Doha, Qatar: Maharat Qatar is a program sponsored by Qatar Shell to support student engagement and skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, and to promote the application of technology which will enhance the learning environment for students.

As part of this sponsorship, the Qatar National Robot Olympiad (NRO) 2017 took place at Aspire Ladies Sports Hall, involving over 500 students from elementary, junior high and senior high schools from across Qatar. This marked the inaugural event for Maharat Qatar, sponsored by Qatar Shell and hosted by College of the North Atlantic - Qatar (CNA-Q).

Andrew Faulkner, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Companies, said “We are proud to be sponsoring Maharat Qatar 2017 with the College of North Atlantic Qatar (CNA-Q), which we believe will support the Qatar’s vision of nurturing the next generation of leaders in the STEM area in-line with the human development pillar and Qatar National Vision 2030”

Dr. Ken MacLeod, President, CNA-Q said: “This weekend has been a truly magnificent display of talent from Qatar’s best and brightest. Giving students the opportunity to compete against their peers in robotics activities helps harness their creativity and introduces them to the wonderful world of STEM. As Qatar’s premier technical College of applied learning, CNA-Q is proud to host such an event, and for the first time this year with Qatar Shell. The Maharat Qatar program speaks to the power of applied learning, so students can experience the importance of STEM, and encourages the pursuit of these subjects once they reach post-secondary. STEM careers are vital to growing and advancing Qatar’s economy.”

Maharat Qatar tests the limits of the problem solving, engineering, teamwork and programming skills of the students. The NRO event featured four competition categories, with the winning teams qualifying to represent Qatar at the World Robot Olympiad 2017 in Costa Rica in early November. With the support and guidance of teachers, educators and mentors, participating students spent the past year training to design and program the best and most versatile robots they can. During the competition, students were tasked with building and programming LEGO MINDSTORMS robots under strict time limits to complete a set of challenges.

Qatar National Robot Olympiad 2017 winners:

Regular Elementary Category

  • First Place: Altaawon Primary School for Girls; Students: Amjad Ali and Noor Salah Zaid; Coach: Doaa Abd Elhamid
  • Second Place: AlBayan Second Primary Independent Girls; Students: Jana Ismaeel Fawzia Al Zaraa and Salsabeel Abdulla; Coach: Asma Salman Al Qahwaji
  • Third Place: AlBayan Second Primary Independent Girls; Students: Hebatullah Derar, Aljazi Khalifa Alyafei and Shatha Magdi; Coach: Eman A. Ashour

Regular Junior High Category

  • First Place: Aspire Academy; Students: Rakan Mesfer and Jaber Omar M M Al-Fadaaq; Coach: Issam Salame
  • Second Place: Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib Independent Preparatory School; Students: Osama Hardan, Ward Mohammad and Mohammad Altamimi; Coach: Mohammad Othman
  • Third Place: Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib Independent Preparatory School; Students: Tareq Esbaih, Yahaya Jawad and Jasem Almarzoqy; Coach: Mohammad Othman

Regular Senior High Category

  • First Place: Al Khor International School – CBSE; Students: Sasidharan Subbiah, Yogesh Venkatesa Perumal and Jayanth Akula; Coach: Bharati Patel
  • Second Place: Al Khor International School; Students: Hrishikesh Srinivasan, Chirag Gupta and Mihir Kumar Hirpara; Coach: Naresh Kondapuram
  • Third Place: Doha Secondary Indepedent Boys; Students: Abdullah Altorbani and Abdullah Ashraf; Coach: Mohammed Samir Ali

Gen II Football

  • First Place: Naser Bin Abdulla Secondary Boys School; Students: Ahmad Essam, Rashed Al-Yafei and Ahmad Ramzi; Coach: Esam Alkhateib
  • Second Place: Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib Independent Preparatory School; Students: Ahmed Mohsen, Zeyad Ahmed and Mohamed Anjarany; Coach: Mohammad Othman
  • Third Place: Qatar Independent Technical School; Students: Ali Mohammed Alobaidli, Talal Ahmed Alkashadi and Abdulla Mahmoud Alkhouri; Coach: Ahmed Abdelsalam

Mohammed Abu Jbara, Cooperate and Social Responsibility Manager at Qatar Shell, said “I was highly impressed with the level of commitment and talent the students showed today and we believe the Maharat Qatar program will help contribute to students pursuing science tracks at school and later increase the number of those pursuing technical and engineering majors in their post-secondary studies.”

Dr. Theodore Chiasson, Dean of Information Technology at CNA-Q, said “It was great to see the students from schools across Qatar competing in the NRO. We have delivered robotics training to over 300 school teachers this year at CNA-Q, and it is wonderful to see the training has been passed on to their students. With Qatar Shell’s support, we will now be able to expand our skills development framework and further engage students and teachers from schools throughout Qatar in other STEM-related competitions.”

Under Maharat Qatar, new skills development areas will be introduced over the course of the year. These new initiatives will include teacher training sessions at CNA-Q and distribution of necessary equipment to schools to engage students of all ages in STEM-related skills development, building on the successful engagement model of the NRO.