Competition part of QEERI’s mission to promote science and research among young people
Over 600 students participated in the second edition of the Young Innovator Award competition, organized by the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU). Students from local, community, and international schools in Qatar displayed their insights on the topic of mitigating climate change.
The competition for the Young Innovator Award 2020 saw participating students categorized as Junior, Intermediate, and Senior based on their age, with each category further split into two. Junior categories (6-7 and 8-9 years) showcased artwork, Intermediate (10-11 and 12-13 years) produced research posters, and the Senior category (14-15 and 16-17 years) presented research projects related to the theme of mitigating climate change. More than 350 teams submitted entries for the preliminary round and each category had five finalists chosen by jury panels made up of QEERI research staff.
In his opening address, Dr. Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director, QEERI, highlighted the promotion of science and research among young people as a fundamental component of QEERI’s mission. He said: “We believe that youth have a crucial role to play in bringing about sustainable positive changes. The immense creativity, scientific research capability, and the quality of work that we have seen during the competition gives us hope for a better future. The jury and our QEERI scientists are equally impressed by the work produced by these talented young people.”
The finals, held virtually over two days, were attended by teachers, parents, and the wider community, who showed their support for the students. They were moderated by competition coordinator and QEERI’s PR, Communications, and Outreach Specialist Dilraz Kunnummal. The judging panel included QEERI’s management and senior staff, as well as industry experts from the field of sustainability.
The exceptional quality of work presented made the selection of overall winners challenging, according to jury panelists. Dr. Noama Shareef, Senior Wastewater Engineering and Capacity Building Specialist, Center for International Migration and Development, Frankfurt, Germany, said: “I was thrilled to be part of one of the jury panels for the Young Innovator Award 2020, and I must commend QEERI for the way they are promoting science and research among the youth of the nation. It allows young people to gain awareness, and to build capacity, while encouraging them to take action against climate change and other important environmental challenges. The work showcased by the students was of very high quality, thoroughly researched, and creative. Congratulations to all the winners and participants.”
For students, the competition was a unique opportunity to showcase their knowledge, presentation skills, and confidence to their peers and the community. Ali Othman Al Maraghi, an 8th grader from Qatar Leadership Academy, said: “The Young Innovator Award competition opened my mind to the dangers of irresponsible use of natural resources. The competition gave me an opportunity to improve my scientific research skills, communication skills, collaborative skills, and time management skills. I really liked the feedback and comments from the judges. Thank you to QEERI for such a wonderful opportunity.”
The winning Young Innovators are as follows. In Junior Category 1: First: Quinn Feodore Dela Cruz Esperanzate – Philippine School Doha; Second: Qarylle Claudet Dela Cruz – Philippine School Doha; Third: Sarah Suhaib – The Next Generation School, Nuaija. In Junior Category 2: First: Athif Sherif – Olive International School; Second: Carlene Rosales Campit Bocalig – Philippine School Doha; Third: Hiba Mehek – The Next Generation School, Ain Khaled.
In Intermediate Category 1: First: Unica De Vera, Sulwan Rohing, and Daniela Suson – Philippine School Doha; Second: Mohammed Tareq G A Al-Sharshani and Mohammed Amer J N Alhumaidi – Qatar Academy Al Khor; Third: Nour Osama Mousa Awad and Almaha Khalid A A Mohd Al-Hamadi – Iqra English School for Girls. In Intermediate Category 2: First: Simrah Salman and Maryam Fatima – The Next Generation School, Al Daayen; Second: Ali Othman A A Al-Maraghi, Salman Ahmad A A Al-Jehani, and Salem Khalid S A Al-Hajri – Qatar Leadership Academy; Third: Rashid Mohammed Al Ghafri and Abdulla Abdulrahman Haidar – Qatar Academy Al Wakra.
In Senior Category 1: First: Kevin Davis and Anna Jerry Manathra – Rajagiri Public School, Doha; Second: Tejaswi Manoj and Samridhi Bhardwaj – DPS Modern Indian School; Third: Abdul Ahad, Rayhan Mahetar, and Nabeel Chougle – Gems Wellington School. In Senior Category 2: First: Sooriyaselvan Narendran and Manogna Jayi – DPS Modern Indian School; Second: Jhaznine Mangalino, Vianca Pujante, and Alexie Ibanez – Philippine School Doha; Third: Juwairiya Mohammed and Neha Alex – MES Indian School.
The Young Innovator Award 2020 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.