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Abstract

Qatar aims to transition to a knowledge-based economy by 2030. This vision requires labor forces with high skills. On the other hand, high school students are reluctant to enroll in disciplines such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering and technology. This fact raises questions about the society capacity to provide the appropriate labor force to achieve such a vision. Therefore there is a need to search for ways to raise the high school students' confidence to study those scientific disciplines. This research aimed to identify the learning possibilities offered by integrating secondary schools students within an advanced learning environment which offered research expertise. The method depends on using research as an activity for self-learning to understand basic science laws and unique applications. Twenty five high school students (18 male and 7 female) were randomly selected from the participants in Al-Biraq learning program in Qatar University, spring 2011. All the demographic characteristics of the participants in the experiment were unified such as; age, educational level (secondary), grades (12), academic background (independent schools), cultural background (speak the same language). The research team assessed the impact of the program by testing the students' performance. Pre-post-test was the assessment tool. Teachers and parents were also surveyed to provide indications of changes in student behavior in classes and at home. The results showed an improvement in student attitudes towards research and invention. The percentage of the students who agreed that they are capable of invention increased from 52% to 84%. The students who strongly agreed that their skills has increased after participating in scientific experiments from 48% to 72%. The study also, showed that there is significant change in attitude after attending this program as the confidence increased from 35% to be 75%. Findings did not reveal any differences based in gender. The overall outcome of the research is to emphasize the importance of non-traditional teaching methods based on research activities to improve students' attitudes and knowledge about science. Acknowledgement: The authors would like to thank the following companies for their sponsorship of the program: RasGas, Shell, Msheireb, Qatar Petroleum

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHP34
2012-10-01
2020-09-29
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHP34
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