Posted on June 14, 2017

Five science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers in Qatar and their schools have received 3D printers from Texas A&M University at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar for use in classrooms to enhance student learning and capacity building.

The 3D printers awarded through competitive grant applications from attendees of a recent professional development workshop, the Engineering Leaders Professional Development Symposium for Teachers, during which 40 STEM teachers from across Qatar learned how to integrate 3D printing in their classrooms. Winning teachers were Abdullah Tarkhan from Alnoor Institute, Abhilasha Panwar from Amna Bint Wahab Secondary School, Michele Gaddy from Awsaj Academy, Sameh Sheta from the Doha Independent Secondary School for Boys and Nour Haswani from Al Bayan Independent Preparatory School for Girls.

The three-day workshop hosted by Texas A&M at Qatar in collaboration with Maersk Oil Qatar trained teachers how to implement 3D printing in classroom curricula toward integrated STEM learning and enrichment programs for after-school programs. The workshops were open to all preparatory and secondary school teachers, and taught software and hardware skills to support teaching with 3D printing. Michelle Gaddy, a science coordinator at Qatar Foundation’s Al-Awsaj Academy, said, “Next year we will be integrating this technology into our classrooms as part of our inquiry- based learning. We already stress communicating through different media, and this will bring an exciting new way for students to share their ideas. This is a huge step toward our goal of being active innovators in technology use.”

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The workshops were part of the Dhia: Engineering Leaders partnership between Texas A&M University at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar. Dhia delivers strategic educational outreach programs to motivate young Qataris to choose educational pathways for careers in fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and supports both teachers and students through a broad portfolio of programs and workshops. Dr. Johannes Strobel, lead facilitator for the workshops and an internationally recognized researcher in the field of STEM education, said, “3D modeling and printing provides teachers tools to reach students’ with exciting projects. I am impressed by the enthusiasm of the teachers and more so by their ideas on how to integrate 3D printing in different subject areas such as mathematics, biology physics and ICT.”

Dr. César O. Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said teacher professional development was an essential component of the branch campus’ academic outreach efforts to support human and social development toward the Qatar National Vision 2030. “Building human capacity in Qatar is a key part of building a knowledge-based economy,” Malavé said. “But that capacity-building lies not just in Qatar’s schoolchildren. Teaching the teachers who educate our students is critical in driving students to choose careers in STEM, and workshops such as these provide much-needed training for educators. We are proud to partner with Maersk Oil Qatar to help build the technical workforce Qatar needs to sustain its growth and development.”