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AUS camp introduces high school students to robotics, Internet of Things
By a Staff Reporter January 05, 2018
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SHARJAH: The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently held the AUS High School Computing Camp, an exciting new initiative for high school students across the country to help them learn about the dynamic field of CSE.

The computing camp introduced students from grade 10—12 to various aspects of engineering design and innovation. Participating high school students in the five-day camp came from schools that are part of the Sharakah programme, a partnership between AUS and select high schools across the country.

This new initiative focused on a wide variety of topics ranging from web development, robotics, smart homes and Internet of Things (IoT), mobile apps, programming, cyber security, and more. The aim was to serve students in building their technical and soft skills through presentations, problem solving, teamwork, communication skills, and time management with the help and guidance of instructors from CSE. A competition was also held at the conclusion of the camp.

During the five-day camp, students were introduced to various concepts covering a wide spectrum of computing as they were introduced to the basics of electric and digital systems and worked on building their first simple digital circuits. Participants were also introduced to the basics of programming and created their first C++ programs to solve different problems. The camp also allowed them to focus on building simple Android apps and developing basic HTML webpages. They were introduced to the concept of robotics and worked on building their own robots to perform autonomous tasks such as Sumo Fighting Robots. Lastly, students were introduced to one of the hottest topics in computing today which is the Internet of Things (IoT) and taught to use their basic knowledge in developing a smart home web-based controller.

The successful camp is another step in the university’s focus on engaging with and promoting research and STEM subjects within the larger community.  

Dr Fadi Aloul, Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and organiser of the computing camp, spoke about goal of the camp and said: “The AUS High School Computing Camp introduced high school students to different areas of CSE and introduced them to this exciting field. The goal was to give students an insight into how this profession impacts the world and how they could be a part of it. The camp was a great way for students to spend their winter break and  invest their minds dealing with and learning from beneficial ideas that serve an essential purpose.”

Ahmed Atalla, a grade 11 student from National Charity School in Dubai, said: “I joined the camp to learn programming and web development and loved the experience, especially the robotics session. I hope to be here again soon to attend a new camp with new topics.”

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