A team of three Qatari students have won a global merit award and are recognized for outstanding performance during the virtual Shell NXplorers annual award ceremony for the academic year 2020-2021. Shell NXplorers is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programme aimed at equipping the next generation with the tools and skills they need to reimagine the world and create sustainable solutions to real-world issues.
The NXplorers contest receives over 150 nominations worldwide yearly. The Qatar team, named “Alpha Omega”, comprises three students currently enrolled in Qatar Science and Technology Secondary School for Boys (QSTSS): Hamad Hassan Al-Mansuori, Hamad Rashid Labda, and Khalid Fahad Hussain. Additionally, Mai Yousif, one of the facilitators from the programme, won the “Special Recognition Bronze Award for Excellence in Facilitation”.
A ceremony was held by Qatar Shell to recognize the team and the facilitator for their hard work and absolute determination to inspire and outperform others. Hosted by QSTSS school, the event was attended by Rashid Al-Sulaiti, Deputy General Manager, Abdullah Al-Malki, University Collaboration Manager, and Moza Al-Darwish, Social Investment Adviser.
Al-Sulaiti honored the students. Then, the students had the chance to share a brief about their winning project idea.
Fawziya Al-Khater, Assistant Undersecretary for Educational Affairs, stated that she is proud of the achievements made by Qatar School for Science and Technology particularly when it comes to those of the winning students. She also reiterated that Qatar School for Science and Technology has been primarily established to fulfill well-defined goals which are still to be achieved as time unfolds. Evidently, student outstanding performance has been widely acclaimed in international competitions, for their skills and projects. Fawziya seized this opportunity to extend her appreciation to Shell Qatar for supporting this promising competition and called on all private sector companies to endeavor diligently to participate in supporting the educational process in a useful and meaningful way, focus on projects that target sustainability in alignment with Qatar National Vision 2030 and to contribute to achieving the MOEHE’s strategy.”
The team was on the final shortlist of nominees for one of the three top awards in the category “Exceptional NXplorers Project by a Student Team”, in acknowledgement of their great work to utilize magnetic forces in reducing soil acidity and increasing land arability. Seeing the creative and sustainable approach, the project is now being considered as a case study that focuses on how to aid farmers in the process of producing higher quality and higher yield crops while using fewer resources and ensuring environmental conservation.
“Shell NXplorers’ main objective is to inspire talented young people to be the problem-solvers of today and leaders of tomorrow. We are extremely proud of the ‘Alpha Omega’ for representing Qatar globally this year. We live in a hectic era of varied challenges, from climate change and sustainability to evolving technologies. We truly believe in creating a future generation that is equipped to pursue and build on their STEM knowledge and skills to make informed decisions for today and tomorrow,” said Al-Hijji.
NXplorers workshops introduce concepts to help students explore real world issues related to water, food, and energy. In addition, the students are empowered with tools used to analyze their chosen issue, explore future scenarios, and brainstorm solutions that could tackle the issue. More importantly, being co-implemented in Qatar by Ibtechar, the country’s leading and first incubated practical innovation and turnkey solutions firm, the workshops connect education and application, helping the students gain a new vision, both inside and outside the classroom, to apply their learnings and make their ideas real.
“I would like to congratulate our young innovators for this international feat,” said Einas Mohammed, the Programme Manager at Ibtechar. “Their impressive solution will help Qatar to reduce reliance on imports, thus becoming a more self-sufficient and prosperous economy. Being so distinguished among hundreds of participants from around the world is not an easy thing. This early success will definitely motivate the team to continue to pursue higher levels of innovation in the future, and we will be there to sponsor, empower, and guide them”.
Ibtechar works with public schools under MOEHE to hold learning-by-doing workshops for students in the 11-14 age group, with a view to inspiring talented young people to be the problem-solvers and leaders of the future.
Shell NXplorers programme currently operates in 17 countries around the world and has benefited over 35,000 students. It is principally focused on addressing issues surrounding food, water, and energy.
The programme encourages students to appreciate the strong partnership between the educational institutions and industry, linking the students with exceptional peer leaders, instructors, and industry experts who provide positive role models for STEM.