26 April 2008

Dubai American Academy hosts BOTBALL competition

Students from five local high schools will put their robots to the test in the BOTBALL competition to be on Saturday, April 26 at the GEMS Dubai American Academy. Participating schools include, Dubai American Academy, Al Mawakeb School-Al Barsha, Al Mawakeb School-Al Garhoud, International School of Arts & Sciences, and the American Community School of Abu Dhabi.

Teams have been busy designing, building and programming their Lego© Mindstorm robots for the past seven weeks in preparation for the competition.

BOTBALL is a U.S.-based organisation that introduces robotics to high schools. Student teams are equipped with a Lego© Mindstorm robot, along with instructions on how to program it to move autonomously through a course. Towards the end of the programming sessions the teams are pitted against one another to see whose robot completes the course. The winning team also must demonstrate the work they have done in order to program their robot.

The top two teams from the UAE will go on to compete in the Regional BOTBALL Championship on May 24 at the Diplomatic Club in Doha. These teams will square off against the top two teams from the BOTBALL competitions in Qatar, Kuwait and Egypt

“BOTBALL is an initiative that gives students a chance to use creativity in technology as they design, build and operate robots to solve real world problems; it also puts their analytical skills into use, “said Dan Young, Superintendent, Dubai American Academy.

The winning team of the May 24 final will receive a trip to Norman, Oklahoma, USA to attend the 2008 Global Conference on Educational Robotics and meet middle school and high school students, educators, robotics enthusiasts, and professionals from across the world.


BOTBALL Robotics Program is a hands-on learning experience in robotics designed to engage young students in learning the practical applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The BOTBALL Program was developed in 1993 in the U.S. by the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics (KIPR). The goal of the KISS Institute program is to get high school and middle school students interested and excited about the fields of science, information and engineering as they design, construct and program an autonomous robot. The BOTBALL program gives teenagers an activity where they learn from the program on the Internet and develop engineering and programming skills through hands-on experience with robots. It also builds important community ties between schools, educators and local high technical organizations. For more information about BOTBALL, please visit: http://www.botball.org/

About GEMS

GEMS manages a growing network of 75 high quality international schools around the world. GEMS network of schools provide a unique brand of holistic education to 75,000 students from over 120 countries, employing over 6,000 education professionals, specialists and staff from over 50 nationalities. Supported by a network of eminent, international advisors in the field of education, GEMS global network of multi-skilled specialists and in-house experts provide invaluable support and guidance in all areas related to schools, delivering world class standards of education. ‘GEMS Education’ offers total school management solutions. From project inception and planning to ongoing operations of schools, GEMS offers a total solutions approach to the management of new school projects and existing schools. Information on the company and its portfolio can be found at http://www.gemseducation.com/.

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