Posted on October 15, 2014

The 2014 Qatar National Robot Olympiad is promising to be the largest yet with over 300 teams registered from elementary, middle and senior schools in Qatar across seven categories. This year’s competition has been officially launched in Doha by a host of dignitaries from the Supreme Education Council, the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, Qatar Petroleum and Maersk Oil Qatar. The National Robot Olympiad, on October 24 and 25 at the Ladies Sports Hall in Aspire Zone, is the culmination of the year-long GO ROBOT schools programme that seeks to boost interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and ultimately increase the number of students who choose science tracks at school or technical and engineering degrees at university.

Dr. Ken MacLeod, President of  College of the North Atlantic – Qatar, said: “2014 has been a record year for the school robotics programme, GO ROBOT, with more teachers trained in robotics and more robotics kit and games tables donated to schools than ever before, thanks to sponsorship from Maersk Oil Qatar. The National Robot Olympiad, with a record number of participants and a new category in GEN II football, will cap off a momentous year.” The National Robot Olympiad will see students from elementary, middle and senior schools competing across seven fields in three categories - Open, Regular and, for the first time, Gen II Football. 

Sheikh Jassim Al-Thani, Head of Qatarization at Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “We are delighted to sponsor the Qatar National Robot Olympiad, part of the year-long school robotics programme GO ROBOT, for a third consecutive year. Since first producing oil in Qatar twenty years ago with our partners Qatar Petroleum, we have been committed to building skills and leadership capacity in the country. Maersk Oil Qatar supports programmes that make a meaningful difference to the country. With around 875 students registered from over 200 schools for the National Robot Olympiad, on top of the 4000 students who’ve been reached in 2014 by the broader GO ROBOT scheme, there is no doubt this is a quality programme.”

Over 300 teams registered for 2014 2 [].jpgAhmad Ali Al-Emadi, a student from Hayat Universal Bilingual School, said “I’ve always enjoyed science at school but the Qatar National Robot Olympiad has given me the opportunity to use my skills outside of the classroom for the first time. I’ve really enjoyed building our team robot – it has been hard work and challenging at times, but now I can’t wait for the Olympiad to start! The chance of a trip to Sochi for the World Championships is also really exciting.” Taleb Jassim Al-Marri, also a student at Hayat Universal Bilingual School, added “It’s great to be here at the launch of this year’s Qatar National Robot Olympiad! I’m really proud of the robot we have built - we all brought different skills to the team and I feel like I have learnt a lot from my team mates. 

Working on this project has shown me how science, mathematics and engineering can be used in the real world of work, and has shown me how valuable it is to learn these subjects at school. I can’t wait to see what others have built and look forward to the start of the competition.” Each team of two or three students competing at the National Robot Olympiad will be expected to build and programme LEGO MINDSTORM robots under strict time limits and without the assistance of their coaches, most of whom are teachers. The competition will test students’ problem solving, engineering and programming skills as well as team work and initiative.

Over 300 teams registered for 2014 3 [].jpg“We are delighted at the Supreme Education Council to participate in and support the schools robotics programme, GO ROBOT,” said Ms. Fawziya Al-Khater, Director of the Education Institute, Supreme Education Council, “As part of this support, we included robotics in some academic curricula for specific school grades. We are also pleased that over 300 teams from more than 200 schools have registered for this year’s Qatar National Robot Olympiad, which makes us feel more responsible towards improving the skills of students and increasing their knowledge through project based learning. Robotics is a fun and engaging way of encouraging students to be more creative, critical thinkers, problem solvers and most importantly more involved with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. That is the reason why Robotics is called the science of all Sciences. We are proud to once again endorse the schools robotics programme, GO ROBOT, and the National Robot Olympiad. Good luck to all the students taking part!”

Mr. Abdulrahman Abdulla Al-Obaidly, Manager for Public Relations and Communications of Qatar Petroleum, said: “QP’s strong support to educational programs like the Qatar National Robot Olympiad is a major component of our corporate social responsibility initiatives, and it clearly reflects our firm commitment in helping achieve the objectives of the Human Development Pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030. This annual event together with the “GO ROBOT” schools programme will undoubtedly contribute in shaping future engineers who will eventually make a big difference in the continued development of Qatar’s oil and gas industry and of the country in general.”

Dr. Theodore Chiasson, the organiser of the National Robot OIympiad and Dean of Information Technology at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, said:  “Each year the Qatar National Robot Olympiad gets bigger and better and 2014 will be no different, with more students and more categories than ever before. This is all thanks to the endorsement from the Supreme Education Council, support from Qatar Petroleum and continued sponsorship from Qatar’s largest offshore oil producer, Maersk Oil Qatar.”