The 5th Intel Science Competition Arab World 2014 winners were announced in Doha yesterday (Tuesday) following a successful three-day event. Intel Corporation (Ltd.), the Research and Development Division of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF R&D), and Qatar’s Supreme Education Council, (SEC) organised the competition aimed at Grade 9 – 12 students.
The event, which is aligned with QF’s mission to unlock human potential by supporting programmes in education, science and research, saw over 100 students from nine countries across the Middle East and North Africa take part in a fiercely fought competition in six diverse scientific categories. Following an intense day of presentations and interviews in front of international judges at the Qatar National Convention Centre, the results were announced at the closing ceremony. The Grand Award for the best overall project went to students from Lebanon for their ‘Autocool’ project, a solar powered cooler that aims to maintain a car’s interior temperature at an acceptable condition when parked in sunlight.
Taking the second place award was a medical project from Saudi Arabia, which focuses on CYP2C19 polymorphisms in the Saudi population. The project proposed a clinical response to Clopidogrel, an oral, thienopyridine-class antiplatelet agent used to inhibit blood clots in coronary artery disease. A project by Tunisian students, which uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to develop an operating system for head-mounted displays, was awarded third place at the event, held in Qatar for the first time.
Commenting on the awards, the winners said: “We would like to thank all the parties involved in organising this special competition, and to the State of Qatar for welcoming us and hosting this event. We are honoured and proud to win the Grand Award and we consider this a landmark achievement in our early scientific careers.” QF R&D’s involvement in the competition stems from its core mission areas of supporting programmes in education, driving a science and research culture in Qatar and furthering learning and knowledge. Dr Ayman Bassil, Head of Research Training at QF R&D, hailed the demanding competition as a great success.
Commenting on the conclusion of the Intel Science Competition Arab World 2014, Dr Bassil said: “The students participating in this competition have demonstrated outstanding knowledge and application in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. By competing against some of the best students in the region and taking their projects to an international stage, all the participants can be proud of their achievements over the past three days.
He added: “It is now vital the students take the passion and enthusiasm for science demonstrated during this competition back to their home countries. We hope that many of them will be inspired to pursue a career in science, technology or innovation.” Taha Khalifa, Intel General Manager, MENA region, said: “We are happy with the success of the 5th Intel Science Competition Arab World, and the great organisation and participation. We are proud of all the projects participating and our contribution in enabling the next generation of young innovators in the Arab region. We look forward to their positive impact on the society and the economy.”
Fawziya Abdulaziz Al-Khater, Director of the Education Institute, Supreme Education Council, added: “The Intel Science Competition Arab World underlines the increasingly important role that science plays in education today. Proficiency in the STEM subjects among young people is the first essential step towards supporting an Arab future built on knowledge-based economies.”