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Education

First Scratch Coding Competition Launched in Qatar

QNSCC Press Con

In partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, UNESCO Doha Office, Qatar National Research Fund and Qatar Mobility Innovations Center, the French-Qatari School Voltaire is pleased to announce Qatar National Scratch Coding Competition, the first programming and coding competition using Scratch in Qatar.

Speaking at a press conference, Eman Khouja, founder of the initiative and Computer Science & Technology teacher at the French-Qatari School Voltaire, explained:

The ability to code computer programmes is an important part of literacy in today’s society. The competition seeks to boost interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through ludic and enjoyable projects aiming to encourage critical thinking, creativity and innovation.’

QNSCC Flyer Voltair UNESCO

Asma Al Mohannadi, Head of the Ministry’s Scientific Research Team, acknowledged the initiative along with similar projects in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 such as the Al Bairaq programme. She believes that the competition will encourage students to explore higher studies and professional careers in the field of research, science and technology.

Marion Desmurger, Senior Programme Assistant at UNESCO Office for the GCC and Yemen, explained that the competition will be held under the internationally agreed-upon framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, which range from promoting healthy life to eradicating poverty and fighting climate.

Desmurger said:

By learning coding, students will see how they can create local solutions through technology to have a positive impact in their communities.’

Omar Al Jaber, Head of strategic partnerships and outreach at QMIC, stated that Qatar National Scratch Coding Competition is part of QMIC’s strategy to empower people to make a positive contribution to society through technology and expressed QMIC’s interest to continue supporting this initiative and additional efforts to support youth through innovative technologies in the future.

Scratch is a visual programming language developed by MIT Media Lab that encourages children to develop essential coding skills through fun and interactive learning.

All schools and students aged 6 to 18 years old, in primary, middle and high schools, as well as students attending after-school coding clubs in Qatar are invited to register for the National Scratch Coding Competition until 31 January 2018 on QNSCC website. So far, almost 50 schools and more than 400 students have registered to take part in the competition.

The 2018 QNSCC Awards Ceremony will take place during the National Scientific Research Week from 11–15 March 2018 at Qatar National Convention Center. More than 14 prizes will be granted to the three first winning teams in each category and each age-group.

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