Posted on October 28, 2014

A summer training program in Cyprus conducted under a Qatar University (QU) project funded by QNRF engaged 20 teachers and vice principals from independent schools in Qatar on energy and the environment.

The project entitled “Qatar Energy Education Institute” was held at the University of Cyprus and led by Dr Mohamed Zayed from QU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Physics Program and Dr Roger Hinrichs from the State University of New York at Oswego. It was hosted by Director of the Learning in Science Group Prof Costas Constantiniou, and included the participation of experts and researchers from Qatar institutions such as College of the North Atlantic Qatar and Seattle Pacific University in the US.

The 10-day program included a series of lectures, lab-based training and group activities, as well as visits to a solar cell testing facility and a wind farm. The teachers also attended a laser show by laser and holography specialist Tom Altman who introduced them to a variety of attractive science experiments for the classroom.

United Arab Emirates 300x250

During the program, they were also updated on emerging developments in the field of energy and the environment, and participated in discussions on issues related to the science curriculum in Qatari schools and on methods for developing a more attractive inquiry-based teaching of scientific subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology. A proposal was presented for the creation of a school-based pilot center for scientific inquiry as well as effective strategies for enhancing lab-based activities in schools.

Commenting on the program, Dr Zayed said: “This was an opportunity for educators from Qatar’s independent schools to gain more insight into effective teaching of science subjects and making them more attractive to students to build their knowledge and skills. This is in line with national efforts to promote science literacy from an early age to develop students’ potential as the next generation of scientists and researchers in Qatar”.

The training program in Cyprus followed the success of last year’s summer school held in Istanbul, and will be complemented by a series of workshops to be held in Qatar with focus on industrial applications of energy. A conference in energy education is planned for 2015 to be held at Qatar University.