For the sixth consecutive year, FameLab, one of the biggest science communication competitions in the world, took place in Qatar.
FameLab was initiated by Cheltenham Science Festivals in the UK, and brought to Qatar by the British Council in partnership with Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) – a member of Qatar Foundation (QF) – and supported by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
The winner of the adult category will go on to represent Qatar in the online international FameLab finals at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the United Kingdom.
Khalid Fahd and officials
FameLab is a competition for scientific communication where the participants present scientifically proven ideas to a general public audience in just three minutes. The judging is based on clarity, scientific content and performance on the stage. The participants in FameLab are divided into two categories: students (school students from 15 years old), and adults (including teachers and researchers).
Nearly 300 participants took part in this year's FameLab competition; all of who were trained to compete to reach the finals. Twenty participants who made it to the finals received an intensive Science Communication training delivered by experienced and qualified international science communicators from the UK.
The national final was held online on October 4. More than 200 people watched the finals where the winners were announced at the end of the ceremony.
In the students’ category, the first place was bagged by Khalid Fahd from Qatar Science and Technology Secondary School for Boys, the second place by Justen Pacer from Philippine School and third place by Zainab Ladha from The Next Generation School.
In the adults’ category, Fatima Omar from University of Birmingham won the first place and will represent Qatar at the international finals at Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. Mohamed Umar Jamil from Texas A&M University at Qatar won second place in the finals.
Sam Ayton, director of British Council Qatar said: “I am delighted at the overwhelming response that FameLab has had again in Qatar this year. It has involved a large number of school students and young researchers. The success that we have had is the fruit of an outstanding collaboration with our strategic partner, Qatar National Research Fund, and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Being able to talk about science, explain science and make science relevant to young people and to engage their interest is a skill that is important in order to ensure the commitment and success of Qatar’s next generation of young scientists.”
Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie, executive director, QNRF, added: “Year by year, the contestants applying to the FameLab competition have impressed us with their talent and passion and this year is no different. Their performance in the national finals and achievements at the international stage are a testament to the success of the national level efforts to promote STEM education in Qatar. Over the past six years, FameLab has helped us identify effective and engaging science communicators who will go on to play an important role in Qatar’s journey towards becoming a leading international centre of scientific research and development.”