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Story | Research
19 November 2019

Why learning about engineering is never a bridge too far


ExxonMobil Qatar has inspired young female students to become future engineers at Doha Learning Days

Female students have been encouraged to pursue careers in engineering through building bridges with a difference at a workshop hosted by ExxonMobil as part of WISE’s Doha Learning Days, the first experiential learning festival to be held in Qatar.

The session saw the girls who participated enjoy a learning experience built around fun, as they were placed in competing groups and tasked with constructing a bridge – using materials that included only marshmallows and spaghetti.

“This is an exercise that we do across different schools in Qatar, called Introduce Girls to Engineering, and we hope that we can encourage more young females to go into the engineering field in the future” said Bana Al Moftah, from ExxonMobil Qatar.

“We showed the students how they can build a bridge that can hold a certain weight by using only spaghetti and marshmallows, to help them develop skills such as design, construction, time-management, and accounting. This will make them start connecting everything around them to the field of STEM.”

Nour Al Kubaisi from ExxonMobil Qatar said: “Before starting the activity, we presented to the students engineering methods that would help them with the exercise, and they had to come up with their own design ideas to build the bridge without it falling, and efficiently use their materials to win the competition”.

Among the students who participated was Anfal Abdulghani, a Grade 10 student from Qatar Academy for Science and Technology (QAST) – part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education – who said: “We learned that everyone, no matter how young they are, can learn about big things through simple activities”.

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Revealing the techniques she and her team used during the exercise, Maryam Al Obaidli, also a Grade 10 student at QAST, said: “We learned that we need to use more spaghetti to make the bridge stronger and ensure it does not get broken.

“I really enjoyed learning about engineering, and I hope I could become an engineer in the future.”

Doha Learning Days, organized by Qatar Foundation initiative WISE, has been taking place at Education City’s Ceremonial Court and Green Spine over last six days, with an array of workshops, activities, and discussed for the whole community to experience and enjoy..

It has been held ahead of the WISE Summit 2019, which is taking place at Qatar National Convention Centre from November 19-21. More information about the summit is available at

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