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ADEC is organizing the 2016 UAE National Robot Challenge to help qualify winning students to take part in the 2016 WRO and FLL

 The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), the official National Organizer for the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) activities in the UAE, has invited over 400 coaches, teachers and mentors of robotic teams and clubs, to learn more about the UAE National Robot Challenge to be held on June 2016.

The WRO is a LEGO Mindstorms based robotics competition with categories and age groups catering for students from Grades 3 to University Level. The competition is hosted in a different country each November, with over 50 member countries and more than 20,000 teams competing in the challenge annually.

Dr. Najla AlNaqbi, e-Learning Program Manager at ADEC’s P-12 sector, explained that through participating in the 2016 WRO UAE in June 2016, students may win the right to represent the UAE in November 2016 at the WRO International Final held in India under the theme “Rap the Scrap” – which includes designing robots to help reduce, manage and recycle waste.

The Regular Category for the competition includes three different challenges for elementary, junior high and senior high students. The challenge for elementary students is comprised of designing a robot to help a child clean during his journey to school, starting with making the bed, all the way to cleaning the school’s playground. The junior high challenge includes designing a robot to collect certain kinds of recyclable waste from home into recycling waste bins to be picked up by the Municipal Service. The senior high challenge includes making a robot that brings sorted waste stored in recycling containers to the corresponding recycling tank at a waste recycling plant.

During the launch, coaches, mentors, teachers interested in robotics, past participating coaches and judges from across public, private and Ministry of Education (MoE) schools in the UAE, were given detailed information on ADEC’s participation in conjunction with the UAE Ministry of Education, in the First LEGO League (FLL) Pilot Project. Schools were also given detailed information on how their students can participate in the competition.

“Students from different age groups will be expected to compete in the three different categories (open category, regulator category and Football WRO GEN II category) and for the first time take part in the FLL challenge which is a completely separate competition altogether,” explained Dr. AlNaqbi.

The First LEGO League challenge for the 2015-16 theme called “Trash Treck” includes a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, where students are challenged to develop a solution and design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, then compete on a table-top playing field. The challenge is composed of up to ten children aged 9 to 16, with at least two screened lead coaches.

“ADEC will be selecting 30 teams from public schools and another 30 teams from across private and MoE schools to take part in the FLL. Participating in FLL is a wonderful experience for both children and coaches since it helps unleash potential talent based on 21st century skills with focus on fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM),” said Dr. AlNaqbi.

During the launch, attendees learnt more about the international team selection process for WRO 2016, the judging measures, the required equipment to bring along, as well as the WRO 2016 challenges and themes concerned.

“We are very proud of our national team and are confident that they are more than capable in winning some of these educational robot competitions, especially with ADEC’s newly implemented robotic clubs and innovation initiatives. As part ADEC’s Abu School Model that has already proven successful, students are now intrigued to learn more about STEM education, since it encourages them to challenge their problem solving skills and become innovative, creative, think out of the box and search for solutions,” she concluded.

- ADEC Media