Inspiring young Palestinians to discover the fun in science and technology while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills
More than 150 Palestinian elementary and middle school students from 20 different schools in the West Bank participated in the annual robotics tournament organized by and hosted at the Najjad Zeenni IT Center of Excellence @ Birzeit University. This year, teams used LEGO Mindstorms NXT robots to complete biomedical engineering-related missions and also present a research report sharing their research findings.
By participating in this competition, 9-14 year olds build electromechanical devices, explore the cutting-edge world of biomedical engineering and discover innovative ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximize the human body's potential, with the intended purpose of leading happier and healthier lives.
Design, programming, and teamwork
The competition is comprised of 4 main sections: programming and design, teamwork, technical research, and field challenge. Student teams are interviewed by a panel of judges which is comprised of university professors and engineering professionals. Teams are evaluated on innovative robot design, teamwork, research design, and performance of the robot in the competition field. In addition, teams are interviewed by the judges to discuss the design and operation of their robot.
Judges look for teams whose work stands out because of its innovation and/or navigational consistency. To assess innovation, the judges watch the robots work, looking for actions that impress them. They also interview team members to reveal the less obvious unique and inventive ideas. To assess navigational consistency, the judges interview the teams to learn what solid principles and best practices were used to reduce variability and errors.
The tournament is meant to ignite students' interest in science and technology by teaching them how to design, program, and prototype fully-functional and autonomous robots.
The robotics competition encourages school children to engineer, construct, and program their own intelligent inventions. This allows them not only to understand technology, but to become masters of it.