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The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), the national organizer of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO), has opened registration for the UAE national qualifying stage of the global contest, which promotes robotics in STEM education worldwide.

Registration for the national qualifiers runs until August 27th with teams of up to three students and a coach, aged between 8-19 years, from the public, private and Charter Schools, as well as universities across the UAE eligible for three categories – Regular, Open and Future engineers. Each category has specific age restrictions; Elementary for 8-12 years old; Junior for 12-15 years old, and Senior for 15-19 years old.

The qualifiers will be held virtually in September with seven teams due to be selected to represent the Emirates in November’s online international finals.

“We continue to support WRO because of the ongoing critical role robotics plays at the forefront of digital transformation across all industries. This falls in line with the UAE’s strategy to build a competitive knowledge-based economy,” said Her Excellency Khuloud Al Dhaheri, ADEK’s Executive Director Education Partnerships Sector.

“Our goal is to broaden the view of young people and encourage them to be the UAE’s future scientists, engineers, makers and inventors. Not only does WRO focus on STEM topics, but it also equips students with soft skills including communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking, future-proofing them for careers that will be shaped by increasing digitalization, automation, and globalization.  We are preparing the next generation of talents to tackle world future challenges. With this year’s WRO theme of ‘Powerbots – The Future of Energy’ having particular relevance to the Emirates, which is a leader in future energy concepts, we anticipate exemplary innovation and creativity from our young UAE competitors as they showcase their talent which will stand them in good stead for success in the international finals.”

Successful competitors will be those who develop innovative robotic solutions utilizing renewable sources to address power challenges and further the use of clean and renewable energy.

In the Regular Category, students of all ages are tasked to design, build and program robots to solve specific challenges within a set timescale. The Open Category is a project-based competition where students create an innovative intelligent robotics solution relating to the season’s theme. Participating teams present their project and robot to a judging panel on the competition day.

The Future Engineers category is inspired by the rising trend towards autonomous cars. Students aged 15-19 will be tasked with designing a model car, equipping it with electromechanical components, and programing it to successfully and autonomously navigate an obstacle track.

“We encourage all students with a strong interest in STEM and robotics to participate in a contest which will further their knowledge – all while having tremendous fun,” explained Al Dhaheri. “This learning experience will stay with the students for the rest of their lives.”

Teams and individuals can register through the ADEK website:, while students aged 20 years old and over, as well as teachers with proven experience and passion for STEM topics, can also register to join the judging panel via the website.