Between June 14 and 16, Lebanon will host its first international robotics competition. The event co-hosted by Education and Technology Center, FIRST LEGO League Operational Partners, and the Lebanese American University in Byblos will see 600 students traveling from more than 50 countries to showcase innovation and creativity in the world's most exciting competition.
Despite the tournament being in its first year, the NERD Open Championship was a great success. The event co-hosted by Education & Technology Center and the Lebanese American University in Byblos, gathered teams from 31 schools, public organizations, and non-governmental organizations on November 10, 2018 to challenge for the national title in SUMO, Line Tracking, and Ball Collector.
The official opening ceremony of the 2018 OC season initiated the event's schedule with a speech by Dr. Raymond Ghajar, Professor and Interim Dean of the School of Engineering, who insisted on the importance of this event to LAU and the School of Engineering as it bridges the gap between school students and the university and for the students to have an outlook on what their future in engineering would be like at LAU. NERD Founder and the Education & Technology Center General Manager, Mr. Ghazi Mtaweh thanked LAU for their continuous support to NERD and stressed on the importance of collaboration between ETC and LAU, which started in 2012 co-hosting the Arab Robotics Championship and the extension of that collaboration in 2019 to co-host the FIRST LEGO League Open International. On his part, Mr. Imad Ashkar, Director of the private education sector at the Ministry of Education started his speech addressing Dr. Ghajar and Mr. Mtaweh by saying "this is a speech from the heart" thanking both the private sector institutions on setting an example of what their collaboration brings to youth and the country as a whole, when both hold values of respect and inclusion above all, wished both institutions a great success with their upcoming events, and vowed to support their initiative anyway possible in the coming months and years.
The 3 winning teams in Ball Collector: RoboDozers, Checkmate, and Under-Construction, competed in 15 rounds throughout the day to qualify for the final at the Arab Robotics Championship in Kuwait, while the two finalists in SUMO: STC UNO and STC Smarto battled each other out in a match that showed the best out of their robot's designs.
As for Line Tracking, the new scoring regulations set by the Arab Robotics Association allowed the 27 participating teams to remain competitive until the very last-minute compared to last year's of the tournament by distributing the team's final score on the three maps as follows: 20% for level 1 and 2, and 60% for the last map, compared to earlier years where teams got eliminated between one level and the one that followed. Each team brought their best on tournament day, and the final secret map proved to be a surprise to some, however all teams were able to perform their robots with slight differences at the top ranks, making the last minutes of the matches teeth clenching. The final ranking brought Smart Robot, King of Robots, Immune, Autobots, Bilal II, to the top of the pack and qualified them to the RoboChallenge to take place in China later on in August 2019.
Interested in knowing more about the event? Click here.
For the first season since 2010, the National Education Robotics Day - NERD has been split into 2 events dividing the open categories competitions of SUMO and Line Tracking from FIRST competitions, which allowed for adding the Ball Collector and Innovation Fair competitions into its fold and to accommodate teams better.
The NERD Open Championship, will gather more than 40 teams distributed on its four competitions, is co-hosted by the Lebanese American University in Byblos, as part of a year term partnership between Education and Technology Center, the organizers of NERD to include hosting FIRST competitions in March and the first international robotics competition in Lebanon, the FIRST LEGO League Open International Lebanon.
April 18 to 21 marked Lebanon’s sixth year of participation on the international robotics level with 4 teams participating at the World Championship in three FIRST competitions in Houston, TX.
The two FIRST LEGO League Junior teams: “TechnoFusion the Yellow” and “Let’sGo” spent three days at the expo with more than 100 teams from around the world, sharing their innovative ideas in water treatment and collection. What makes both teams special is not the students alone, Mr. Alaa Shaarani, a previous FIRST LEGO League team member and now a team coach, embodies what FIRST Core Values are all about, he is part of a community giving back a great experience to the youngsters on his team. On the other hand Let’sGo, a new team at NERD Lebanon, became the first team at the tournament to qualify for an international event from their first year of participation. Both teams impressed the jury at the World Festival and were presented with the Research Award and the Cooperative Programming Award.
