More than 40 primary school teachers from Qatar’s independent school system mastered ways to make science and math more exciting for their third, fourth and fifth grade classes. They were participants of the inaugural Qatar University ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, a five-day programme which concluded on Thursday. The teachers spent morning learning experiments to help them teach the concepts of buoyancy, displacement, and density. The academy was an innovative professional development programme to enhance math and science teaching skills. “From my experience at the Qatar University ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, I’m learning new ways to bring science to life for my students,” said Hissa Abdulaziz, a fifth-grade teacher at Al-Wakrah school. “If we can get our young people excited about these subjects at an early age, a whole world of possibilities will open to them.” To explore the concepts of displacement and density, teachers were given graduated cylinders and various objects that would sink and float in water. The teachers predicted how the objects would behave when dropped in the cylinders of water. They then calculated the density and graphed the results. From this data they were able to infer whether other objects would sink or float in water based on their density. The educators, who teach grades 3, 4 and 5, were selected by Qatar University based on their qualifications, dedication to inspiring students, proficiency in English and overall commitment to enhancing the education experience for both teachers and students. The programme is modelled after the successful Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, which has trained more than 3,200 teachers across the US since 2006. The participating teachers enhanced their understanding of math and science content, built on their expertise in facilitating student learning through problem-solving and inquiry, and used links between math and science to support their students’ learning. “By inspiring teachers in math and science, and equipping them with interactive teaching tools, teachers can help ignite their students’ passion for these subjects,” an organiser said.