(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The World Congress on Engineering Education, a partnership of Texas A&M University at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar, recently announced winner of the first award for the best STEM Educator.
Faiza Hassan Musa was selected as the as STEM Educator of the Year and awarded a prize of QR20,000.
The STEM Educator of the Year competition was designed to recognise teachers for excellence in educating young Qataris in STEM disciplines - science, technology, engineering and math.
Musa, an educator for more than 25 years, teaches chemistry at Al Bayan Educational Complex for Girls.
"I have realised that students at that age need to change the traditional ways of learning inside the class room to more enjoyable ways of learning outside their school," she said.
"They are more interested in research work via the Internet, and they enjoy field trips that stimulate the learners' intellectual, psychological and social aspects, develop their potential for lifelong learning, and prepare them to become active and responsible citizens."
Musa praised Texas A&M at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar for their leadership in STEM education.
"Texas A&M at Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar have indeed taken a very important step in parenting STEM education in Qatar and appreciating the educators who are innovative with the students," she said. "I am very honoured by receiving the first STEM award of its kind. This initiative will definitely encourage other educators to instruct the students in innovative ways and encourage them to become proficient in planning and investigation. It will also play a crucial role in building Qatar's knowledge-based economy."
In addition to the cash prize, Musa received a commendation from the World Congress on Engineering Education in recognition of her innovative teaching techniques, and she will be honoured again in November when the Congress convenes in Doha.
Three other finalists for the award Mariam Abdullah Al Malki from Al Kawthar Independent Secondary School; Edwin Bywater from the American School of Doha; and Abdelkabir Ourraiss from the Omar bin Al Khattab Independent School for Boys were also recognized at the event.
Each received a prize of QR5,000.
Dr Mark Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M at Qatar, said, "This outreach depends on the dedication and initiative of teachers such as those recognized today and their commitment to teaching excellence. We realize that their efforts are the foundation of student preparation and enrichment, and applaud them for making a real difference for Qatar's students."
Sheikh Faisal bin Fahad Al Thani, Deputy Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said: "Maersk Oil Qatar operates one of the most complex oil fields in the world, the Al Shaheen field offshore Qatar. Developing young people to a high standard in STEM subjects is important for a knowledge-based economy, and for the health of industry sectors such as Oil & Gas which require highly skilled technical employees.
High teaching standards are a crucial component in developing students to be equipped for successful and rewarding careers in our industry.
The STEM Educator of the Year recognizes the dedication and outstanding teaching practices of high school teachers in Qatar, and we commend their commitment to their profession and the positive impact they are having on young people in Qatar."