In the higher level, team “SRS RoboBuilders” represented Lebanon at the World Festival for their third year in a row. The new team members combined with older team members travelled to provide Lebanon with the best representation possible at the most widespread competition on the global scale. The team challenged 130 FLL teams, the top of the 45000 spread all over the world. Presenting their team’s core values of collaboration and respect, the team competed graciously in the FLL Robot Game, proved their innovation in the Project, and their efficient design and accurate programming guaranteed them a Mechanical Design award and a call-back to place them among the top 10 in the tournament.
The highlight of this season came at the FIRST Tech Challenge, where a first time team, “101”, impressed the judges with their exciting methods and outstanding core values embodiment, merging their team with another and inviting other FTC team members locally to work with them and join efforts in preparation for the FTC World Championship. Team “101” grew from 3 members at the local tournament to 8 with team members from “Jalapeños” and other teams spending time and effort in developing the strategy and design together.
Team 101’s efforts were crowned with the first international award for a Lebanese team at the high school level - FTC, with the support of their veteran coach Mr. Mhamad Beiruty, and the efforts of NERD’s alumni, Ali Wehbe and Mhamad Harb.
The other highlight of this year’s season, Lebanese coach Souhaib Azanki was honored as one of the World’s top coaches in FLL. This is the second time a Lebanese coach has been granted this honor, Mr. Mhamad Beiruty through his FLL team Tic Tac Toe received the same award in 2016.
Another successful tournament for NERD on both the international and local level, and hopefully more achievements are to come with more international tournaments to happen during the summer.
In partnership with the Ministry of Telecommunication and touch, the 2018 National Education Robotics Day was held on March 18 at the Hilton-Habtoor welcoming over 1500 visitors who were excited to witness live robot games, innovative ideas, and gracious professionalism in a fun and exciting approach.
For teams, the objective here is to learn, design, build, and program their way to represent both their group and country in multiple regional and international robotic championships happening around the world.
To view the full album, please visit our gallery on flickr.
After 4 months of hard work, teams prepare to showcase their ideas, innovations, and robot building skills they acquired or sharpened, and in many case mastered. In its 8th edition, NERD is just around the corner and spirits are high.
Organized annually by the Education & Technology Center, NERD’s objective is to promote STEM education and 21st century workforce skills through fun and plenty of hard work. Everybody is in full gear and conducting final checklists and modifications.
This year, and in partnership with both the Ministry of Telecommunications and Touch, NERD is expecting over 1000 visitors with 137 teams registered from more than 60 schools across the country.
With the support of LBC, our exclusive media partners, STEM education is reaching far and wide helping us deliver our message in creating fun with STEM and encouraging students to think like scientists and engineers.
We will meet this Sunday March 18, at the Hilton-Habtoor Hotel, Emirates Hall at 9:00 AM as the opening ceremony starts and enjoy a full day of robotic competitions, gracious professionalism, and above all, fun.
Winners will be announced during the closing ceremony at 7:00 PM with a special appearance by the Minister Jamal El Jarrah as he greets and congratulates the winners who will go on to represent their team and country in both regional and international championships.
A 2 day marathon! Same day last week, we made our way one more time to Zahle and Tripoli, on both Friday and Saturday to celebrate the official NERD18 kick-off which was hosted and supported by both the Order of Engineers & Architects in Tripoli and the American University of Science & Technology in Zahle.
NERD18 kicks off it’s 8th edition of the biggest robotic competitions event in the country, and it’s happening on March 17, at the Forum De Beyrouth.
Students, coaches, teachers, and schools showed up alongside their teams to witness the official kick-off while going through this season’s rules, regulations, and missions for each of the 5 competitions held this year at NERD18.
Here’s a breakdown in case you missed it.
FIRST LEGO League Junior: Kids will need to find out how water gets to them and how they can help make the journey better. They later on design a solution to improve a part of that journey. This year’s mission is called “Aqua Adventure”.
FIRST LEGO League: This season’s challenge is to improve the way people find, transport, use, or dispose of water. “HydroDynamics” is this year’s mission.
FIRST Tech Challenge: The name of the game this season is “Relic Recovery” presented by Qualcomm, as two alliances face off during a Driver-Controlled period and an Autonomous period, excitement is definitely expected here!
