In its drive to educate the nation’s younger generation about the importance of environmental sustainability, Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) recently launched the QEERI Sustainability Tent. The project aims to inform school students on the uses and benefits of green energy, emphasize the need to move towards renewable sources of energy, and underline their role in protecting the environment.
At the tent, scientists from QEERI explained how clean sources of energy, such as solar and wind energy, may be harnessed using solar panels and wind turbines respectively, stored in batteries and fed into the national grid, thus allowing people to use them at homes and businesses. The scientists also explained how different appliances use different amounts of electricity, and how that affects the grid. The Fitness and Sustainability Bike, a vehicle offered within the tent, taught students how to produce power using their own energy and efforts.
Abeer Al Dosari, stakeholder relations manager at QEERI, said: “Part of our mission is to inspire young people to develop an interest in science and research, and to build a sustainable future for the country. By giving the students insight into the work that QEERI is doing, we hope that they will realize that there is a world of possibilities in sustainable energy research, and that they too can play an important role in saving energy.”
Students from Qatar Academy Sidra (QA Sidra), a member of Qatar Foundation, participated in the initiative earlier this month. Jenna Cirillo, a second-grade teacher at QA Sidra who accompanied the students, said: “Our current unit of enquiry is how our personal actions and choices can change the planet, and so by looking at sustainability, the students are able to question what they do in their own lives and how they can change their actions to positively impact the world.”
QA Sidra student Hamza Yahiaoui said: “It was interesting to learn how we can use the energy from the sun using solar panels on houses and other buildings, and how that is better than using fossil fuels.” Another student, Maryam Bajwa, added: “The scientists from QEERI also told us that solar energy can be stored in batteries – so it can even be used at night when there is no sun. We also learnt that we can contribute to protecting the environment by being more careful, and making sure we switch off appliances as soon as we finish using them. For example, we need to switch off the lights when we leave the room.”
The initiative is open to all school students in Qatar. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit to the QEERI Sustainability Tent.