Art trip to Doha Municipality - 2018
On 18 March, we went on an art trip to Doha Municipality for the event “Little food inspectors and Food hygiene’. This event was organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
Firstly we had a very informative lecture which included posters and artistic models related to food safety whereby we were given a talk about how to inspect food in terms of its safety in order to prevent food poisoning. This was followed by workshops were we were taught how to store food, read food labels and how to separate ready to eat from raw meat/fish. The workshops were fun and engaging. We looked through a microscope to examine bacteria and we separated real food items inside a real fridge. This knowledge was beneficial because we can implement this in our daily lives. The second half of the event was dedicated to creating a poster based on what we learnt. We used our artistic skills and creative ideas to create a poster based on this topic. We enjoyed drawing and communicating important messages about food hygiene through our drawings. Other talented students posters from previous years were displayed, it was nice seeing others students artwork and it helped us with our own poster designs. This trip was beneficial for us because we gained knowledge about food safety, how we can prevent food poisoning and food borne diseases. We can use the information we gained from the lecture that we were given in our science lessons and we recognise the value of art and how artwork can be used to transmit valuable messages. This visit enabled us to use what we have learned inside the classroom outside of the classroom, we used the skills we learned in art in the classroom when we created our posters for this out of school wider learning opportunity. We thoroughly enjoyed this visit, we are glad we attended such an event and it was nice to leave with a small gift from the orgainsers! We are excited to attend more art competitions and hope someone from our school will win!
Evelyn, Dana, Nur Jasmeen, Ellyca, Nurin
The Science Trip to Qatar's Agriteq Exhibition - 2018
Qatar is located in one of the driest regions in the world and is subject to harsh climatic conditions with extremely low rainfall. Most of Qatar’s food supply is imported from other countries. However now Qatar is boosting up its own agricultural sector to support and provide food for its citizens. Although a small country, in terms of its area, Qatar has taken great measures to develop its Food and Agricultural industry.
On 21st March, we the Year 9 students accompanied by 3 of our teachers - Ms. Diraviam, Mr. Monzer and Ms. Swati went to the 6th Qatar AgriteQ Exhibition which was being held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC). It was an enthralling experience for us Year 9 students as it was the first time we were seeing for ourselves and learning about the various food products grown locally in Qatar using a lot of different modern scientific methodologies and equipment which made farming possible in the otherwise impossible to grow climatic conditions of Qatar. We witnessed a fully operational Greenhouse using the Hydroponic Technology which made it possible to grow vegetables and fruits in Qatar just by adding fertiliser to water and/or spraying the roots of plants with fertilizer rich water and using coconut palm fibre to retain the water. No soil was required for this! I found this a really amazing idea given the fact that Qatar has hardly any good soil cover for growing crops and depends a lot on soil imports from other countries. We had learnt about greenhouses in class and this was a good opportunity we had of seeing a real, functional one exhibited by Agrico Farm, our neighbours at Al Khor. The manager of the farm welcomed us and explained to us a lot about the method of farming used at his farm. He also invited us to go and visit the actual Agrico farm in Al Khor. We hope Ms. Diraviam takes us there too.
The ‘Cow Tipper’ machine invented by the Northern Ireland Company was another great innovative idea that caught our eye. It was a hydraulic machine used to very gently tip cows onto their sides without causing them any injury or pain. This tipping to one side was to enable vets and experts to examine the feet of cows from time to time for thorns, nails, pegs, glass and other material that might have got lodged into the cows feet giving it pain… thus making it non-productive in terms of its milk production. We came to know that when a cow is in pain it does not produce milk. Great innovative idea indeed! Wonder why nobody thought of it before. There was no need now of sedating the poor animal or tying it up and forcing it down onto its side!
Another idea that I particularly liked was that of the Progressive Company. They produced colourful woodchips (mulch) from dried date palm tree trunks for landscaping and gardening purposes to cover soil around plants…which not only made for beautiful gardening and landscaping but also helped in soil water retention by preventing water loss through evaporation…in Qatar’s soaring temperatures. The mulch being biodegradable also ultimately formed good topsoil and the colours used on the mulch were natural dyes. A truly great way of recycling!
We also got a good treat of dairy products and a fresh milk drink from the Baladna Dairy Farm Company representatives. Unfortunately their spokesperson was missing when we visited their stall and so we had to move on. But before leaving Ms. Diraviam asked if we could visit their farm sometime in the future and they said that we were most welcome.
We also visited the Qatar-e-Nature stall by Sasol. They were happy that we participate in their sponsored e-Nature contest for school children. When we pointed out at some of the photographs of our last year’s primary school participants pictures which we saw posted on the walls of their stall, they were very happy and welcomed us with gifts of toffees, bookmarks and garden tags. They also informed us that they would be extending the Qatar-e-Nature contest to secondary school students next year after its huge success with the primary students so far. They explained to us the digital app that we could download and use for it.
At the Golden Nails Company stall we saw on display the types of xerophytic plants like varieties of cacti and different ornamental plants and bamboo shoots that can be grown in the cooler temperatures indoors. We were gifted with bamboo plants to take home and grow. We were so happy to receive them.
The aim of the whole AgriteQ exhibition was to highlight Qatar’s innovation in agricultural techniques, and pinpoint the road map to achieve food security and sustainable development. Its aim was to promote the National Agricultural sector and diversify the economy, increase self-sufficiency in food production and domestic production capacities to reduce the country’s dependency on imported products, following the guidelines of Qatar National Vision 2030. It was a fantastic learning experience for us students to see a display of these innovative, modern techniques with our own eyes.
Seeing so many dairy animals and roosters all in one place and witnessing the shearing of sheep was a once in a lifetime experience for me...so was seeing beehives with bees and honey in their waxy honeycombs. We spent about an hour and a half walking around the stalls…exploring innovations by other companies too at the various national and international stalls before returning back to school. Wish we had more time to visit all the stalls though. It was a truly unique and enjoyable trip from which we had much to take back with us in terms of our learning experience. We look forward to more such enriching and exciting trips in the future…
Written by : Kazi Mysha Moontaha 9A/9.1-Science