Posted on October 03, 2015

In recognition of its continued success and impact, the Supreme Education Council (SEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maersk Oil Qatar (MOQ), the College of North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) and Qatar Petroleum (QP) to renew the school robotics programme GO ROBOT for another two years.

The programme was established in 2012 to develop high quality science and engineering graduates in support of Qatar’s continued growth and development, and drive the knowledge-based economy as envisaged by the Qatar National Vision 2030. The innovative education programme supports student engagement and skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects, teacher training and development and promotes the application of technology to enhance the learning environment for students.

The signing of the GO ROBOT agreement extension means the programme can continue to build on its many successes since 2012, including:

  • Over 8,000 students from 250 schools have participated in the GO ROBOT programme
  • Robotics has been included in IT curricula for most grades at all independent schools in Qatar, with students in grades three through ten now required to participate in one hour of robotics programming instruction per week
  • More than $1m USD worth of robotics equipment has been distributed to teachers and schools across Qatar
  • More than 1,000 ICT, maths and physics teachers have completed up to 30 hours of robotics training on programming, construction and optimisation

The extension of the GO ROBOT programme also comes ahead of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) – one of the world’s largest robotics competitions for young people – which is coming to Doha for the first time from 6 – 8 November. Students representing more than 150 schools from 55 countries around the world will compete head-to-head during the three-day event, which will take place in Doha’s iconic Al Shaqab Equestrian Stadium.

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This year’s World Robot Olympiad follows the Qatar National Robot Olympiad finals which will take place at the same venue and will be held from October 30 – 31. This event is the largest of its kind in Qatar and features over 1,200 students in 450 teams from elementary, middle and senior schools tasked with building and programming LEGO MINDSTORMS robots under strict time limits to test their problem solving, engineering and programming skills as well as teamwork and initiative. More than thirty of the strongest teams participating in the Qatar National Robot Olympiad will be given the chance to represent Qatar at the World Robot Olympiad.

Fawziya Al-Khater, Director of the Education Institute at the Supreme Education Council, said: “We have been very impressed with the results from the GO ROBOT programme to date. The enthusiasm for the programme among students and teachers is strong and growing. Given how vitally important technical and science skills are to our country’s development, such programmes are crucial in nurturing and developing the potential of the very people who will help shape Qatar’s future. We look forward to GO ROBOT’s continued success and further progress in the coming year.”

Sheikh Faisal bin Fahad Al-Thani, Deputy Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “As Qatar’s largest oil producer, MOQ is committed to Qatar and to boosting STEM capacity as a way of making a meaningful difference to Qatar and local technical industries, such as oil and gas. It is a testament to the success of the GO ROBOT programme that the SEC has today renewed its endorsement of our activities and we’re enormously grateful for their continued support. Ensuring the progress and development of students in STEM subjects is a vitally important part of our wide-ranging social investment programme and commitment to Qatar.”

Dr. Ken MacLeod, President of CNA-Q said: “CNA-Q is pleased to join our partners in signing the MOU to renew this programme. The GO ROBOT programme ensures that young Qataris gain exposure to the important and evolving world of robotics, and, more importantly, encourages interest in STEM subjects. From the program’s inception, CNA-Q has been instrumental in training hundreds of STEM teachers on our campus so they can bring this enhanced and engaging knowledge into the classroom. This pioneering programme is made possible through important partnerships to help raise the profile of robotics and STEM subjects in Qatar.”

For further information about the GO ROBOT programme, visit: http://webit.cna-qatar.edu.qa. The programme also provides updates via its Twitter page: https://twitter.com/roboticsqatar.

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