QF partner Texas A&M at Qatar mentors high school students for FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition


Fifteen high school students from Qatar A are rigorous training sessions at Qatar University are held at Qatar Foundation partner university, as they are to represent Qatar FIRST Global challenge in Geneva,

The FIRST Global Challenge is an Olympics-style, international robotics competition that takes place in a different country each year. Teams work together to complete tasks in a game themed around one of the greatest challenges facing our planet, including the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, in an effort to foster understanding and cooperation among the youth of the world as they use their abilities to solve the world’s problems.

Team Qatar, which includes students from eight different schools, is mentored by Texas A&M at Qatar’s STEM experts Tala Katbeh’2015 and Benjamin Cieslinski’1995 in the university’s STEM Hub, a joint initiative between Texas A&M at Qatar and Qatar National Research Fund. The team members are formed as part of the SHRC initiative (STEM Hub Robotics Club) at Texas A&M at Qatar, which was established in 2019 to teach students around Qatar about the importance of STEM through robotics.

This year’s theme, “Carbon Capture,” brought together students from different nations to work towards understanding and coming up with solutions for one of the greatest challenges we are facing: climate change. Texas A&M at Qatar provided with the space, the kits and the expertise to guide the youth of Qatar who have a common interest in robotics to work for 12 weeks on problem-solving and building a robot to tackle the issue of global warming in this environment -themed season.

Maryam Al-Mansouri, a grade 12 student at Michael E. DeBakey High School at Qatar, said, “Together with my team, we are excited to represent Qatar at the First Global Challenge. We are working hard to prepare ourselves to face the best teams the world has to offer. This experience has not been just about learning about robotics and engineering, but also learn about many cultures and common factors that we share among each other. . It also helped us learn how to manage time, be organized, and bond as well as a team. We can’t wait to raise our flag high in Switzerland.”

Maab Ahmed, a grade 12 student, said, “We are grateful to our mentors at Texas A&M at Qatar, for their extraordinary efforts, and the value the insights and guidance they provide us.. Their faith and support motivate us to do better. . I believe being part of this year’s FIRST Global Challenge has been an enormous learning curve for us, participating in this competition is not only an opportunity for us as students to consolidate our experiences and knowledge but a platform for a diverse community of members to find solutions and collaborate on issues of purpose. One of the things that make our team unique is that we have a wide range of viewpoints on almost everything! We have gained an extensive amount of technical knowledge, while also realizing the role we play in climate change mitigation. Certainly, we will make a significant difference in the world, once we come together, and I think that is the most valuable outcome even beyond winning and scoring high ranks.”

Katbeh said, “We are very proud of the students we are training to be the next generation of engineers through teaching them about programming, structural design, innovation, and critical thinking. Each student brings different skills that are combined to form a strong and diligent team. Through the team members’ commitment and hard work, this group of talented students will be representing Qatar internationally and we are grateful for the support from Texas A&M University at Qatar.”

In 2018, Team Qatar won bronze at the FIRST Global Challenge competition held in Mexico. In 2020, Texas A&M at Qatar signed an agreement with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to host an annual contest in Qatar. Since then, students mentored by Texas A&M at Qatar have been participating in various global events robotics events hosted by FIRST Global.

Cieslinski said, “These challenges bring together students and STEM leaders from around the world in an engaging and collaborative competition. And these experiences will enhance the student’s capabilities, beyond a classroom. Networking, brainstorming, and being able to develop potential solutions to address real world challenges — these can really contribute to shaping a student. Our students have been putting in a lot of time and effort to prepare for the competition, and I have no doubt that they will make us proud.”

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About Texas A&M University at Qatar

Since 2003, Texas A&M University has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering in Qatar Foundation’s Education City, and graduate degrees in chemical engineering since fall 2011. Texas A&M at Qatar has awarded nearly 1,400 degrees. All four undergraduate programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. Faculty from around the world are attracted to Texas A&M at Qatar to educate the next generation of engineering leaders in Qatar and to conduct research valued at more than $277.7 million that address issues important to the State of Qatar. Visit www.qatar.tamu.edu.

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