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Story | Research
19 October 2019

TV Review: High standards and unexpected results on Stars of Science


Episode six produces cheers, fears - and a twist

The innovative journey that the remaining seven participants in Qatar Foundation’s education reality TV show Stars of Science are taking has reached a decisive phase.

Building a successful engineering prototype was the main goal for the participants during episode six, and the question on everyone’s minds was: who would come through the engineering prototyping phase in front the judges and qualify for the next stage of Season 11 of the show?

The engineering phase is an important step of the way, where the participants work towards building a practical prototype based on ideas that they pitched during the earlier stages. These engineering prototypes were presented for evaluation in front of the judges and this week’s guests – Dr. Richard O'Kennedy, Vice-President for Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) at Qatar Foundation, Yosouf Saleh, Executive Director of Qatar Science & Technology Park, and winner of Stars of Science Season 5 Anwar Al Mojarkesh.

Before facing the judges, the seven innovators worked hard to build a successful prototype that met the required standards and produced the desired results, with the help from experts and specialists in science and technology.

During the engineering phase, a mood of happiness mixed with concern dominated the atmosphere. At times, the participants felt excited; at other times, scared. When the testing of their prototypes produced positive results, they exchanged cheers of joy. And when they faced trouble, especially as the battle drew nearer, their concern was obvious.

Having little time to do the necessary work was one of the biggest challenges that the participants faced during this week’s episode. Imadeddine Azzouz, whose invention is the Health Breath-scan, was still working on the algorithm which he promised to present to the judges. Similarly, Youssef El Azouzi, who is working on the flow modulator Stent, had a serious look when he said the common Arabic proverb: “Time is like a sword. If you do not cut it, it will cut you”.

The decisive moment before the judges finally arrived, and the competitiveness between the participants started to reach new levels, especially between Nuha Abuyousef, whose invention is the Active Lazy Eyelid sticker, and Mohammad Kharrat, who has worked on the Smart swimming shorts. The inventers were asked detailed questions that required accurate and immediate answers. The judges presented their opinions in an honest and firm way to maintain the high-standards of the engineering phase and pave the way for the next production phase.

Co-host and Stars of Science alumni, Anwar Al Mojarkesh was on hand to offer a piece of advice to the fellow participants: "Do not underestimate your ideas, no matter how small they may be, especially since the duration of the program is very short. If you keep working hard, your ideas may turn into real products that reach big global markets.”

The mood turned lighter when participants Abdul Rahman Khamis, Anfal Al Hamdani, and Husam Sameer shared their amusing experiences and the challenges they faced with one another during their working hours.

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Before the results, Dr. O'Kennedy addressed the audience about the importance of interdisciplinary projects. “One of the things we’ve seen in the projects today, is having multiple disciplines working together,” he said. “This is also seen at Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation, where we see engineers, medical professionals, and scientists working together.

“It is at the cutting edge when you take good ideas and people with different expertise and bring them together. And a number of devices we’ve seen today show why we need these expertise coming together.”

Then Dr. O'Kennedy looked at the participants and said: “I hope everyone today feels like they got something out of this experience. Because most of all we need people who have the ideas and are prepared to bring them forward. Please feel that no matter what the outcome is today, that you are not a failure, because not every idea works, but in being part of this process, you learn how to be successful. And I believe this is what Stars of Science is really doing.”

At the end of the episode, two participants were eliminated at once for the first time in Stars of Science history: Kharrat and Azzouz. The reason, according to judge Fouad Murad, was that neither met the standards required for evaluation – leading to an unexpected twist for this always surprising show.

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