Posted on September 25, 2014

Students from primary and preparatory schools around Qatar as well as coaches and judges participated in a practice robotics competition at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) as part of their preparation for the Qatar National Robot Olympiad, said Qatar Tribune. The Olympiad takes place on October 24 and 25.

The organiser of National Robot Olympiad and Dean of Information Technology at CNA-Q, Dr Theodore Chiasson, said: "The National Robot Olympiad is a big moment for students and their coaches, who are mostly teachers, as they've spent months learning new skills and getting ready to compete, so these practice sessions help to build their confidence." He said:"2014 has been a momentous year for the Go Robot programme. We've trained 300 teachers in robotics, with some receiving up to 30 hours of instruction. Also, through the generous support of our sponsor Maersk Oil Qatar, 150 competition game tables and 500 robotics kits have been donated to schools throughout Qatar."

Two teams from Osama Bin Zaid School at Al Sailiya attended the practice competition held at CNA-Q. Their coach and IT teacher, Tamer Mohamed, said:"Our teams will compete for the first time National Robot Olympiad so this practice competition has familiarised them with the rules, competition tables and atmosphere of a real competition." Mohamed said he has seen a greater interest from students in science, technology and mathematics subjects since robotics was introduced at Osama Bin Zaid School.

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Head Judge Robert Ford, also an IT Instructor at CNA-Q, said he was using the practice competition to train the participants on the competition flow, the judges with competition rules and to test a new scoring system. "For the National Robot Olympiad in October, almost 50 judges will measure teams' performance in completing a set of specified tasks, assess robotics projects or act as a referee in the GEN-II football competition," Robert Ford said.

The school robotics programme, Go Robot, was set up in 2012 by CNA-Q and sponsors Maersk Oil Qatar to encourage greater participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Go Robot is endorsed and supported by the Supreme Council of Education and Qatar Petroleum.