Columbus , Ohio
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
June 28, 2017
Diversity and Main Forum (Podium Presentation)
Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been investing substantially in the past two decades to promote STEM disciplines among young and upcoming talent. One of the long-term goals for countries in the region is to move rapidly from hydrocarbons-based economies to knowledge-based economies, and many nations have compiled strong credentials to support advancement toward those goals — but an indigenous technical workforce is essential for those efforts. The State of Qatar is one such country that has benefited from considerable government investment in the education of its next generation for technical careers.
A centerpiece of those efforts is Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Qatar Foundation, established in 1995, has been an active leader in importing education and expertise to jumpstart Qatar’s knowledge-based economy, and __________ is one of the six American university campuses established in Qatar Foundation’s Education City in Doha, Qatar, to offer degree programs that support Qatar’s broad development goals.
__________ offers ABET-accredited undergraduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering, and it has proven itself as one of the leading academic institutions in Qatar and the region. A major pursuit of __________ is to develop and implement STEM enrichment programs for students and teachers at elementary, middle and high school levels. Thanks to strong support from the industrial sector, __________ has been successful in developing and implementing an array of outreach programs for students in grades 5-12. Data about attitudes toward STEM education and engineering careers among Qatar’s youth were collected and analyzed. Two years of empirical evidence indicates that STEM enrichment programs and pre-college engineering education activities can positively impact students’ attitudes toward STEM education and careers. This can be attributed in part to the programs’ success in helping students understand the diverse ways in which engineering contributes to their country’s growth, development and economic prosperity.
This research relies on surveys completed by students before and after on-campus STEM outreach programs and activities, and the study is undertaken with a goal of developing greater understanding about educational goals and motivation for young Qataris, who are highly desired as engineering students and graduates by the country’s energy industry. From this, researchers considered ways that this data can inform innovation, enhancement and effectiveness of outreach and recruitment efforts to matriculate students into engineering degree programs that support the workforce needs of local industry.
Finally, this paper includes discussion about academia-industry partnerships as a foundation for impactful STEM outreach initiatives, and the analysis proposes partnership dynamics for mutually beneficial investment of effort and resources toward STEM outreach and enrichment.
Creel, B., & Nite, S., & Almarri, J. E., & Shafik, Z., & Mari, S., & Al-Thani, W. A. (2017, June), Inspiring Interest in STEM Education Among Qatar’s Youth Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29286
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