Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), in collaboration with Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ), today launched the STEM Hub, a facility that aims to promote creative applications of engineering and science.
The opening ceremony, held at TAMUQ – a QF partner university – was attended by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Abdul Wahed Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education; H.E. Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari, President, Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA); Mrs. Buthaina Ali Al Nuaimi, President, Pre-University Education, QF; Dr. Richard O'Kennedy, Vice President for Research, Development and Innovation, QF; and Mr. Omar Ali Al Ansari, Secretary General, Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Council; as well as members of the research and academic community in Qatar.
The collaboration is seeing QNRF, a member of QF, and TAMUQ combine their resources and insights to advance the development of initiatives and academic enrichment programs that drive interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines among schoolchildren in Qatar.
The STEM Hub has been developed to instill and develop STEM skills as a national priority. As one of the first education programs of its kind to advance STEM education for students of all ages in Qatar, its aim is to equip the next generation of researchers, scientists, and engineers with the tools to address Qatar’s Research Grand Challenges, which include water security, energy security, cyber security, and healthcare.
The future success of Qatar lies in the hands of our education system and especially the students emerging with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. A strong STEM foundation will create the next generation of critical thinkers and innovators who can sustain our economy
Featuring cutting-edge technology and specialized learning modules, the laboratory is designed to help students learn STEM skills in a creative way, and offers unique professional development opportunities for teachers. It is also a platform for K-12 students to build and exchange scientific ideas, and learn about the funding opportunities offered by QNRF throughout their education, and into the early stages of their careers.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director, QNRF, said: "The future success of Qatar lies in the hands of our education system and especially the students emerging with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. A strong STEM foundation will create the next generation of critical thinkers and innovators who can sustain our economy.
"Along with being an excellent resource for students, the STEM Hub will also provide unique professional development opportunities for teachers, who certainly have a paramount role in the success of this initiative. I am confident that STEM Hub will nurture leaders and scientists that will help Qatar reach its goals and tackle the pressing issues our world is facing."
Dr. César O. Malavé, Dean, TAMUQ, said: “As engineering educators, we feel privileged to help young people understand how they can be part of the exciting engineering and science advances that impact the world around us.
“Our STEM programs aim to light that spark of discovery in Qatar’s schoolchildren, and the STEM Hub is essential for that goal. We are grateful to Qatar National Research Fund for its vision and partnership in joining us in this effort, and for its support and collaboration in this and other important initiatives in Qatar.”
Students will receive special mentoring from researchers and faculty members, designed to provide a hands-on-learning experience and strengthen inventive and innovative thinking skills. The STEM Hub’s resources are supplemented by central laboratories and workshops at TAMUQ, which house an array of advanced scientific research equipment.
At the opening ceremony, students from schools in Qatar displayed prototypes of their engineering design projects to guests.