x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

World Robot Olympiad for UAE

The world's finest student-built robots are coming to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre two years from now.

ABU DHABI // The world's finest student-built robots are coming to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre two years from now. The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) yesterday announced that the capital had won the bid to host the 2011 World Robot Olympiad (WRO). Abu Dhabi will be the first city outside South East Asia to host the global robotics competition for primary and secondary school students.

"Adec won the right to host the WRO in 2011 because of our 10-year strategic education transformation agenda and, in particular, our commitment to providing students with world-class IT infrastructure and raising ICT curriculum standards," said Dr Mugheer al Khaili, the council's director general. More than 2,000 students from at least 32 countries are expected to participate in the 2011 Olympiad. The first was held in Singapore in 2004.

There are two categories each for the elementary, junior and senior age groups: in the first, teams assemble robots that can solve specific problems. In the second, teams must design robots based on a given theme. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the top three entries in each category and age-group. "Robotics builds innovation, creativity and problem-solving skills in students," said Dr al Khaili, "and it develops in [children] an interest in science and technology. They are unaware that they are learning, and they are doing it while having fun."

Thirty-one teams from schools across the UAE participated in this year's Olympiad. Last month, 15 students, together with four teachers, travelled to Pohang, South Korea to compete in this year's event. hkhalaf@thenational.ae