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Abu Dhabi Emirate public school students take part in the “Program Your Idea” competition as part of ADEC’s innovation initiatives
The program is managed by ADEC in collaboration with Injazat Data Systems

Public school students will take part in the “Program Your Idea” competition, which is part of Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADEC’s) programming for life innovation initiative to transform creative ideas among students into reality through programming.

The “Program Your Idea” competition runs from April 17th to May 26th 2016, and is managed by ADEC in collaboration with Injazat Data Systems, a Mubadala owned company.

The programming competition is an opportunity for students across Cycles 1, 2 and 3, to apply their innovative thinking and learning skills and create a variety of applications including, but not limited to, educational games, science and cultural apps, mobile and web-based tools.

Speaking about the objective behind launching the competition, Mr. Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, School Operations Executive Director in ADEC, said: “The aim behind the competition is to create a platform to motivate students to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) related fields, while tapping into each student’s natural passion for creative thinking, enthusiasm for programming and technology as part of 21st century learning and teaching skills.

Top performing projects will be evaluated based on seven criteria, namely: those that are linked to STEAM, quality of artwork and multimedia, originality of the project, code structure and flow, creativity in the project, completeness of the project and presentation of the project.

Mr. Ibrahim Lari, CEO at Injazat Data Systems, added: “Historically, Injazat has had a long-standing commitment to bolstering local talent and equipping the youth of today with the tools and platform to allow them to succeed tomorrow. The partnership with ADEC will bring positive awareness around honing STEAM skills and further strengthen the nation’s strategic ambition to invest in business leaders and pioneers that will shape the future UAE workforce.”

The competition consists of four categories, Cycle 1 (Grades 1 to 5) using “Scratch” as a programming tool; Cycle 2 (Grades 6 to 8) using “Scratch” as a programming tool; Cycle 3 (Grades 9 to 12) using “Scratch” as a programming tool, and the Code-based Open Category (any age) using any coding language and platform.

Scratch is a student-friendly visual programming language developed by the world renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). By learning to program with Scratch, students will learn to think logically, work collaboratively, solve problems and reason systematically.

The Code-based open category provides an opportunity to those students who are programming enthusiasts and already developing apps for different purposes using any coding language. Students can demonstrate their ideas through any platform including, but not limited to, mobile apps, computer programs, games, web-based applications, programmed robotics, flash and multimedia applications.

Each team should consist of two to three students and a supervisor/teacher. Participation is mandatory for all schools based on their cycles, whereas the open category is optional. Schools may submit up to four projects based on the number of students in the school.

All students in the public schools are encouraged to participate in the contest. However, each school will conduct internal assessments to nominate the best projects to be submitted in the competition. “Expected number of projects to be submitted in the competition is more than 700, where up to 3,000 students will participate in the competition. The submitted projects will be evaluated in two stages to select the finest projects. Students, teachers and school leadership will be awarded based on their winning positions,” added Mr. Al Dhaheri.”

In the first round of evaluation, 10 best projects/teams will be shortlisted from each of the four categories. The 40 shortlisted teams, 10 teams from each category, will be invited to exhibit their projects in an awarding ceremony. In the second round of evaluation, three best projects will be selected from each category by a panel of judges on the ceremony day.

Apart from earning trophies and medals, individuals from the top three winning teams in each of the four categories will receive great prizes. Additionally, the runner-up teams will also be recognised. The awarding ceremony is planned to take place later this year.

- ADEC Media