MUSCAT: This year, for the first time ever, the largest robotics championship in the world welcomed a team coming all the way from the Sultanate of Oman.
TAISM’s VEX Robotics Competition team is made of high school students passionate about technology, robotics and computer science. To prepare for the tournament, the group worked together to design, build and programme a robot that could quickly and efficiently solve specific challenges.
The Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which thousands of schools participate in around the world each year. “As an experienced robotics mentor, I’ve seen firsthand the engineering skill and leadership expertise that students gain by participating in the VEX Robotics Competition,” says Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation.
“It’s an experience that will stay with them long after their school days are over, offering a new appreciation for STEM and laying a strong foundation of critical problem-solving, communication and teamwork skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.” Each week, students apply what they’ve learned about STEM in the classroom at TAISM to build semi-autonomous machines. An equally important set of skills is learned through the competition -- communication, project management, time management and teamwork.
TAISM’s Robotics team meets after school. Students learn about electronics, programming, mechanical systems, animation, 3D CAD, computer-aided machining, web design and materials fabrication.
“Competing at the Vex World Championship is a monumental achievement, especially for a first-year team,” says Jason Tiefel, Computer Science Teacher at TAISM.
“Vex matches require teams to strategise with partner teams that they just met, so the social skills are as important as the engineering and programming skills. The TAISM students faced all challenges with the calm, collaborative approach of a much more seasoned team. What is most exciting is that all they've achieved this year is just a first step in building a community of robotics here in Oman.” “Since 1998, our mission has been to develop ethical, responsible and globally conscious life-long learners,” says Kevin Schafer, Director at TAISM.
“Robotics education is just one part of our duty to prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist and to teach them to adapt and lead in an ever-changing world. We look forward to engaging with education partners here in Oman as we build a hub for robotics events, learning, and competitions in the Sultanate.”