Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development announced today the second season of the reality-TV program "Stars of Science", in a press conference held at Qatar Foundation headquarters.
The contest, an initiative by Qatar Foundation to encourage innovation among Arab youth and showcase their various inventions, returns on Sunday, October 3, with a raft of brand new features to fifteen public and private Arab TV channels.
In the framework of a Pan-Arab partnership set by Qatar Foundation, the edutainment show will namely be broadcast on Bahrain TV, Al Mahroussa (Egypt), Dream TV (Egypt), Saudi 1 (KSA), Al Rai (Kuwait),Al Jadeed (Lebanon), Mauritania TV; Arrabia (Morocco), Oman TV, Al Jazeera Mubasher (Qatar), Qatar TV (Qatar) Sudan TV, Syria TV, Hannibal TV (Tunisia) and Yemen TV.
This season, presented again by the young and dynamic Qatari host Khalid Al Jumaily, has been extended and enhanced and now consists of eight weekly Prime Time episodes (75 minutes) broadcasted every Sunday starting October 3rd as well as a Live Finale (90 minutes) on Sunday November 28. The Prime Time episodes, besides summing up the activities led by the candidates during the related round, will notably cover the face-to-face presentations of the candidates to the jury, in which they will have to convince the latter on the progress made on their innovation projects and on their achievement of the given challenge.
The 30 Daily episodes (30 minutes), broadcast from Monday to Saturday, starting October 25, will give an additional insight on the candidates personalities and the development of their projects, while offering attractive reports about science in an entertaining way.
Prime Time episodes one and two will cover the local selections taking place in eight Arab countries(Egypt, KSA, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia and UAE), upon an international recruitment campaign that attracted more than 7000 applications.
In Prime Time episode three, held in Doha, the best profiles identified from the regional casting tour will face a Pan-Arab jury, which will have the heavy responsibility to select the sixteen candidates entering the contest.
These short-listed hopefuls will be given the chance to develop their own innovation project and, for this purpose, they will be able to enter the program's specially-designed workshop, revamped for this new season, where they will have access to an array of state-of-the art resources as well as the support of top professionals.
After an inaugural and previously unseen session dedicated to motivation and personal development activities (Prime Time Episode four), the candidates will take part in the heart of the competition, composed of successive rounds, each of them corresponding to a key stage of the innovation process.
As a specific new feature of this year, the evaluation of the candidates and of their projects, as well as the selection for the next stage, will be performed by Pan-Arab juries specific to each round, composed of two permanent members and guest top-notch experts.
The candidates will also rely on support from four universities established in Qatar Foundation's Education City (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 College of the North Atlantic-Qatar and Qatar University.
The four candidates still in competition after Prime-time episode eight will come face-to-face during a Live Finale full of surprises (Prime Time episode nine), set in the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha, in which they will launch their product in the most spectacular way.
A grand Pan-Arab jury, present on stage, and the TV viewers, voting through phone and SMS, will decide at parity on the final ranking and the granting of prizes totaling $600,000, with the following breakdown:
1st prize: $300,0002nd prize: $150,000 3rd prize: $100,000 4th prize: $50,000
"The popularity of the first season of 'Stars of Science' prompted us to repeat and enhance the show," said HE Dr. Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, President, Education City University. "It succeeded beyond our expectations in its goal of making science both entertaining and enlightening. But we also want to encourage innovation and we were delighted to discover that there is no shortage among Arab youth of original thinkers who have the determination to turn their dreams into reality. This spirit of invention and enterprise is vital to our future welfare, and I look forward to it reaching out from the TV studio to society at large."