As Qatar continues to diversify local modes of transportation, students at the Qatar Academy for Science and Technology (QAST) have found innovative ways to encourage people to use public transportation.
The recently-launched Education City tram at Qatar Foundation proved to be the perfect opportunity for students at the QAST to learn skills relevant to STEM, such as critical thinking, data analysis and effective communication, and a sense of responsibility.
STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The school helps students enhance their ability to solve real-world challenges by providing them with the right opportunities and encouraging an innovative mindset.
“Before it (Education City tram) was launched, we helped our students get acquainted with it, seeing how it reflects our science-based curriculum,” said Vaughan Lewis, academic co-ordinator at the QAST, which is part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education. “We offered our students an interactive way to help them find appropriate ways that encourage more individuals to use public transportation in Qatar.”
One of the teaching methods at the QAST involves encouraging students to develop solutions to daily real-world challenges.
“We also provide them with real-life models that they can learn from, first-hand,” Lewis said.
With the support of the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, a workshop was organised on how to develop a mobile app, which was one of the ideas proposed by the QAST students as a method that helps people learn how to use the Education City tram (EC Tram), according to Lewis.
“It is not an app that people can download, but it was proposed by our students in a presentation explaining their ideas and methods of implementation to the EC Tram curators,” he said.
The QAST students invited others to attend the workshop by sending invitation cards to schools in Qatar, including those in Qatar Foundation.
The three-day workshop brought together students from all over Qatar, who also attended a talk by the operation’s team on the importance of the EC Tram.
Students also had the chance to learn about developing a mobile app and create realistic project prototypes.
“Using the Education City tram as a model of learning gives students the opportunity to interact with a real audience, which helps them become more engaged and enthusiastic to learn,” Lewis added. “For example, our students learned how to operate EC Tram in physics class, collect and calculate statistics in mathematics class, and create posters in Arabic and English language classes.
“Our role is to evaluate how they work as a team and how they communicate with each other while working on these projects.”