Annual LEGO robotics competition challenges young minds

The Faculty of Engineering and Technology held on April 19, 2017 the annual LEGO League for designing robots, in cooperation with the Higher Council for Innovation and Excellence, Arab Thought Foundation, and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Guided by adult coaches, school students are challenged to develop solutions for the latest issues facing their communities by building and programming robots using LEGO, then competing on a tabletop playing field.

The competition’s coordinator and director of the master’s program in Sustainable Engineering in Production Ahmed Abu Hanieh emphasized the importance of this flagship model in education, which is based on unconventional teaching supported by exploration and learning.

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Khaled Abaza said that the aim of the competition is to enhance the creative and critical thinking of young students and ensure Birzeit University’s commitment to hosting and organizing such events.

Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Education Basri Saleh commended the participants on their creative work and underscored that this competition is the first step for going global in a field of innovation and technology.

Chairman of the High Council for Innovation and Excellence Adnan Samarah said that this competition supports the council’s mission to support the creative capacities and energies of Palestinian youth. “We believe in the role of creativity and innovation in building our independent state.”

Fiker Foundation representative Muhannad Omariyeh explained that the number of student teams participating in the competition grows year after year. The conference’s most prominent recommendations to the ministries of education in the Arab world were to introduce robots at various stages of school education, open robotics research centers, and offer robot specializations at Arab universities, he said.

The winning team will head to Europe to represent Palestine in the international competition.