Here Lego!

As five talented youngsters from Al Ain take on the First Lego League Challenge in Dubai tomorrow with their robot, Steel, here is your chance to cheer them on to victory

By David Light

Published: Thu 26 Feb 2009, 9:49 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:29 PM

Jawhar Abdulrahman, Obada Adel Hammod, Mohamad Mossa, Mahmood Hisham and Mohamed Abd Al Hamed are the five talented children from Al Ain who make up the Falcon Steam Team who are all set to compete in the First Lego league challenge in Dubai. An exciting and fun global robotics programme that ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science, and technology, the 2009 Challenge ‘Climate Connections’ will get underway at the Mall of the Emirates tomorrow. City Times spoke to the organisers, the Arab Youth Venture Foundation, to find out more about the event.

What is the First Lego League?

The First Lego League (FLL) is a global programme created to get kids excited about science and technology. Geared for ages 9-14 (up to 16 outside of the U.S. and Canada), FLL utilises theme-based challenges to engage kids in research, problem solving, and engineering. The cornerstones of the programme are its Core Values, which emphasise contributions of others, friendly sportsmanship, learning, and community involvement.

Could you tell us about the Arab Youth Venture Foundation?

The organiser for the upcoming First Lego League is the Arab Youth Venture Foundation (AYVF), a UAE based non-profit organisation that is essentially an ‘idea lab’ and ‘incubator’ dedicated to putting together and delivering on ‘effective youth’ programmes. AYVF find businesses in the local community who are keen to play a key role in nurturing the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and talent of youth in the Arab World.

The mission of AYVF is to nurture and engage Arab Youth to build on their world-class talents and potential they possess to empower their communities and play a key role in creating the dynamic scientific researchers, inventors, doctors, business intellects, engineers, etc. of tomorrow.

What is the First Lego League competition about?

Every year, the FLL has two parts, the Project and the Robot Game:

The Project: The exploration of the Challenge theme and the development of a research project is a critical part of the overall FLL experience. FLL is not just about building and competing with robots. First encourages well-rounded teams because any successful engineering project requires a wide variety of skills. Through the project research, teams learn more about the science behind the Challenge theme and better understand the work of professionals in that field. Teams will encounter challenges similar to those faced by scientists and engineers as they identify a problem and develop an innovative solution. Exposure to these fields of science and related professions open kids’ eyes to future career choices where they can make a positive difference to society.

The Robot Game: It consists of several mini-tasks, or missions for the team’s smart robot ‘Steel.’ At the beginning of each two and a half minute round, each team’s robot will start from base, but the missions they choose to complete, and how and when they choose to complete them, are what make the Challenge an exercise in strategic thinking and planning.

The final destination of the competition is the First Lego League World Festival. The Champion’s Award is the most prestigious award that any team can win. It celebrates the ultimate success of the First mission and FLL values. This is what the Falcon Steam team from Al-Ain aims to achieve in local and regional heats.

Event Details


When: February 27 and 28, 11am to 8pm

Where: Mall of the Emirates

Qualifying round

When: March 6 and 7, 11am to 8pm

Where: Mall of the Emirates

Championship Tournament

When: March 13

Where: Mall of the Emirates, Galleria – 4pm to 8pm

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