, QNRF, added: “Every year, this competition stimulates and inspires the budding of future generations of scientists and researchers and trains them to be charismatic and effective science communicators.
The FameLab competition provides our students and young researchers the opportunity to showcase their talents and get exposure on both national and international levels, along with motivating them to delve into STEM subjects and thus contribute effectively towards building Qatar’s growing human capital in research.”
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