How to make innovation and science as enthralling to a couch potato as contestants in a TV game show? Make scientists and inventors contestants in a TV game show!
The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is trying just that, in an attempt to promote the development of innovation in the Middle East. A glamorous show with high production values is to be broadcast by an unprecedented array of 15 public and private Pan Arab TV channels.After weeding through 5,600 that didn’t make the cut, the judges have selected just 16 Arab students from 11 Middle East countries to compete on the show we first covered last year.
Couch potatoes will follow them, reality-show-style, through the innovation process – as they face the thrilling nerdy challenges abounding in the world of inventing things. About time, I say! Surely innovation is far more inherently interesting than the sorts of subject matter that now despoils the airwaves.
Stars of Science will be judged by Dr. Sadeg Faris, a Libyan engineer holding over 600 patents, William Sawaya, a renowned Lebanese designer, and Dr Mona Zaki, an Egyptian marketing consultant and prominent businesswoman.
Of course, there’s much more to invention than inventing things. So, after meeting all the inventors in episode one, the second episode will cover engineering (the nitty-gritty of making inventions work), the third will cover making their ideas look good (design) and the fourth episode will cover getting the brilliant ideas to market (finding a buyer). Only in episode five do we select the winner.
And couch potatoes have to follow through all these steps. From 16 candidates and 16 projects at the beginning, the show ends with 2 teams of 8 students and 2 projects facing for the finale.
The students will also benefit from an array of technological resources and the support of field experts, as well as the precious contributions of 4 universities established in Education City, Doha (Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Texas A & M University at Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar), as well as of from the College of North Atlantic-Qatar and Qatar University.