Young Scholars Demonstrate that the Robot is their Friend at the World Robot Olympiad

On August 6 and 7, students from schools across Lebanon immersed themselves in the fascinating world of robotics at the World Robot Olympiad national competition (WRO-Lebanon 2022), My Robot My Friend, co-organized by the WRO-Lebanon Section and LAU.

Guided by student volunteers and judged by faculty from the School of Engineering, the young scholars competed in three categories of different age groups for the chance to represent Lebanon in the International WRO competition to be held in Germany this fall.

LAU’s active participation in WRO-Lebanon 2022, the first robotics competition of its kind to be reinitiated since the onset of the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, proves once again its pioneering role in the development of education in the country.

After a long competitive day, the closing ceremony was held at the Municipality of Byblos, under the patronage and in the presence of the Director-General of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Imad Al Achkar, the Secretary-General of Catholic Schools Father Youssef Nasr, President of the municipality Wissam Zaarour, Dean of the School of Engineering Lina Karam, WRO Official Representative in Lebanon Jenny Chemaly, Founder and President of Growth Holdings LLC Philip Ziadeh, founder and CEO of the Advanced Computer Technology Center Rabih Baalbaki and supporters of the education and engineering sector.

Welcoming the young students, “Lebanon’s hope and future,” Dr. Karam described robotics as a combination of “several fields, including electrical and mechanical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence with aspects from psychology, ethics, public policy, and design; it enables various applications from assistive technologies and medicine to transportation, manufacturing, construction, and space exploration.” Robotics, she added, is about dexterity, precision, and improving the quality of life.

Chemali attributed the success of WRO-Lebanon 2022 “to the students who worked hard with their teachers, and to the supporting institutions and people who trusted us.”

As it presents an opportunity for them to develop their creative skills and problem-solving skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, she said, “this type of competition helps them to hone their learning skills, thought process, sense of commitment, leadership and teamwork skills, and eventually to choose their career path.”

Chemali expressed her gratitude to all those who contributed to this achievement, from Director-General Al Achkar, the Municipality of Byblos, LAU, LIV, IPT, Dr. Noel Maalouf, Rasha Ghabash, Rabih Baalbaki, Mr. Chadi Al Maasarani, Caritas Youth, and all the volunteers and media.

Prizes were then distributed to the winners of each category, marking the end of this year’s competition. The Jamil Rawas Public School for Boys and Champville came first in the Future Innovators Junior (15-13) and Senior (19-16) categories, respectively, with Champville also taking the top prize in Future Engineers. Edutech claimed first place in the Elementary (12-8) and Junior RoboMission categories while Saint Joseph School came first in the Senior category.