AL-Bairaq is a non-profit educational outreach program for high school students, allowing them to learn at the research environment in the Center for Advanced Materials (CAM) at Qatar University, in Doha, Qatar. Students engage in scientific activities which aim to enhance their skills and motivation, and guide them in their future career. Students attend modules in science, technology, engineering and mathematics ( STEM fields).
The program doesn't use prepared lessons, but instead aims to motivate students with enjoyable project-based learning, encouraging them to solve authentic problems which require them to work as a team to arrive at solutions. The program uses social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to allow students to communicate their ideas, and to display their resulting products.
Any student at a Qatari secondary school (independent and international) is eligible to participate. Faculty members train and mentor the students to help develop their critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. Students, in teams, formulate their own research questions related to materials science; build a research plan; investigate, using the CAM's instrumentation. They report their findings in a public forum, evaluated by representatives from business and industry.
The program was developed with UNESCO and the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science. Its sponsors are RasGas, Maersk Oil, and Shell.