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Exciting summer of science for Qatari high school students

Moza Al-Hail with WCM-Q laboratory manager Harald Mubarak.
Moza Al-Hail with WCM-Q laboratory manager Harald Mubarak.

Two Qatari high school students have spent the summer learning research administration skills at WCM-Q thanks to a new internship program launched by the college.

Students Moza Al-Hail and Hissa Al-Fakhri, both 17, gained valuable work experience, skills and knowledge on the four-week intensive Research Internships for National High School Students program.

Both students said the program had been inspiring as well as educational.

“I have had such a great time here and learned so much,”

said Moza, who is a rising senior at Al Maha Academy.

“I discovered that there is much more to research than what goes on in the lab. We learned about the grants procedure, ethics in research, how laboratories and research institutes are structured and managed, and the procedures that must be followed to ensure health and safety in the labs. It has been fascinating.”

As part of the program, which is administered by WCM-Q’s Research Division, the students also took classes on time-management techniques, self-directed study skills and how to prepare strong college applications.

Hissa, a senior at Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, added:

“Learning about the college application procedure was really useful for us now that we are going into our senior year.”

The Research Internships for National High School Students program targets high school nationals who are 16 years old and above and are interested in scientific research. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of Qataris pursing careers in science and research, and so enhance the research capacity of the country in order to help fulfill the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. The program also counts towards students’ voluntary community service hours, with students who complete the course logging 100 hours of service.

For Hissa, the internship program was a great opportunity to explore what type of career she wants to pursue.

“I have multiple interests across the sciences and social sciences so it has been great to be able to explore them here at WCM-Q. For example, during the program we had some sessions about sleep research, which I found really interesting because it combines medical science, psychology and the social sciences. I was really inspired to discover there are areas of research that combine different subjects like this.”

For Moza, the course helped her confirm her passion for medicine.

“It is amazing that I had this opportunity and I am so glad I came here. Everyone was really friendly and it was not intimidating at all. Medicine is definitely my first choice.”

Moza was also gratified that a standardized operating procedure (SOP) she devised to help researchers book lab time was so effective that it is now being used by the Research Division.

Shaikha AlQahtani, senior research training specialist at WCM-Q, said:

“The aim is to give students a real, hands-on experience of research administration. They work closely with our researchers and administrative staff and have the opportunity to make real contributions as well as observing the work going on in the labs.

We have been really impressed by the effort and dedication shown by Hissa and Moza. We hope that many more Qatari nationals will take advantage of the opportunity to come to WCM-Q to join the Research Internships for National High School Students.”

Students who enroll on the Research Internships for National High School Students program can opt for full- or part-time versions of the course to accommodate family commitments. Students can also vary the length of the course and their start and end dates.

For more information visit the Research Internships for National High School Students program page