The Young Botanist Program is an extracurricular educational program for primary school pupils and secondary school students. It is a combined scientific and practical program, which aims to introduce students to the study of botany and plant conservation through field trips and practical laboratory experiments. This experience enhances students’ talents, and widens their research and technical skills in the field of botany and environmental conservation, to help them choose the most suitable field of practice in the future. The program also aims to adopt a simplified approach to the study of botany and its various branches, such as the morphological, functional and anatomical properties of plants – each of them indispensable elements of educational curricula.
QBG offers this program so that young students can become closely acquainted with plants, studying them experimentally and learning how best to cultivate them. It also teaches them how to assess the environmental impact and rehabilitation of threatened sites. This is done within a series of visits inside the nurseries and laboratories of the QBG, Qatar University and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, in addition to field visits to practice environmental assessment and plant conservation.
Conditions for Joining the Program
- To take part in the program, schools should submit an official letter, which includes the name of the supervisor and his/her contact details, as well as the names of the students proposed to participate initially. An email to that effect should be sent to QBG at:
- The school can participate with one or more teams, provided that the number of students/pupils in each team is not less than two students and not more than three, in addition to the supervisor.
- It is mandatory to attend all theoretical and practical lectures of the program, which take place over four days, with a total of 12 theoretical and practical hours, to obtain a certificate of completion of the program that is presented to participating students and their supervisors.
- Participants carry out practical and applied projects to measure the extent of their interaction in the program, according to the themes discussed in the program.
- Participants must pass the final theoretical and practical exam to obtain the program completion certificate.
The open student meeting is held over two days, with one day each dedicated to boys’ schools and girl’s schools. Through the open student meeting, QBG offers a series of lectures and interactive discussions led by a group of professors and researchers in the fields of plants, environment, engineering, medicine, microbiology, and chemistry. This meeting is intended as a theoretical and interactive introduction to the practical program that students will follow.
The Themes of the Young Botanist Program
First theme: Plant Classification and Conservation
- Basics of taxonomy in botany
- Herbariums (labs containing plant samples) and their role in plant conservation
- Seed banks and their role in plant conservation and sustainable development
Second theme: Environmental Studies
- Foundations of plant field studies and environmental assessment
- Rehabilitation of endangered sites
- Environmental impact assessment studies, and standards to be achieved in economic and environmental projects
- Plants, architecture and landscaping in cities
Third theme: Economic Plant and Sustainable Development
- Micro-organisms and their Economic Role in Sustainable Development
- Local medicinal plants, and how to benefit from them
- Non-traditional crops and trees, and how to benefit from them economically
- Tissue agriculture and its scientific and economic role
Young Botanist Competition
School teams that have fulfilled the conditions of the program are entitled to participate in the Young Botanist Competition by submitting an application project on one of the themes and problems presented to them during the training program. The first three teams of boys and girls will be honored during the celebration by end of the program.
Through the participation of male and female students in the ‘Young Botanist Program’, the following will be achieved:
- Obtaining the skills to understand the basics of environmental and field studies and sustainable development in relation to the plants
- Practical and active participation in laboratory research work, environmental fieldwork, and wild plant habitat rehabilitation.
- Implementation of student research and applied projects on both flora and the environment to achieve sustainable development.
- Activating the students’ societal role in contributing to the preservation of plants and the environment by allowing them to take part in the program.
- Students and supervisors will receive QBG certificates certifying their participation in the Young Botanist Program, as soon as they complete the required number of theoretical and practical hours.