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Development of a framework for practical Science in alignment with the curriculum standards of grades K-12 for independent schools in Qatar

Principal investigator: Ziad Said, PhD
Funded by: QNRF National Priorities Research Program
Research Period: 01/2015 – 01/2018
As Qatar diversifies its economy, there is an increasing emphasis, in higher education, on subjects that propel a knowledge economy, such as math and science. One among the key challenges to tackle to achieve QNV2030 as stated in QNSD 2011‐16 is: Raising the achievement of Qatari students at all levels, especially in math, science and English and, through that, increasing educational attainment (QNSD p 124). Qatar’s Third National Development Report, stated that “declining enrolment in science and mathematics needs to be reversed especially at the tertiary level, to better fulfil the needs of knowledge‐based economy industries” (NHDR2012, p.52). Practical is a distinctive feature of science education. It is regarded as critical to improve student attitudes to an interest in science and to the uptake of more science subjects at university or enrolled in science based disciplines. This project aims to explore the appropriate strategy to develop a framework that can integrate practical science activities within the teaching and learning process of school science. The final objective is to extend students’ knowledge towards understanding of natural world, main concepts, ideas and scientific theories by introducing effective system for practicing these activities that are designed to be both ” hands on” and “mind on” oriented.
Establishing a Corrosion Atlas for Qatar Petroleum
Principal investigator: Hanan Farhat, Instructor
Funded by: Qatar Petroleum
Research Period: 01/2015 – 01/2018
Decisions on material selection to prevent certain corrosion mechanism has always been a difficult task. To be safe, one tends to buy expensive material. Therefore, the main objective of this project is to execute field testing of selected stainless steel and nickel alloys to examine the resistance against CSCC which in turn will help QP to better control their costs.
Outcomes of professional diabetes care interventions by community Pharmacists in Qatar
Principal investigator: Wisal Salih, Instructor
Funded by: Seed Applied Research Fund in partnership with Kulud Pharmacy
Research Period: 04/2015 – 04/2016
This pilot study emphasized the positive impact of structured pharmacists’ interventions in the care of patient with Type Two Diabetes. This was evident by the reduction in the levels of FPG levels and HbA1C as well as an improvement of patients’ diabetes knowledge. The sponsor is continuing to partner with CNA-Q and the principal investigator to role of the pharmacy education model to the remainder of their organization.
Qataris students’ interest in and attitudes toward science – Phase II
Principal investigator: Ziad Said, PhD
Funded by: QNRF National Priorities Research Program
Research Period: 01/2015 – 01/2018
Research studies confirmed that there are positive correlations between students’ achievement in science subjects and positive attitudes toward science. Improving attitude starts with identifying factors behind its decline. Higher achievement will provide highly qualified, and motivated learners in the sciences at every stage of the academic pipeline. This is in line with the requirement for knowledge ‐based society which is central to Qatar National Vision 2030. This will also help advance a scientific culture of research and practice which largely depends on “inputs,” of school graduates who opt to pursue studies in scientific fields.

Antimicrobial Activities of Traditional Arab Medicinal Plants

Principal investigators: Susan Maszia, Instructor
Funded by: QNRF Undergraduate Research Experience Program
Research Period: 09/2011 – 06/2012
This UREP ethnobotanical study is especially important for a number of reasons, i) knowledge of the mode of preparation and use of traditional herbal medicines lies primarily with the generation of elders ii) traditional knowledge, as with many cultures, is verbal rather than written and recorded iii) few scientific studies have been completed exhibiting the local herbal medicinal properties iv) aspects of the Arab traditions are disappearing with progress and a more modern way of life iv) Arab desert environment is changing due to construction and expansion into ecologically sensitive areas which affect the habitat of local flora v) environmental changes may lead to the extinction of some desert plant species which are an important source of local herbal medicine. Nineteen desert plants were collected in Winter 2011. All 19 plants exhibited varying levels of antimicrobial activity against 10 Gram –positive and Gram-negative human pathogenic bacteria and one fungal species. One plant in particular, Paronychia argyrocoma, accounted for 22% of all positive tests, particularly as methanol extracts.

Augmented Reality (AR) performance and training applications for Qatari industrial trainee

Principal investigator: Robert Stephenson

Funded by: Seed Applied Research Fund and QAPCO
Qatari students, including technicians employed with QAPCO, will benefit from an enhanced learning experience, and more effective preparation for their careers in the oil and gas sector. This enhanced learning experience will include the ability of augmented reality training solutions to exploit students’ interest in experiential, hands‐on learning. Further, it is widely known, for example, that students at the College are strong visual learners but weak readers. Given its visual nature, augmented reality taps into students’ preferential learning style and simultaneously helps to overcome language barriers with working in English. Additionally, because the Augmented Reality learning objects are customized to QAPCO’s equipment and procedures, the students will have higher levels of job readiness, which decreases additional in‐house training for QAPCO and increases safety awareness for students. QAPCO will benefit from a better prepared trainee workforce and from exposure to performance support and training solutions that can potentially be integrated into its own workplace training programs which can be supported by CNA‐Q. CNA‐Q will gain a better understanding of the potential for AR‐based training solutions, as well as the technical and pedagogical requirements for the effective integration of such training solutions. Both CNA‐Q and QAPCO will benefit from this project through their establishment as leaders and first adopters in the use of augmented reality training and performance support solutions in the oil and gas sector in Qatar and in the GCC region.
​Developing innovative phase change materials based on raw materials based in Qatar
Principal investigator: Jamal Kurdi, PhD and Mohammed Farid, Professor (Auckland)

Funded by: QNRF National Priorities Research Program

Research Period: 10/2012 – 04/2016
Qatar has one of the largest plants of converting natural gas into gasoline. Phase change materials (PCM) can be produced from such type industry as side high‐value products compared to the petroleum products. Based on the outcome of this project Qatar will become the largest PCM manufacturing country in the world. Producing raw PCMs by itself is not sufficient to capture world market for selling PCM products. It is essential to have the PCM encapsulated in an innovative way to prevent its interaction with the environment and to develop fire retardants for use with the PCMs so that they can be used safely in the different applications, especially for use in buildings. The LPI with his 30‐years of experience in the subject and his international reputation and the vast experience of the key investigators in processing, it will be possible to establish the infrastructure, research development, and local expertise, which are all needed to establish a new and unique research area, which will eventually lead to a new industry in Qatar. These products not only have high value compared to petroleum products but they are capable of reducing the energy needed for heating and cooling in buildings and hence reduce CO2 emission, which has become an important objective in Qatar and other countries.
Build an Environmental Research Robot to clean the beach at Ras Laffan Industrial City—a nesting habitat for the hawksbill turtle in Qatar

Principal investigator: Sarah Inkpen, Ph.D

Funded by: ConocoPhillips and Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grant
Research Period: 02/2010 – 12/2012
The project demonstrated robotic technology that exhibited the best pedagogical theories involving hands-on learning, systems thinking, problem solving and modeling. Our main impetus was to supply opportunities for students from the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar to be involved in environmental research issues employing robotic technology. The multidisciplinary team applied classroom theory in a research setting using computer programming, environmental science, statistics, physics, mechanical and electronic engineering. The project demonstrated the effectiveness of environmental research robots and the challenges inherent to them and the turtles in harsh desert and industrial environments. The ultimate goal was the development of a customized and fully functioning non-intrusive robot for environmental monitoring that can be used to enhance or protect nature. ​