Students challenged to think creatively on the topic of enhancing sustainability across the Energy-Water-Environment nexus
The third edition of the Young Innovator Award (YIA), organized by the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, concluded on a high note with more than 600 school students from across Qatar engaged in offering resourceful solutions to the topic, “Old problems, new solutions: the next big thing for the Energy-Water-Environment nexus?”
YIA, one of QEERI’s annual student outreach initiatives, offered students an immersive experience by challenging them to think innovatively to develop solutions to tackle challenges within the Energy-Water-Environment (EWE) nexus.
The award, which has earned a place of distinction among local, community, and international schools in Qatar, was held on the sidelines of QEERI’s flagship forum, the International Conference on Sustainable Energy-Water-Environment Nexus in Desert Climate 2021.
Hazzan Zayan and Amro Abbas, of the Palestinian School – winners of the Intermediate Category 2 – said “It is great to learn about the different ways that the challenges facing the EWE nexus can be addressed. Our project focused on how pollutants can be removed from water, and it was good to hear feedback from judges who actually work in research and industry.”
The excitement was echoed by Anna Jerry Manathra of the Rajagiri Public School, whose team placed first in the Senior Category 1 level. She said: “I am proud to have represented my school in this amazing competition and to have won first place for the second year in a row. YIA is definitely a unique learning experience.”
The judging panel for YIA2021 included representatives from industry and research arenas in Qatar, including Kahramaa-Tarsheed, Ashghal, TotalEnergies, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Ooredoo, Qatar Green Building Council, Qatar Scientific Club, the Ministry of Public Health, and QEERI.
Shireen Obeidat of Qatar Green Building Council returned for the second year as a YIA judge and commended the students for their hard work and research skills. “I was truly impressed with the high quality of work that I saw from the students during the competitions. It shows a keen interest in learning how the world can be made a better place, and I must applaud the students, their teachers, and parents for encouraging them.”
In keeping with the current restrictions, the finals were held virtually over three days. The proceedings were attended by enthusiastic teachers, parents, and the wider community. They were moderated by QEERI’s PR, communications, and outreach specialist and YIA Coordinator, Dilraz Kunnummal.
Dr. Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director, QEERI, said: “As the leader in Qatar in research, development, and innovation in energy, water, and environment, QEERI sees the promotion of science and the environment among young people as a fundamental component of its mission. Besides, inspiring the youth and increasing their awareness on the pertinent topics within the EWE nexus such as renewable energy, sustainability, water reuse, and climate change, the YIA is a clear demonstration of positively engaging the citizens of tomorrow to think deeply and creatively today on persisting contemporary topics that must be addressed urgently and cannot be wished away.”
The winning Young Innovators are as follows. In Junior Category 1: First: Ayman Rashik - Olive International School; Second: Wasiah Hammad - The Next Generation School, AlWukair ; Third: Sarah Mohammed Baig - Bright Future International School, Doha. Sanjana Subramanian - DPS Modern Indian School, and Taleen Mohammed - The Next Generation School, Al Daayen – were the other finalists. In Junior Category 2: First: Ayesha Shakeel Shaikh – Brighton International Academy; Second: Jilian Ailah Ramos – Philippine School Doha; Third: Eshaal Shahid – The Next Generation School, Al Daayen. Palak Banzal – DPS Modern Indian School and Zainab Zujer Thanawala from Olive International School were part of the finalists.
In Intermediate Category 1: First: Seham Mohamed Ayham AlDarrah, Lilian Rami Adnan Abid – Brighton International Academy; Second: Aleena Raza, Aleeza Raza, Sheza Usman – The Next Generation School, Nuaija; Third: Eshal Salman Mohammed, Baraa Khalid, Noha Mohamed – Edison International Academy, Al Markhiya. Hassan Elsadig, Momen Sayed, Adebowale Adegoriola – Edison International Academy, and Waniya Muhammad Sohail, Muhammad Shahzaib Bakali, Muhammad Umar Usmani - The Next Generation School, Nuaija were finalists. In Intermediate Category 2: First: Hassan Zayan, Amro Abbas – Palestine School; Second: Hanan Mohammed, Alya Al Misned – English Modern School, Al Khor; Third: Jaanvi Kalarikkal, Aditya Kalarikkal – Doha College. Amina Yasser Adel, Joury Murad – Palestine School, and Srinidhi Jagnath, Heera Hariprasath, Vaishnavi Goswami – Loyola International School were finalists.
In Senior Category 1: First: Anna Jerry Manathra, Janisa Pradeep Malaviya – Rajagiri Public School, Doha; Second: Sanjana Senthil, Razan Gafoor – DPS Modern Indian School; Third: Layla Al Zoubi, Prakrithi Jayanth – American School of Doha. Shahad Alkadah, Reem Karasnah – Amna Bint Wahab Prep School and Naveen Shanmugavel, Adel Gasmi – English Modern School, Al Khor were finalists. In Senior Category 2: First: Roma Angelica N. Manaois, Anne Beatrice A. Jose, Ma. Angela Jayne M. Mandin – Philippine School Doha; Second: Sarang Uppamoochikkal, Anugrah Sreejith – MES Indian School; Third: Marcus Wein E. Monteiro, Paul Ryan S. Ungab, Lara Michaella Z. Espiritu – Philippine International School. Mohammed Saleh Al-Kurbi, Turki Khalid Al-Sanadi, Ahmed Abdelaziz Al-Mulla - Qatar Science and Technology Secondary School and Shaima Murad, Wajdan Abdulhadi - Umm Ayman Secondary School for Girls were finalists.
The Young Innovator Award 2021 competition reiterated QEERI’s commitment to supporting Qatar’s efforts to address its grand challenges, while also contributing toward capacity building among its youth. For more information on the work of QEERI, please visit qeeri.hbku.edu.qa.