As part of the celebrations of the centennial anniversary of Ahliah School and the 150thanniversary of the American University of Beirut, Ahliah School organized in partnership with the Collaborative for Leadership and Innovation in Health Systems (CLI) at the Faculty of Health Sciences, AUB, an educational workshop characterized by its innovative aspect. The workshop titled “The Research Journey: Innovative Approaches in Engaging Students in Research”was held on Thursday, the 20th of October, 2016, at the AUB –FHS, in the Van Dyck Court Yard.
That one open day, interactive event was the first of its kind targeting high school students to raise their awareness and understanding of the different elements of conducting research, their relevance and implications in an enjoyable venue.
Dr. Shadi Saleh, CLI director, described the workshop as “a provision of an important learning opportunity that would sensitize students on research in innovative ways”.
Seven public and private high schools were consecutively attending the workshop with an average of 20 students (grade 10 through 12) per school. It consisted of six booths that took the guests on an enjoyable expedition of the various aspects of research through several hands-on activities in addition to displays, props, and printed material. With the aim of supplying a concrete learning opportunity, knowledge and information stemming from experiences of different faculty members contributed to the development of the content of each booth. Graduate and undergraduate students well equipped with research skills have been trained to communicate the content of each booth on the basis of high school students’proficiency level.
Mrs. Rida Ayache, principal of Ahliah School, emphasized that “it is of ultimate significance for school students to get introduced to the basic elements and methods of scientific research and their applications prior to beginning higher studies at college”. This was achieved through students’alternation as a group on the different booths, starting with Research Ideas on booth N.1, moving to Quantitative Research, followed by Qualitative Research, and then getting introduced to Research Ethics, for a later exploration of Research in Practice and a final thought on Research in Policy on booth N.6.
By the end of the workshop, students had acquired the knowledge needed about the research journey to transform it, at a later stage, into skills to effectively conduct research. As this workshop was planned to become an annual event, students filled evaluation forms assessing the effectiveness of the workshop in grabbing their interest in research, which shed light on areas for potential improvements in the future.