The Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has launched the second edition of its Young Innovator Awards Competition. Open to all national and international schools in Qatar, the competition raises awareness of the impact of climate change while inspiring participants to adopt sustainable practices in their everyday lives.
Developed with QEERI’s commitment to supporting Qatar’s efforts to address its grand challenges in mind, the competition poses the question: “How can you mitigate climate change challenges and promote sustainability in your home and surroundings?” Possible topics for exploration include rising sea levels, water scarcity, sustainable energy, pollution, degradation of infrastructure, and natural disasters.
In keeping with last year’s activities, QEERI’s second Young Innovator Awards Competition is divided into age groups. Junior level participants aged between 6 and 9 years will be tasked with drawing their solutions for more sustainable living. For their part, intermediate category contestants (10-13 years) will submit research posters, with the senior category (14-17 years) providing a research abstract and undertaking project presentations. The intermediate and senior level competitions begin with a preliminary round, with five teams qualifying for a final round of presentations and question and answer sessions.
“We are very excited about the Young Innovator Award Competition 2020,” said Dilraz Kunnummal, PR, Communications & Outreach Specialist and Competition Coordinator. “The interest we received from schools last year was overwhelming and we saw immense creativity and scientific thinking in the entries we received, even from the really young students. We hope this competition will encourage students to learn more about climate change, understand what role they can play, and deliver innovative solutions for a global challenge.
Highlighting the importance of empowering young people, Dr. Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director, QEERI, said: “We believe that children are indeed the future, and it is the children of today who will be change makers driving research, development and innovation to create a more sustainable world. QEERI sees the promotion of science and research among young people as a fundamental component of our mission and believes that youth have a crucial role to play in bringing about sustainable positive change. We hope that this competition will demonstrate to our youth that there are endless possibilities and opportunities for safeguarding and making better use of our finite natural resources while preserving our environment.”
He added: “It’s unfortunate that COVID-19 has forced us to hold this year’s competition online. However, our contestants’ health and safety is our number one priority and we look forward to holding future events in a more convivial and interactive setting.”
The judging panel for the second Young Innovator Awards Competition includes esteemed academics and business figures from the fields of energy, environment and water research. Entries will be judged on various factors including the value of the recommendation showcased, quality and creativity.
Rules, guidelines and registration forms are available on the QEERI website. The registrations will open on October 8 and the deadline for registration is October 31 with the finals expected to be held on December 8.
For more information on the work of Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, please visit hbku.edu.qa/en/qeeri
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