The superiority of women in fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics was highlighted in yesterday’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, through Qatar University’s (QU) Al-Bairaq Project in co-operation with the Unesco office in Doha.
The event in QU, showcased in various ways, the role and achievements of Al-Bairaq, the impact of its curriculum and the ways in which it empowers Qatari female adolescents.
Al-Bairaq is a non-traditional educational project, in which students at Qatari secondary school work in teams with expert university-level scientists on practical scientific problems in authentic contexts. Faculty members train and mentor the future generation of scientists and help develop and enhance their critical-thinking, problem-solving and team-work skills.
Students who joined the Al-Bairaq programme in their high school years were present to share their experiences. Participants of Al-Bairaq’s “I am a Researcher” track Fatma al-Maaedid, Amna al-Jumaili and Mariam al-Thani presented a project titled, “Leidenfrost Effect Drops as a Reactor for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Catalyst,” and discussed the skills they gained through the programme, which helped implement the project and carry out their research. Engineer Fatima Nabhan, a member of Al-Bairaq gave a presentation on the achievements of the project, and discussed the remarkable role it plays in providing equal opportunities for both female and male students.
She also discussed the role the programme plays in encouraging Qatari students to choose a scientific discipline by giving them the opportunity to participate in scientific workshops and in enhancing their research skills.
The event also allowed Al-Bairaq to present the contributions of students in local and international competitions, including some who came first.
Dr Noora Jabor al-Thani, Outreach and Communication Section head and Al-Bairaq leader, Center for Advanced Materials (CAM), expressed her happiness and pride in the achievements of the Al-Bairaq students and their distinguished level of performance and intelligence. She said, “In Qatar, we have a society that recognises the importance of equality among individuals and encourages the role of Qatari women as leaders and pioneers in all areas of life, proudly showcasing their role in the society as scientists, engineers and doctors, which contributes to the development and advancement of Qatar.”
Dr Noora al-Thani praised the efforts of Al-Bairaq partners, the Unesco office in Doha, Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, and the efforts of the staff working on the programme from university professors, researchers, assistants and all members of the Al-Bairaq team.
Al-Bairaq is a step in the direction of supporting Qatar’s commitment to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and applied research in order to develop its knowledge-based economy, enrich its human capital and improve its competitiveness. It also stresses interdisciplinary research that can cover any and all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. It is presented by QU’s CAM.
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