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Story | Research
25 September 2020

TV review: Female innovators impress the Stars of Science jury in a sweet and sour episode


Competitors focused on areas including sustainability and fake news as the latest episode of Qatar Foundation`s innovation TV show saw dreams continue – and end

As the last day of the preliminary qualifiers in Season 12 of Qatar Foundation’s Stars of Science dawned, battle began between participants to make it into the completed line-up for the Majlis of Knowledge.

The latest episode saw the jury focus their efforts on selecting the best projects, while the participants’ feelings ranged from enthusiasm to tension as crucial moments approached

Once again, Stars of Science is putting female Arab inventors at the forefront, demonstrating the role of women in the world of science and innovation. And from both male and female innovators, this episode showcased many talents, some of which left the jury stunned, and others that did not qualify but still left an impact on the judges and the audience.

Tensions rose but participants supported each other as the final entrants into the Majlis of Knowledge were decided.

Iman Al Hamad from Qatar presented his idea for a device that detects social engineering processes - fraud and manipulation of the human mind to obtain sensitive information - and alerts people when exposed to it. Her innovation is designed to support and enhance the Arabic language in the field of information technology, and that led to it capturing the attention of the jury.

Sarah Abu Rajeeb, from Kuwait, qualified after presenting her invention: a portable device that predicts injuries to the body through laser beams and can distinguish between different types of injuries such as fracture and trauma,

But despite her self-confidence and cheerful personality, Reem Al-Badi from Oman was unable to convince the jurors of her idea, based on exploiting wasted dates to produce paper, after they decided she had not provided sufficient scientific evidence. So she left the program – but with the consolation of having brought an atmosphere of fun to the episode.

The spread of fake news is one of the critical topics in both the Arab world and the wider world, and Wael Abroun from Morocco has been able to create an electronic platform that identifies fake news, images and information, and that the jury gave the thumbs-up to.

Innovators from across the region made their bid to progress in Stars of Science in the third episode of Season 12.

Meanwhile, Algerian participant, Nasser Al-Jaafari, was unable to hold back his tears after qualifying with a device that helps prepare food using Artificial Intelligence. Jordanian contestant Othman also made it through with a project based on redesigning car restraints to interact with the movement of the head and secure the safety of drivers, while Iraqi innovator Muntadhar Al Kaabi has the idea for smart glasses that use automatic computer vision through cameras to turn images into realistic instructions, supporting those who are blind or visually impaired.

And Waddah Mulaeb, from Lebanon, designed a biological chip implanted withcells that can be attached to micro surfaces to form three-dimensional tissues. This is used to assess the effectiveness of medicines, saving cost and time, and was also able to move to the Majlis of Knowledge.

The Stars of Science jurors discuss the latest inventions to be presented to them.

After the competitors tasted the Omani sweets offered by Abdul Hamid Al Futaisi, which he said were intended to give them extra energy, he could not convince this jury of his idea for recycling damaged car tires and converting them into sound, heat and water insulators..

Since the show began, topics related to the environment and sustainability have been a focus of Arab youth participating in Stars of Science, and this season has been no exception - which was praised by the jury, as they reaffirmed how they are keen to encourage and support any sustainability-focused innovation and called on young people to find solutions to the challenges facing the environment.

Abdel-Ali Dada, from Algeria, created an environmentally-friendly way of making bricks by using a type of bacteria and mixing it with sand and other materials, while Shadi Al-Zoubi, from Jordan, offered a device that converts energy wasted due to burst water pipes into electricity. Both projects qualified for the next stage, but the Algerian inventor Marwan Khouja, who presented an application that extracts insects from organic food with soundwaves and without using chemicals, was less successful.

Former Stars of Science contestant Rooda Al Qebaisi with show host Khalid Al Jumaily.

During this long day of tension, beyond the studio the participants underwent counseling sessions with Stars of Science experts on how to present ideas with confidence to influence the jury. And Rooda Al Qebaisi, a Season 10 participant who joined regular presenter Khalid Al Jumaily, as a guest, stressed the role of the experts in enhancing the participants’ presentation skills, pointing out that “emotions have no place in this program”, and that “criticism is an important factor for development”.

Now, with 22 participants having entered the Majlis of Knowledge, attention turns to next week’s crunch episode - where the names of the eight participants who will be able to enter the Stars of Science Laboratory and continue their path towards innovation stardom will be revealed.

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