CMU-Q ‘Botball’ winners to represent region in international robotics competition

April 5, 2015

Students from The American School of Doha to compete at global conference in the USA

DOHA, QATAR – A team of students from the American School of Doha (ASD) are set to represent the Middle East in the 2015 Global Conference on Educational Robotics in the USA in July, after having recently won the 11th annual Botball Educational Robotics Program hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.

Around 200 high school students from across Qatar went head-to-head in Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s popular ‘Botball’ competition for the chance to represent the region in New Mexico, USA, this summer. The Botball Educational Robotics Program is an internationally renowned learning experience that is designed to engage high school students in the practical applications of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

This year’s competition saw students assemble and program autonomous robots using starter kits provided by Carnegie Mellon Qatar at an introductory workshop held in January. The teams then competed by maneuvering their robots through an obstacle course that simulated a geological survey.

“Many students don’t think robotics is something they would be interested in, but after participating in Botball they change their minds and realize it’s something they want to pursue,” said Osama Hyder, a member of the winning team. “Carnegie Mellon Qatar was also generous enough to provide the ASD Robotics Club with kits and host a participant workshop ahead of Botball, which really helped us grasp the basics of robotics and most certainly contributed to our victory.”

The winning team from ASD comprised Osama Hyder, Aakash Arora, Madison Crookshanks, Alex Frederick, Hassan Asif and Julian Sam. The Hamza Bin Abdul Mutalib School came in 2nd place, with the International School of Choueifat coming in 3rd.

“When Carnegie Mellon opened its branch campus at Qatar Foundation (QF), we thought it a good idea to establish an outreach program that helps high school students understand concepts in STEM fields, and Botball does this,” said Mohamed Mustafa, technical advisor of Botball in the Middle East. “General robotics is not only about computer science and engineering, it is also about the fields where it is applied. Through Botball, we also seek to expose students to other fields of science, such as geology.”

Participating schools included: Doha British School, Qatar Academy Sidra, Middle East International School, Doha Independent Secondary School for Boys, Doha College, Academic Bridge Program, Al Khor International School, American School of Doha, Doha Modern Indian School, DPS-Modern Indian School, Dukhan English School, International School of Choueifat-Doha, Qatar Academy, Qatar Canadian School, The Lebanese School, Mohamed Bin Abdul Wahab Secondary Independent School and Hamza School.

Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s first Botball program was held in 2005 during the university’s inaugural academic year at QF. Through this program, Carnegie Mellon Qatar aims to encourage prospective students to learn about applications within STEM fields and shed light on future disciplines accessible to them.

For more information about the computer science program at Carnegie Mellon Qatar, please visit: http://www.qatar.cmu.edu/cs

categories: Press Releases