SUMO Robot: In a SUMO type of arena, teams have only 3 minutes to battle it out and find out who’s the better Robot left standing.
Line Tracking: Kids design and program a fully autonomous robot able to track an existing path on a circuit specially designed for this purpose.
Since 2010, the National Education Robotics Day alongside their international partners, FIRST and LEGO Group, has been a platform for ages 6 through 19, encouraging kids to think like scientists and engineers. “NERD is all about creating fun with STEM while facing real world challenges and missions, and in the end, to find solutions to those problems.” concluded Farah Mtaweh, Executive Manager at NERD.
It was an amazing NERD 2018 kick-off event and just in case you missed it, here’s what went down.
From Beirut Digital District last week, the National Education Robotics Day announced it's 2018 season kickoff with over 100 people attending the ceremony. “The biggest robotics competitions event in Lebanon is happening on March 17, 2018 at the Forum De Beyrouth.” said Ghazi Mtaweh, ETC Founder and Managing Partner at NERD.
Mtaweh continues, “NERD17 drew in 120 registered teams last year, and attended by over a 1000 people who share a vision and passion towards STEM and the new age of technology, robots.” After the event, teams were going around getting into conversations with other teams, coaches, and professors, to stand on the latest concerning their projects.
Dr. Mhamad Awad from IEEE Lebanon Section spoke at the kick-off about the partnership they have built with NERD and the love for STEM education they both share on a strategic level. With the instrumental participation of IEEE, NERD is able to maintain an international high-level judging apparatus.
Moreover, and during the ceremony, the Education & Technology Center and NERD recognized a number of 10 award winning teams that participated in the 2017 International Championships and they go as follows:
FIRST World Championship held in Houston, Texas - USA
FIRST LEGO League International Open Championship held in Bath - United Kingdom
FIRST LEGO League Open European Championship held in Aarhus - Denmark
Under Construction - UCT
Come March 18 of next year, teams will once again face off during the biggest robotics competitions event in the country. Register your teams now and get in on the fun!
Leading up to the main event #NERD18 next March, a number of middle and high school teachers met this past weekend to learn how to build a functional robot, and to experience first hand what it actually takes to be part of the National Education Robotics Day.
Organized by NERD and it's regional development partners and hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Tripoli and the North - CCIAT in the north and the American University of Science and Technology - AUST Zahle in Bekaa, more than 60 teachers from both public and private schools experienced hands-on learning, starting with building their very own demo robots, to programming, to making them perform specific tasks based on the three main characteristics of a robot: Sensing, Planning, and Actioning - SPA.
These workshops are designed to help teachers understand the functionality of a robot and how to use one in a practical approach to their subjects of teaching in physics, math, computer sciences and technology as part of the national curriculum and science competitions.
As more organizations similar to CCIAT and AUST join efforts to increase awareness and practice of twenty-first century skills in educational institutions, NERD’s efforts further in spreading STEM to Lebanese youth.
Last Saturday, the Rafic Hariri University (RHU) witnessed a small meet-up for students and their coaches to learn about this season’s FIRST LEGO League Challenge. This year, students have to learn about water – how we find, transport, use, or dispose of it.
Organized by the Student Technology Club (STC SMARTO) 34 students alongside their coaches attended the hands-on robotics workshop to learn about the 2017-2018 FIRST LEGO League challenge, “Hydrodynamics”.
Teams now have to study, plan, and execute a functioning robot that is capable of performing
specific tasks, and they have until March of next year to make this happen. 4 months from now, preparations and hard work would pay off in this season of the National Education Robotics Day - NERD in March 2018. Teams of up to ten students between the ages of 10 and 15, with at least two adult coaches, can participate in the challenge.
With more of these hands-on robotics workshops happening and thanks to clubs like the STC SMARTO, every student is encouraged to apply the knowledge that they gain theoretically by working on real-time practical experiments and to understand the fundamental concepts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in our daily lives.
A special thanks goes out to Dr. Bassam Muslim, Founder of STC SMARTO and Mr. Farah Mtaweh, Co-Founder of NERD, each from his position trying to play their part and support Lebanese students and children to think like scientists and engineers.