MUSCAT, April 23 – As Comex 2018 brings in the annual technology week in the Sultanate, joining in the ‘Horizon’ as the theme of this year, are the young minds who have their say when it comes to programming. Zachriah al Nabhani is a fifth grader but is also a mini programmer who arrived sharp at 9 am on the opening day ready to take his place in front of the computer at the Engineering Village’s Kid’s World at Comex 2018. He has created three video games and is in the process of making his next game – football.
Zachriah eagerly explained how to play his game ‘Ninja’ a character he has designed himself, “It took me six days to make this game. I am using the program called scratch. The Ninja has to jump and at times defeat the enemies.” The Engineering Village teaches kids programming of robotics, movement and how to connect with blue tooth and sensors. The students make the robots from zero and the students’ age ranges from eight and above. They attend the session in the evenings after their regular school hours with the Engineering Village Club.
Dima Saafi from the Engineering Village, an Omani establishment that now has three branches in Muscat, Nizwa and Suhar, said, “We are an educational institution and we mainly specialise in engineering such as mechanical, electrical, electronics and computer programming in various languages. We provide training and workshops for kids and adults.”
Meanwhile, students of MY School were also on location to exhibit their projects. Iris ElTinnay, ICT HOD at My School International, said, “In our school we are encouraging technology and we use it every day in our class room for teaching. At Comex we are participating with projects completed by children of different grades — sixth, seventh and eighth. We have projects that integrate science, technology, engineering and math. They have used programming and the students give robotics commands to execute specific jobs.”
At the pavilion of Oman CERT is another child in the sixth grade who has an important role to portray in the society. Salem bin Talal al Khambishi is a junior cyber security ambassador within the Oman National Program. His project on display is a simulation of a smart home. With his project Salem indicates the cyber security challenges that the world faces and explains different methods on how to tackle them. All of this is in the scope of Internet of Things, which is the focus this year. The house designed by Salem operates using solar energy and can be controlled by the mobile phone. He also has on display smart waste management providing solution to another major concern for the environment today.