Doha, June 7, 2015 –This fall will see the launch of a computer programming course at Qatar Foundation’s Academic Bridge Program (ABP). The course comes on the heels of the robotics course that the ABP’s Computer Skills department launched in the fall of 2012.
The new course for computer programming “seems like a natural extension of the Computer Skills coursework that we already offer at the ABP and is an area that a lot of students are interested in,” said Ms. Kim Tresohlavy, ABP Computer Skills and Robotics teacher and Botball and Robotics Club advisor. “ABP students who participate in computer related workshops and activities are usually very attentive and inquisitive, they ask intelligent questions and participate fully,” Ms. Tresohlavy continued.
In addition to the different computer courses, ABP students are also able to participate in a number of extracurricular computer-related activities, such as Robotics club, Introduction to Programming Using Python club, and the annual Botball Educational Robots Program hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. This year, ABP students also attended the “Coding Is Cool!” workshop organized by the Qatar Computing Research Institute.
ABP students Ahmed Al-Ali, Maha Al-Hemaidi, Alanoud Al-Rai, and Abdalrahman El-Kelani (class of 2015) represented the ABP in the multi-round botball competition, which serves as a qualifier for the Global Conference on Educational Robotics to be held later this summer in the United States. This year marked the first time that organizers allowed the ABP to compete for the grand prize since, in previous years, they were only permitted to participate as a non-competing team.
According to ABP student Ahmed Al-Ali, the Botball Educational Robots Program was very useful, and stated that, "my ambition is to become an electrical engineer, so I was really glad when I got to work on documentation at the botball competition, because it is something that all engineers need to know how to do." ABP student Maha Al Hamidi, who recently got accepted at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar thought that the botball competition was an experience that “should not be missed.” She went on to explain that she, “really enjoyed the team work involved and learned how to work quickly to a meet deadline."
The team finished 15th overall, but were recognized for their commendable demeanor with a Judge’s Choice Award for Team Spirit. They also executed very well on the documentation presentation, placing 6th with a score of 93 out of 100.
Meanwhile, several other ABP students attended the “Coding is Cool!” workshop sponsored by the Qatar Computing Research Institute and held at Carnegie-Mellon University in Education City. Current ABP scholars Mutaz Ahmed, Abdullah Abrar, Ayoub Benlahcene, Fajer Al-Mohannadi, Dana Al-Yafei, Maha Al-Hemaidi, and Bashayer Al-Mohammed participated in the event, which included a series of work stations, presentations, and guest speakers.
Ms. Moza Boainain, Assistant Director for Student Affairs explains that, "The interest and passion ABP students have exhibited towards computer-related programs and activities was one of the main reasons behind ABP’s decision to launch the new computer programming course. Ms. Moza adds, “Activities and events are constantly being offered to ABP students through the innovative curriculum as well as through clubs and activities sponsored by ABP faculty members. They are just another example of the commitment of Qatar Foundation (QF) to nurture a knowledge-based economy in Qatar and to realize the goal of ‘unlocking human potential.’”
QF works to achieve this result by offering educational opportunities throughout the cycle of education. In line with this mission, the ABP delivers an important link in the complete educational progression provided by facilitating the transition from high school to university. While students coming up through the many Qatar Foundation high schools have a strong academic base that allows them to successfully enroll in one of the high-quality HBKU partner institutions, some students benefit from an additional year of development. Those candidates, and others from independent and private high schools in Qatar, find the setting at the ABP to augment their abilities and increase their success at the next level.
The ABP is now accepting applications for admission for the 2015-16 academic year. Information about admission to the ABP may be found at www.abp.edu.qa or by e-mailing ABPAdmission@qf.org.qa
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