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Students take up Botball robotics challenge

Twenty three regional high schools take part in fourth annual Botball competition

High school students from Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are taking part in the regional fourth annual Botball challenge that will see them constructing and programming robots.

Botball is an educational programme by the US-based KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, with events held in 13 states across America and 2 international ones held in Qatar and Egypt.

"A lot of students think robots and artificial intelligence are something that is very difficult and that they could never be part of," said Chuck Thorpe, dean of Carnegie Mellon Qatar and former head of the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute. "Botball not only shows students that robotics is something they can do – and do well – it also shows them how to work as a team, how to plan a project, how to use their math skills and how to have fun while you learn.”

Students from 23 participating regional high schools, including Al Mawakeb School (Garhoud and Barsha) and the International School of Arts and Sciences from the UAE, recently took part in a Botball workshop at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, designed to give them the background needed to participate in the challenge.

They will now spend the next eight weeks building an autonomous Lego Mindstorm robot that will compete in a non-destructive challenge on April 24th at the university campus.

The winning team will travel to the United States in July to attend the Global Conference on Educational Robotics. For more information on the Botball challenge, visit: www.qatar.cmu.edu/botball/