Dubai institute holds robotics, computing contests for students

Dubai institute holds robotics, computing contests for students
The winning team from American Community School, Abu Dhabi, working towards building a robot with sensors.

Dubai - The robots built by teenagers went head-to-head in a battle that put the youngsters' technical skills to test.



Published: Thu 24 Mar 2016, 5:37 PM

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai, in a bid to spark interest in engineering and robotics among high school students, hosted a first of its kind robotics competition.
The robots built by teenagers went head-to-head in a battle that put the youngsters' technical skills to test.
Students from the American Community School of Abu Dhabi (ACSAD) and from Dubai Scholars Private School (DSPS) pitted their creativity against each other.
Dr Yousef Al Assaf, President of RIT Dubai, told Khaleej Times the teams had to design a robot to catch and place a ball inside a black ring.
"Each robot had to be equipped with an infrared sensor to catch the ball, a colour sensor to recognise the different coloured areas of the field and a sound sensor to initiate the movement of the robot from a clapping sound."
The robots operated autonomously during the search and scoring of the ball according to a preset program, he added. "Both teams worked frantically on final adjustments but the robot built by DSPS proved to be inferior to the high-powered creation of ACSAD."
ACSAD's robot was much faster and once it caught the ball it scored it rapidly, he explained.
"The seniors from ACSAD were crowned champions and were awarded Dh50,000 scholarship from RIT Dubai," said Dr Assaf.
Dr Assaf said the RIT Dubai, since its inception in 2008, has been engaged in promoting Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in high schools across the UAE.
"Every year in March, RIT Dubai invites public and private schools to its premises in Dubai Silicon Oasis to compete in a series of activities related to computing, engineering, and mathematics."
Computing and math contest
In the computing competition, students from 11 high schools from around the country were challenged with using programing to solve a series of real-world problems in engineering, science, and business. "The students were able to use their preferred programing language and were allowed to bring their own laptops, though the university provided PCs equipped with the common compilers such as java, C++, JGrasp, BlueJ, and Python."
The team with the highest number of accumulated points wins the competition, Dr Assaf stated. "The team from GEMS Wellington of Silicon Oasis won the first place and was awarded Dh50,000 scholarship."
Another competition in mathematics was offered concurrently to 12 schools. "The goal of the competition was to create an environment for students to display their interest in Stem education and problem-solving mathematics, compete in a fun atmosphere, and win prizes."
"The team from Wesgreen International School (Girls) of Sharjah accumulated the highest points and won the competition and awarded Dh50,000 of scholarship from RIT Dubai."
ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com

Hard at work to win the contest, and (right) the team from GEMS Wellington, Silicon Oasis, Dubai, winners in the computing competition. — Supplied photos
Hard at work to win the contest, and (right) the team from GEMS Wellington, Silicon Oasis, Dubai, winners in the computing competition. — Supplied photos
Hard at work to win the contest, and (right) the team from GEMS Wellington, Silicon Oasis, Dubai, winners in the computing competition. — Supplied photos
Hard at work to win the contest, and (right) the team from GEMS Wellington, Silicon Oasis, Dubai, winners in the computing competition. — Supplied photos

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