Our students have undertaken an ambitious project to collect data in order to understand problems facing Doha. Working with researchers and experts from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), as well as local organisations, students have collected and analysed data to research a current issue in the city as part of the Data-Driven Curiosity Challenge. Students will then use the results of their analysis to educate members of their school and community, helping them to understand and connect with the issue.
The challenge is the second phase of a three-part annual activity designed by MIT experts based on STEAM subjects and the scientific method. The first part of the challenge encouraged students to think critically and explore their curiosity. Students combined the skills of data analysis and communication in this second phase to explore present day issues and bring awareness to the community.
Topics that students are researching:
- Food wastage: Throughout the STEAM project, students have been exploring the amount of food that is wasted around the world. As a result, students are encouraging each other to eat the food they have or take it back home so it is not wasted. ‘Food Police,’ who are elected student council members, have been monitoring waste and encouraging students to eat healthier. Parents are also encouraged to support this by giving students the right portion size of healthy, nutritious food and ensuring that it is practised at home.
- Traffic: Students have started studying the distance and the average speed of journeys to school. They are now in the process of comparing the effect of departure time and distance on the data collected.
- Road safety: Students canvassed the school community asking them what they feel are major issues concerning driving in Doha. Next steps will be to focus on the key problems and explore ways to address issues related to road safety.
The final stage of the challenge will see students design and build a solution to their chosen local issue.
Dr Terry Creissen said:
"We have this exciting opportunity for our students to work with MIT on local issues here in Doha. It’s a shining example of how we are opening our students’ minds by working with external researchers and local organisations. This in turn makes our students more prepared for life after school and gives them a skill set for their future.”
John Durant, Director of MIT Museum, said:
“I am delighted to see the MIT STEAM Challenge move into its second phase of operations. The new challenge being posted to Nord Anglia students will cultivate skills in data collection and analysis that are at the heart of effective problem solving in many areas of life and work. We look forward to working closely with Nord Anglia teachers and students over the coming months.”
This challenge is part of a wider collaboration between MIT and Nord Anglia Education schools incorporating the interdisciplinary subjects of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). At the core of the collaboration is the reflection of MIT’s philosophy of ‘mind and hand’, which calls for a practical approach to problem solving. Through this approach, students will develop key transferable skills such as creativity, critical thinking, curiosity and communication, which can be employed across all academic subjects, and in future careers.
The Nord Anglia-MIT collaboration launched in September 2016 in 13 inaugural schools and will expand to educate more than 37,000 students at Nord Anglia Education schools in following years.