Posted on August 04, 2018

Qatar Shell has partnered with College of the North Atlantic - Qatar (CNA-Q) to offer a first-of-its-kind summer camp to engage high school students in applied, technical education within STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The camp, which concluded on August 2, is part of Maharat Qatar program sponsored by Qatar Shell and supported by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

‘STEM CampUS’ was successful in achieving its goal of engaging pre-college students in technical, hands-on education in fields aligned with Qatar’s economic diversification strategy.  It was held from July 22nd to August 2nd at the CNA-Q campus. Interest in the program was high from the outset, with 150 applicants competing for a limited number of openings. After a rigorous selection process, the camp commenced with 26 females and 17 male participants ranging in age from 13 to 17, from 27 different private and independent high-schools, and representing 12 nationalities.

In their applications to STEM CampUS, students wrote about their interest and aptitude for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Many also wrote about their desire to develop friendships and meet people outside their own schools and communities. Students also wanted to contribute to a sustainable future and develop their leadership and career skills. All these areas were focused on during the two-week camp.

“Advocating for applied and technology-based education for youth in Qatar is a mission that Qatar Shell and CNA-Q share,” said Ms. Samah Gamar, Vice President-Academic at CNA-Q. “Hosting STEM CampUS speaks to the College’s commitment to the development of skillsets in STEM-based fields, which is a goal of the Education and Training Sector Strategy 2018-2022. We believe students who learn by performing applied, real-life tasks in technology-rich environments are some of Qatar’s future innovators who will help move communities and businesses forward sustainably.”

Farah Al Maadeed, Social Investment Manager at Qatar Shell, added: “It has been a truly enriching experience to see such a diverse group of students become inspired by STEM subjects during the summer camp.  Our goal is to contribute to Qatar’s journey towards economic diversification, culminating in the realization of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy. We believe that a rounded education - and in particular the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math - are central to that journey. ”

During the two weeks at camp, students learned about air and water quality and its importance on the health of employees and the public. They also became acquainted with the three-phase separation processes used within the oil and gas industry by sitting at the helm of CNA-Q’s Simulation Control Room. Students delved into connectivity of computer hardware to understand networking, and dabbled in software development for Android. They also grasped business and entrepreneurship principles through facilitated ideation sessions with a real-life marketing project aligned to Qatar’s business sector.

During the second week students participated in the Shell’s global NXplorer program, an innovative and educational program for students focused on the food-water-energy stress nexus. The program introduces future leaders to the complex thinking needed to bring about positive change. The camp concluded with a Showcase and Awards Ceremony on August 2nd where groups of students delivered short presentations that reflected the skills they developed over the two weeks. The College of the North Atlantic-Qatar and Qatar Shell are proud of this initiative and look forward to further developing and expanding the concept next year.