FROM LEFT: Abdulrahman Al Obaidly from Qatar Petroleum, Sheikh Faisal Al Thani of Maersk Oil Qatar, Ken MacLeod of College of North Atlantic Qatar, Jaber Al Shawi from Supreme Education Council and Theodore Chiasson from College of North Atlantic Qatar, during the launch of the Qatar National Robot Olympiad 2013 at Hilton Hotel Doha yesterday. (Kammutty VP)
DOHA: More than 200 teams and 500 students are expected to take part at the 2013 Qatar National Robot Olympiad to be held on Friday and Saturday at the Doha Exhibition Centre.
The National Olympiad and associated schools programme are supported by Maersk Oil Qatar and the College of the North Atlantic–Qatar (CNA-Q) under the patronage of the Supreme Education Council (SEC) and with the support of Qatar Petroleum (QP).
A record number of students from across Qatar have signed up to compete in this year’s event, which is part of the GO ROBOT schools programme that aims to foster interest and develop skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The winner of the competition will represent Qatar at the World Robot Finals in Jakarta, Indonesia, later this year.
The Olympiad is the culmination of six months of GO ROBOT activities. Since April more than 300 teachers have attended intensive robotics training sessions at CNA-Q and hundreds of robotics kits have been donated to schools across Qatar. In total, over 1,500 students have been involved in the programme since it began in 2012.
Sheikh Faisal Al Thani, Deputy Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “We are delighted by the response of teachers and students to this year’s GO ROBOT programme. Our hope is that by developing an early interest in science, technology and engineering, some of these students will be future leaders in Qatar’s energy industry.”
Dr Theodore Chiasson, Dean of Information Technology at CNA-Q and the World Robot Olympiad representative in Qatar, said: “When they start using the robotics kits, students get creative ideas of what they want their robot to do. At that point, they are hooked, and they are eager to learn the science and engineering concepts that can enhance their robot’s performance. Their creativity starts to drive the learning process, and they are more engaged in their studies.”
Dr Ken MacLeod, President of CNA-Q, said: “CNA-Q is excited to be part of the GO ROBOT programme, offering courses to teachers and hosting the robotic competitions. Our partnership with Maersk has been enhanced by the endorsement of the Supreme Education Council, which has helped to grow this programme, allowing us to reach more teachers and more students throughout Qatar.”
Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Obaidly, Public Relations and Communications Manager of QP, said: “Qatar Petroleum is proud to support the 2013 Qatar National Robot Olympiad, and this annual event will undoubtedly contribute in shaping future engineers who will eventually make a big difference in the continued development of Qatar’s oil and gas industry and of the country in general”.
Jaber Al Shawi, Assistant Director of Communications and Media office, said: “Enabling the GO ROBOT programme in Qatar as well as encouraging students to engage in the fields of science, engineering and technology bring them new added-value skills at school. It is in the interest of all parties in the educational process, including student and teacher alike, to receive training in various activities relevant to this programme.”