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Abu Dhabi public schools have actively participated in the first year round of “Program Your Idea” competition, where 300 projects have been qualified by their designated schools to enter the competition, which included 700 students and 300 supervisors.

The “Program Your Idea” competition, managed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) in collaboration with Injazat Data Systems – a Mubadala owned IT Managed Services and Solutions Provider – involves transforming creative ideas among public school students into reality through programming.

The competition was divided into four categories which include: Cycle 1 (Grades 1 to 5) using “Scratch” as a programming tool; Cycle 2 (Grades 6 to 9) using “Scratch” as a programming tool; Cycle 3 (Grades 10 to 12) using “Scratch” as a programming tool, and the Code-based Open Category (any age) using any coding language and platform. In the first round, 300 projects were evaluated and the ten best projects were shortlisted from each of the four categories.

Shortlisting 40 top performing teams from across different public schools was no easy feat by the panel of external evaluators, who claimed that all projects submitted were innovative, creative and valuable. Most of the programming projects related to STEM included educational games, science, and cultural applications, mobile and web-based tools.

His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, ADEC’s School Operations Executive Director lauded efforts exerted by students, which could not have been possible without the right type of motivation, inspiration, engagement, and preparation by a capable and proficient team of ICT teachers, supervisors and school leadership.

“I want to congratulate the teachers and school leaders whose teams have been energetically engaged in this competition, as everyone is a winner today. I am very proud to hear that the different types of projects submitted are a state of the art and of superb quality and innovation. This is a great achievement given that it’s being implemented for the first time.”

Ibrahim Lari, CEO, Injazat Data Systems, said: “We are honored to partner with ADEC on the ‘Program Your Idea’ initiative, which promotes STEM education activities across Abu Dhabi. We hope it will inspire participants to consider future careers in the Information Communication and Technology field in the UAE.”

The list of shortlisted top ten schools in each category are as follows:

Cycle 1 (G1 to G5) “Scratch-based”: Ain Jaloot School, Al Ahd School (2 projects), Al Lulu School, Al Marfa School, Al Raqia School (2 projects), Al Selaa School, Ghayathi School, Mubarak Bin Mohammed School.

Cycle 2 (G6 to G9) “Scratch-based”: Al Ezdihar School, Al Foaa School, Al Huiteen School, Al Tamayoz School, Bedaa Al Mutaw’a School, Hessa Bint Mohamed School, Makka School (2 projects), Um Al Fadhel Bint Al Hareth School, Um Ghafa School.

Cycle 3 (G10 to G12) “Scratch-based”: Aisha Bint Abi Baker School (2 projects), Al Mawaheb School, Al Naeem School, Al Shahama School, Bayah School, Khaled Bin Al Waleed School, Khanoor School, Um Al Emarat School – Al Ain, Um Kulthoom School.

Open Category “Code-based”: Al Hosn School, Al Maqam School, Al Nukhba School, Al Sariya School, Al Showaib School, Al Suqoor School, Al Taweela School, Ali Bin Abi Taleb School, Hamza Bin Abdel Muttalib School, Salama Bint Butti School – Al Ain.

The list of schools above is in no particular winning order.

“The competition is planned to be conducted on yearly basis, and due to the amazing response we received this year from public schools, we see great potential in including private schools. More students participating in the competition will result in a healthier competition, diversified projects and higher creativity,” explained Mr. Al Dhaheri.After the success of the first round of the program, ADEC plans to expand the initiative to include private schools across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2017. This will provide exciting opportunities for schools and students to compete in more dynamic and challenging environment.

As a second round of evaluation the 40 shortlisted teams will be invited to exhibit their projects in an awarding ceremony. Three best projects will be chosen from each category by a panel of judges on the ceremony day. The finalists will be announced during the award ceremony which is due to take place during the 2016/2017 academic year.

“I was told that the external team of judges found it tough to select the winners; they literally selected the greatest out of the great,” explained Mr. Al Dhaheri, adding: “We are happy to witness the excitement amongst schools who have been recognized for their great efforts and have a lot to look forward to. The shortlisted teams still have the opportunity to perfect their projects in preparation for the ceremony.”

– ADEC Media