One of the strengths of the American Community School (ACS) is that of having parents who are thoroughly engaged with the school and the development of their children. Adila Sadaat is one such parent. She has been very instrumental in organizing the extra- curricular robotics program in which her two children Aysha and Jaafeer along with other students are quite active.
Adila’s involvement in her children’s education and with the school they attend resulted in her being awarded the “Mentor of the Year” award in 1999 from the Future Scientists and Engineers of America (FSEA), a national organisation in the US funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to set up after school clubs and teaching students about science and engineering.
“We are very fortunate that American Community School of Abu Dhabi is so welcoming and open to parental involvement. The idea that parents, teachers and school administration are all working together as a community for the sake of the students is one of the core values I found at ACS, and I believe that this is one of our strongest points at ACS,” she says.
She noted her son’s interest in Lego Mindstorms Robots and that when he entered 7th grade in 2013, he wanted to do robotics at school. She was able to start a Robotics Club at the MS (middle school) level with strong support from the Middle School principal, Mr. Emborsky. Her intention was to have a club where the students could explore robotics as a discipline, have fun playing with robots and, if they wished, to represent ACS at the World Robotics Olympiad.
The students chose to participate in the WRO and did so with phenomenal results. The students’ innovativeness in robotics garnered them the first place position at WRO in 2014.
“They do all the work, all I do is to support them,” continues Adila, “my students set the pace. As a mentor, I never have to tell them to finish a task. They request that I set extra meeting times for them after school or on the weekends as they want to come to school and finish the challenge.
They try to do everything to the best of their ability. I have to tell them to stop working not vice versa. It is a joy mentoring these students.”
The Robotics Club at the American Community School now has several awards to date and an increase in the number of students who have shown an interest in robotics. Additionally, Adila’s son, Jaafer is heading a service initiative around robotics to help other schools get involved with robotics. They are collaborating with and have provided kits to the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Bangladesh School and Islamia English School in Abu Dhabi.
Adila has done an amazing job as a mentor to these students. She is a great example of how parent involvement within the school community can produce amazing results.