Following two days of intense and exhilarating competition at the National Robot Olympiad (NRO) 2015 this past weekend, a record 34 student teams from Qatari schools will now qualify for the World Robot Olympiad (WRO), which will be hosted in Qatar for the first time from 6 – 8 November.

Hosted by the College of the North Atlantic–Qatar, sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar with the endorsement of the Supreme Education Council and Qatar Petroleum, the NRO is the largest science competition in the country. It is a key part of Maersk Oil Qatar’s ambitious commitment to build the State’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills and capacity for generations to come.

The successful student teams represent the very best of the country’s science and engineering talent, and impressed the competition judges with their exceptional ability to design, build and program robots capable of performing a series of challenging tasks in record time. They now have the honour of representing Qatar on the world stage at one of the largest robotics competitions for young people in the world.

The teams secured their places at the World Robot Olympiad after distinguishing themselves from a strong field of more than 1,000 of the brightest science students in Qatar. A total of 265 teams from more than a hundred schools from across Qatar took part, making the 2015 national tournament the largest and most successful National Robot Olympiad to date. Its success reflects the country’s progress in supporting and developing vital STEM skills.

The World Robot Olympiad takes place at the iconic Al Shaqab Indoor Arena. Over three days, the 34 student teams from Qatar will now compete head-to-head with some of the most talented science students from around the world. More than 3,000 participants from around 50 countries will travel to Qatar.

NRO 2015 Minister

Both the NRO and WRO are highlights of the innovative schools robotics programme GO ROBOT. Established in 2012, GO ROBOT develops high quality science and engineering graduates to maintain Qatar’s continued growth and development and drive the knowledge-based economy as envisaged by the Qatar National Vision 2030. This innovative education programme developed in partnership between the College of the North Atlantic–Qatar and Maersk Oil Qatar supports student engagement and skills in STEM subjects, teacher training and development, and promotes the application of technology to enhance learning environments for students.

The GO ROBOT programme has achieved considerable success in building science capacity for the future of Qatar since 2012. More than 8,000 students have participated in the programme and more than 1,000 teachers have benefited from teacher training and development in robotics training sessions delivered by the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar. Robotics has now been included in IT curricula for most grades at all independent schools in Qatar, with students in grades three through ten now required to participate in one hour of robotics programming instruction per week. In recognition of its continued success and impact, the Supreme Education Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding last month to renew the school robotics programme GO ROBOT for another two years.

Speaking at the event, HE Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry said:

It is a landmark event and a unique celebration for the budding talent of the science and technology community of Qatar. This amazing event has brought together the country’s brightest science students who have excelled themselves. I have no doubt that together you represent the very best of Qatar’s science and engineering talent. To fulfil the ambitions of the Qatar National Vision 2030, it is essential that we inspire, build and support future generations of scientists and engineers who are passionately engaged in such creative pursuits, right from a young age. This is exactly what this event has truly done.’

Sheikh Faisal bin Fahad Al Thani, Deputy Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said:

The World Robot Olympiad is truly a global celebration of science and technology. Hosting it reflects the country’s progress in supporting vital STEM skills and highlights the success of our GO ROBOT programme. The 34 successful teams now have the ideal platform to show the world their technical skills and capabilities. We’re delighted to provide these students with this unique opportunity and to play our part in building science capacity in the country. We are ambitious and committed to Qatar for generations to come and wish the teams the very best of luck this weekend.’

Fawziya Al Khater, Director of the Education Institute, Supreme Education Council, said:

I’m delighted that we have so many talented teams representing Qatar at the World Robot Olympiad which promises to be a hugely exciting event. Their success demonstrates Qatar’s progress in the development of vitally important science and engineering subjects and skills, in line with the plans within the Qatar National Vision 2030. It is a real indication of the impact that the GO ROBOT programme is delivering in supporting these vital skills. We give our full support to the teams from Qatar this weekend and we are confident that they will make us all proud.’

Dr Ken MacLeod, President, College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q), said:

Congratulations to all participants of the National Robot Olympiad! It is clear to see that the GO ROBOT programme has helped develop capable and keen robotics experts in Qatar, who are bound to be future trailblazers in the country. I am looking forward to seeing the top 34 teams compete next weekend at the World Robot Olympiad, held right here in Doha. CNA-Q is proud to host this milestone event, showcasing Qatar’s best and brightest minds on the world stage.’

Teams from Qatar progressing to the World Robot Olympiad 2015 this weekend are as follows:

Regular Category – Elementary Level

o   1st Place – Qatar International School, Smart Bot

o   2nd Place – AlKhanssa Primary Girls School, Smart Peek team

o   3rd Place – Altaawon Primary School for Girls, Al taawon2

o   4th Place – Altaawon Primary School for Girls, Al taawon4

o   5th Place – AlKhanssa Primary Girls School, Alkhansaa Stars

Regular Category – Junior Level

o   1st Place – Doha Modern Indian School, EUREKA

o   2nd Place – Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib Independent Preparatory School, Hamza_creator2

o   3rd Place – American School of Doha, Tin Men

o   4th Place – Independent Team, FBI Fantastic Bot In

o   5th Place – Doha Modern Indian School, RB3

Regular Category – Senior Level

o   1st Place – Doha Secondary Independent Boys, Electropositivity

o   2nd Place – Omar bin Abdulaziz Secondary School for Boys, RoboBoys2

o   3rd Place – Omar bin Abdulaziz Secondary School for Boys, RoboBoys1

o   4th Place – Naser Bin Abdulla Secondary Boys, Nasser

o   5th Place – Birla Public School, CTRL-ALT-DESTROY

Open Category – Elementary School Level

o   1st Place – Compass International School, Pathfinders

o   2nd Place – Abi Ayoob AlAnsari Model Independent Boys, Cookies ‘N’ Cream

o   3rd Place – Maimouna Primary Girls School, scoria rocks fetcher

Open Category – Middle School Level

o   1st Place – Khalid Bin Ahmad Preparatory School For Boys, Unknown team

o   2nd Place – Independent Team, Ponies and Dragons

o   3rd Place – Salah El Deen Preparatory School for Boys, Caves Invaders

Open Category – High School Level

o   1st Place – American School of Doha, The Bricks

o   2nd Place – Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab Secondary Independent School for Boys, MBAW horses

o   3rd Place – Mesaieed International School, The Flying Lizards

GEN II Football

o   1st Place – Mohammad bin Abdul Wahhab Secondary Independent School for Boys, RoboBarca

o   2nd Place – AbuBakr Assedeeq Preparatory Independent Boys, AbuBakre Techno

o   3rd Place – Philippine School Doha, PSD RAM

o   4th Place – Salah El Deen Preparatory School for Boys, Dim Light

o   5th Place – AlYarmook Preparatory Independent Boys, yarmoukies

o   6th Place – Qatar Independent Technical School, Gold

University Regular

o   1st Place – College of the North Atlantic – Qatar, Geared

o   2nd Place – College of the North Atlantic – Qatar, CNAQ-Troublemakers

o   3rd Place – College of the North Atlantic – Qatar, Falcon Bots

o   4th Place – TAMUQ, Aggies