Over a seven week period over a thousand students across 6 countries in the Middle East and North Africa worked with their teachers and with the Taqaddam online platform to develop their character strengths and soft skills. Alongside this students worked as teams to develop an innovative idea that would help solve a problem that they had identified regarding the environment, health or their community. Now, Spark+Mettle are showcasing some of the fantastic ideas that arose from each country.
School name: Al Wakra Independent School
Idea: “Solar Powered Air Conditioning in Public Transport ”
It was agreed unanimously that the boys from Al Wakra Independent School were the winners at our Qatar Competition day. It was a hard decision for the judges as the efforts of all teams were visible; everyone presented bravely, with confidence and all teams had brilliantly unique ideas.
Al Wakra started by showing the video you can see above. They then explained how their idea would work. This team focused on workers in their country, mainly non-Qatari nationals, that are at the centre of all construction work in Qatar. With preparations for the World Cup in 2020 there is a massive amount of development being done. While Qatar has a car ownership rate of 2.5 cars per person, most of these workers rely on public transport to commute. The high congestion problems means that their buses are often late and, combined with the extreme heat of the region, many of these workers can be waiting in absolutely exhausting temperatures for an hour before even starting their working day.
The team’s solution was to use solar power (an energy source that is abundant in Qatar!) to power large fans in bus shelters and also on the buses. The team had built a model to show how this could work in theory, using a solar reactive diode and a PC fan.
The judges felt they deserved to be winners for a combination of reasons. Not only did their idea use an innovative way of applying existing technology to a problematic situation but it also solved a problem that is commonly ignored. The team themselves also embodied the character strengths perfectly. Most visibly were positive emotions, purpose and mettle – they had a number of technical difficulties during the presentation but they stayed calm and persevered. At the end of the presentation the team revealed that their original video had been wiped by accident so they had re-shot and re-edited a new one on the way to the competition!