In a one-of-its-kind initiative to be held in the UAE, students from across the country will be testing their skills in building robots, conceptualising their future schools and also designing towns, as part of the UAE Innovation Week.
The activities are designed to bring together schools, educators, technology providers and government entities in promoting innovative thinking and hands-on learning as part of the UAE Innovation Week that will be held from November 22-28.
ATLAB, a technology-based learning solutions company, is supporting the week by contributing to educational activities planned by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and Sharjah Education Council, among others.
“The objective of these events is to bring to life His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of celebrating innovation in various sectors. And our aim is to make learning more effective and impactful,” says S. Senthil Kugan, General Manager of ATLAB.
“Our motive is to bring in the culture of how to think, design and plan new innovation during this week. This will inspire kids to acquire 21st century skills, along with creative thinking and teamwork,” he adds.
ATLAB will help the government agencies to inspire innovation through a fun-based learning experience for school children.
One of the events, to be held at the Mirdif City Centre from November 26-28, will involve testing the skills of school students in building robots. Using their imagination and creativity, students will have to design and build a robot which can perform basic functions such as walking around. Other competitions will see them use LEGO Education MINDSTORMS EV3 to build smart robots using sensors that can draw geometric patterns and sense the environment, while elementary school students will be getting a hands-on experience with simple machines.
A separate event by the Sharjah Education Council will see preschool children and educators creating a QR code of the UAE Innovation Week, measuring approximately two square metres, in the colours of the UAE flag. The students will also have the chance to build a future city using LEGO Education DUPLO sets. As part of a workshop, they will be trained in the principles behind gears, levers, pulleys, wheels and axles. The event is scheduled from November 22-25 at Sahara Centre, Sharjah.
Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), in collaboration with ATLAB, will conduct the ‘Story Starter’ activity for primary school students. Story Starter is a tool to promote language and literacy that includes bricks and figures along with a software.
Participants from about 30 schools, divided into groups of three, will attempt to build ‘Primary School of Future’ using the LEGO Education StoryStarter set, indicating what they would like their school to look like in 2030. The event will be held from November 22-26.
“The students will be given a chance to express their innovative ideas through the Story Starter activity. The objective of the exercise is to also make educators realise the importance of tools such as Story Starter sets to make classroom learning more fun and engaging,” explains Senthil.
Another programme supported by ATLAB targets 1,000 primary and middle school students from 15 schools and will be conducted from November 22-28. As part of the programme, primary school students aged 8-11 will be introduced to the concepts of robotics and programming using LEGO Education WeDo kits.
“From programming their own robots to designing and building their future school and towns, the activities planned as part of the Innovation Week aim to showcase how students, starting from kindergarten, enjoy exploratory learning and how it can be implemented as part of the school’s curriculum,” says Senthil.
ATLAB, on its part, is inviting 15-20 students of Grades 4 to 9 from various schools across Dubai to display their own innovative creations at The School of Research Science in Al Warqa, Dubai. A major highlight of the ATLAB event (22nd Nov) will be the 3D printing contest where students will be asked to design a product on the spot and print it in a three-dimensional form.
ATLAB has been continuously partnering with government and private bodies to implement such initiatives in the education sector in the GCC since its inception in 2012, with a focus on promoting innovation in teaching and learning methodologies in schools.