In pursuit of knowledge and developing skills for the 21st century, Lego Robotics training sessions continue to take place at the Ismaili Centre, Dubai in preparation for the UAE national Lego Robotics 2019/2020 competition.

This is the third consecutive year that Lego Robotics has taken place. Participants shared their projects from the past two cycles, with the Jamat, based on the themes of Hydrodynamics and Into Orbit.

For 2019/2020, the theme is City Shapers. Each participating team will be challenged to create separate elements that will come together for use in sustainable cities. Teams that progress will present their inventions at the national competition next year. To celebrate and encourage girls’ participation and achievement in STEAM (scientific, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) fields, one of the two Ismaili teams in this cycle will be comprised entirely of girls and young women.

Lego Robotics is “learning through play while integrating scientific, technological, engineering and mathematics skills” explained Saira Gulamani, facilitator and trainer. “When you build a car using robotics, and have to measure the speed, you apply many facets of science spontaneously, such as physics, for example.” In addition to acquiring technical skills, Lego Robotics contributes to developing participants’ analytical thinking, human interaction, and confidence.

"That quest for a better life, among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, must lead inevitably to the Knowledge Society which is developing in our time.”

Aga Khan IV, Speech, 2nd December 2006, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

To date, Saira and her team have trained 150 Ismaili students aged 8-17, with many more exposed to the program through observation and awareness. The Lego Robotics program hopes to expand this to the 6-10 year-old age group, and bring the program to other regions in the UAE in the years to come.