Edutech, a leading educational solutions provider in the region, and the Oman Ministry of Education will jointly host the ‘1st Oman National Robot Olympiad’ (NRO) in Muscat. A total of 34 teams have signed up for the competition to vie for a spot at the ‘World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2010’ to be held in Manila, the Philippines as Oman’s official delegation. The Oman Education Minister is expected to grace the event, which is being held on April 29, 2010 at the Al Imam Jabir bin Zed Boys School with the support of the WRO Committee and LEGO Education.
The first ‘Oman National Robot Olympiad’ will be held in conjunction with COMEX 2010 Exhibition and Conference, which further underlines the importance of scientific activity in the Sultanate. A unique competition for mid-school and high-school students to test their innovativeness, creativity and technological abilities in the world of robotics, the event will witness participating teams solve basic robotic problems within a predetermined time limit using a set of standard equipment and parts. This year, participants in the Open Category will have to assemble a robot following the theme ‘Robot to Promote Tourism’ and demonstrate their creation’s unique capabilities both in a verbal and written presentation. Each team will be judged according to their robot’s relevance to the theme, creativity, technical superiority and overall presentation.
“We are focussing on raising a talented and technologically-savvy generation by developing their skills through the science of robotics,” said Khalid Al Siyabi, Director General of Information Technology, Oman Ministry of Education. “We are confident that this competition will have a significant impact on the Science curriculum and the development of students' personality, creativity, and problem solving and decision making skills. I wish all the participating teams all the best.”
Leading academic institutions including Zainab Al-Thaqafia School, Hamdan bin Khamin Al Yousifi School, Kaeeb bin Zaid School, and Bahlaa Primary School are among the first to confirm their participation at the event and demonstrate their aims of competing at the world championships. Established in 2002 in Singapore, the ‘World Robot Olympiad’ is an annual event that gathers talented young robotics enthusiasts from various countries to exhibit their robotics and creative skills under multiple categories. The event has been to Thailand, China, Taiwan, Japan, and is headed to the Philippines this year.
“We are proud to bring the ‘National Robot Olympiad’ for the first time ever to Oman, with high hopes that this initiative will encourage local students to get involved in the sciences through the exciting world of robotics. The event’s theme presents a big challenge to the students, and will push them to think outside the box and develop their self-confidence and team playing skills,” said ASF Karim, CEO, Edutech.
“Robotics is one of the main activities adopted by the Information Technology Department of the Oman Ministry of Education because of its huge potential in developing the analytical and creative skills of students across all age groups. The Ministry’s support for the inaugural NRO in Oman is part of our vision to participate in world competitions in the near future,” concluded Abdullah Al Bahraini, Assistant General Manager, Digital Services and appointed General Supervisor for the competition.