Posted on March 24, 2019

The Education Development Institute (EDI), part of Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Pre-University Education (PUE), recently hosted its annual iSTEMed Camp at Awsaj Academy in Education City. The 2019 edition of the event, which took place from March 21-23, was held under the theme of ‘STEM in Action,’ and was sponsored by ExxonMobil Qatar.

The aim of iSTEMed is to explore how educators can empower students to solve real-world problems through the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It was attended by educators, school leaders, and students from across academic institutes in Qatar and beyond. Mehdi Benchaabane, Director of EDI, PUE, QF, said: “This event brought together individuals from within the field of education to discuss and exchange ideas about innovative approaches to teaching, with the ultimate aim of enabling interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary learning.

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“The iSTEMed Camp has once again proven to be a unique initiative that bridges professional learning and students' learning through an interactive and authentic platform.”

The keynote speech, presented during the opening ceremony, was delivered by Maryam Alhajri, Director of Academyati – PUE’s newest school – and focused on why it is important to offer a STEM education to all learners and build equitable systems that promote it in all schools. As a computer scientist and a master learner who has taken on the task of being the first leader of a progressive school in Qatar, Ms. Alhajri draws on her personal experience as a learner and as a mother to understand how authentic learning occurs.

EDI also welcomed progressive educator, maker, and founder of Genesis Learning, Trevor Shaw, who engaged participants in a deep-dive into the engineering design process and explored strategies for managing student-centered engineering challenges, while Kantis Simmons, a former NASA scientist, shared his insights about nurturing students to become effective problem-solvers through STEM education. The three-day event included more than 60 presenters and over 50 sessions for Early Years-Grade 12 educators in both Arabic and English. Participants connected through workshops, presentations, Ignite Talks, and campfire chats.

Following the plenary session, there were a series of sessions for the community to participate in. These sessions engaged students and parents with a variety of activities such as ‘making’ in the Maker Majlis and learning coding skills for overcoming today’s challenges. “We have collaborated with Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education since 2015, and are pleased to once again support another of its important initiatives,” said Saleh Al Mana, Vice President and Director of Government and Public Affairs for ExxonMobil Qatar.

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“iSTEMed has been a great event for us to be involved in because it addresses issues that are core areas of our community outreach programs at ExxonMobil Qatar. Our work focuses on programs that enhance the learning experience for students, and ensure that they are equipped with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related skills that will prepare them for the future. An example of this is the Qatar University ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, and we’re proud to highlight this education partnership model at iSTEMed Camp 2019.”

The iSTEMed Camp is an EDI initiative designed to support PUE’s vision of ‘Leading Learning’. For more information, please visit: www.istemeducation.net

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