Posted on April 16, 2014

Twenty-six Qatar-based high school students recently completed the Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) Planet Georgetown week-long after-school research program.

The young researchers were all Year 10 students and represented 14 schools, both independent and private, from throughout Qatar. The highly-selective program put the students through their paces as their research tasks aligned with this year’s Planet Georgetown theme: Mapping the Modern World.

Qatar high school students [].jpgLatifa Al-Shamlan, a student from the American School of Doha, said: “Planet Georgetown impacted me positively in an educational way. My research skills improved and I also gained more knowledge about other countries.” “It has changed my way of looking at the world in general and looking at politics in particular,” added Al Dana Hamad Al-Marri, while Albandari Al Mana exclaimed, “Engaging, enriching, and engrossing--Planet Georgetown is a thrilling experience!” both are students at Al Maha Academy For Girls.

Abdulkareem Anisetty from Ahmed Bin Hanbal Independent Secondary School For Boys said: “Planet Georgetown is more than just a program about the planet--it was a planet itself with people from all over the world.” This year’s Planet Georgetown immersed the students in map orientation, research skills, flag symbolism, professional citation proficiency, a study of the Ukraine conflict, and a sample University-level Map of the Modern World lecture, in addition to their own individual research projects.

The students’ individual projects required that they personally select a country for the purposes of researching the history of the ‘map’ of that country: How did the country’s map develop over time? What internal and external conflicts does the country currently face?  When did the country come to be known by its current name? How were the country’s borders determined and have there been border disputes? These are just some of the many questions the students examined and developed into individual finished research projects. This culminated with each student presenting their findings at the end of the week during the Planet Georgetown Closing Ceremony.  By presentation time, the students were well-prepared to speak knowledgeably about their research results and answer questions from the audience.

“The Planet Georgetown participants were a group of motivated, dedicated, and talented young people who truly explored the world of today to shape the world of tomorrow through gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them,” explained Saaliha Khan, GU-Q student development officer and member of the SFS-Q Enrichment Team. “We are glad to be able to facilitate this journey that builds responsible global citizens and look forward to further engaging bright minds and young leaders in our local and global community.”

Organized by the GU-Q Office of Educational Enrichment Initiatives, the Planet Georgetown program was launched in 2008 in order to expand the range and scope of engagement with the local community.