Posted on June 12, 2017

Doha College took part in the Siemens Science Competition, which was held in alignment with the Qatar Germany Year of Culture 2017 and organized in partnership with Qatar Museums, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Doha, the Goethe-Institut and Siemens in Qatar.  Three schools were picked to participate in the STEM-focused challenge.  

Selected students from the Tunisian School of Doha, The German International School and Doha College competed to build three electrical and mechanical experiments that expressed the technological and engineering spirit of Germany. Built and designed by Siemens, the kits offered fantastic opportunities to demonstrate teamwork, scientific concepts, basic mechanics and engineering skills. Each experiment chosen for the competition used a differing energy source to deliver a particular outcome.

Experiment one used a solar cell as a power source and was designed to show that solar power is sufficient to make a LED light but that solar cells do not generate enough power to operate more demanding appliances like motors. The energy of water was harnessed in experiment two. Students built a water wheel from the construction kit components and then used water to generate the power needed to drive a hammer.  Traditionally hammer mills were used in Germany to process iron ore and many German towns still have hammer within their name as a reminder of those traditional extraction methods.

The final experiment used wind energy. Students had to follow the instructions carefully to build a mini wind turbine and then use a voltmeter to measure the energy output. In this indoor challenge, mini hairdryers provided the necessary wind! After each experiment, the students had to answer questions based on the test and apply their knowledge to solve problems. Mr Adrian Wood CEO of Siemens in Qatar explained,  “This science competition allowed us to share our passion for engineering and innovation with the next generation as we celebrate the Qatar Germany Year of Culture 2017.”

The scores throughout the competition were very close with the team from Doha College winning first place with 18 points, the German school were second with 16 points and the Tunisian school came third. More importantly was the learning and enjoyment and that was certainly in abundance. One student explained, “I love mechanics and building electrical systems, so I was delighted when my school chose me to be a part of the team, we had a great time although some of the experiments were hard to build and you had to build the experiment correctly to answer the questions.”

Mr Ian McKenna, Physics Teacher at Doha College who supervised the event said, “this event has been a fantastic opportunity for younger learners to develop their ideas surrounding energy resources and electricity generation. The resources that were provided by Siemens made some challenging concepts accessible to all of the students involved; resulting in a very valuable hands-on learning experience. We are delighted to host the Tunisian School of Doha and the German International School at our West Bay campus and to encourage students to compete in scientific challenges – it’s a great way to learn by doing.”

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