Extraordinary decision taken after all top eight contestants advanced past two rounds of Qatar Foundation’s TV show due to COVID-19 pandemic
Doha, Qatar, October 25, 2020: The Stars of Science jury eliminated three contestants in the production prototyping round of Qatar Foundation’s edutainment TV show, citing that – after two straight rounds without elimination – the top eight contestants’ projects could now be judged fairly.
“COVID-19 impacted our ability to import necessary resources in a timely manner. To counter this, we granted Season 12’s innovators the chance to work on their projects for 10 weeks, giving them sufficient time to present fully functioning prototypes that met our usual scientific standards,” said Professor Fouad Mrad, Stars of Science jury member, while joining the episode virtually along with Professor Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry.
“Every one of these inventors showed great character as they adapted to these circumstances. Their admirable efforts highlight how the Arab region’s youth holds limitless potential, especially when given the opportunity to prove themselves.”
Unfortunately, Azzam Alwan, Jamal Shaktour, and Othman Abu Laban’s projects fell short of the jury’s standards this week, leading to their elimination from the competition. Azzam’s 3D Biometric for Information Security, which promised to secure phones through memorization of the user’s handwriting patterns, did not demonstrate self-learning capabilities.
Jamal’s Dual Mask Rescue Pack, a portable air filtration and mask system designed for first responders, drew heavy scrutiny as the project’s design featured exposed tubes, which the jury felt was a critical vulnerability in dangerous situations. While Othman’s Adaptive Car Headrest, aimed at protecting drivers from whiplash injuries by automatically providing a safety buffer for their heads, gave the panel cause for concern with a variety of cost and reliability issues.
“I’ve done all I can, and I have no regrets,” said Othman. “I learned how to look at the big picture and see my project from different perspectives. There are no winners or losers here, we all learned from this eye-opening experience.”
The panel maintained their relentless evaluations of the other projects, too. Sarah Aboerjaib defended her Fractured Bone Optical Scanner – a portable device that detects bone fractures using near-infrared rays – and was praised for its attractive design. While Mohammad Almogahwi and his Automated Hands-Free Toothbrush performed as planned, with the toothbrush successfully passing a variety of tests.
Eiman Al Hamad’s Arabic Conversation Fraud Detection program demonstrated that it could detect Arabic-language phone fraud using voice samples; however, the jury pressed Eiman on her future development plans and the research underpinning her project. The Qatari asserted that she wanted to prove the viability of the detection system first before focusing on preparing it for the market.
Ahmad Fathalla’s work on his Educational Platform Using Electronic Cubes paid off, as his invention scored high marks during testing. The Egyptian inventor detailed his next steps, listing how he would tackle cost, durability, and safety concerns. Lastly, Waddah Malaeb’s Ductal Organoid-on-a-Chip impressed the jury members especially with him keeping an eye on the market and presenting plans for mass manufacturing.
Yosouf Al-Salehi, Qatar Science & Technology Park’s Executive Director and a former member of the show’s jury, joined Stars of Science as a guest juror for a second time to share his unique perspective with the contestants. While Mohamad Ziad Chaari, a top-four finalist on Stars of Science Season 3, co-hosted this week’s episode alongside the show’s longtime host Khalid Al Jumaily. The accomplished Tunisian innovator, author, and entrepreneur encouraged the participants to confront the jury by focusing on the strengths of their ideas and their passion, noting that “aspiration is greater than fear.”
For a full broadcast guide to Stars of Science Season 12, visit www.starsofscience.com
About Stars of Science
As the premier innovation show in the Arab world, Stars of Science – the edutainment TV initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF) – empowers Arab innovators to develop technological solutions for their communities, benefitting people’s health and lifestyles, and helping to preserve the environment.
Over a 12-week process, the contestants demonstrate the effectiveness of their solutions in a shared innovation space, competing against time with the support of a team of experienced engineers and product developers. An expert panel of jurors assess and eliminate projects every week across several prototyping and testing rounds, until only four finalists remain to compete for a share of $600,000 in seed funding. Jury deliberation and online voting from the public determine the rankings.
Stars of Science will air every Friday and Saturday from September 11, 2020 till November 6, 2020. Please visit the broadcast guide for channels and timings: starsofscience.com
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Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) is a non-profit organization that supports Qatar on its journey to becoming a diversified and sustainable economy. QF strives to serve the people of Qatar and beyond by providing specialized programs across its innovation-focused ecosystem of education, science and research, and community development.
QF was founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who shared the vision to provide Qatar with quality education. Today, QF’s world-class education system offers lifelong learning opportunities to community members as young as six months through to doctoral level, enabling graduates to thrive in a global environment and contribute to the nation’s development.
QF is also creating a multidisciplinary innovation hub in Qatar, where homegrown researchers are working to address local and global challenges. By promoting a culture of lifelong learning and fostering social engagement through programs that embody Qatari culture, QF is committed to empowering the local community and contributing to a better world for all.
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit http://www.qf.org.qa