Children and mothers introduced to robotics and AI via host of engaging games and activities
As part of its ongoing efforts to nurture an innovation mindset among the younger generation, Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), organizes a host of events throughout the year which are themed around the latest technological innovations and trends.
The events encourage children and their parents to engage in activities that promote an understanding of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and other branches of computer science that support the expansion of the next generation of tech-savvy individuals who will in turn go on to benefit Qatar’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem.
“Through our various capacity building initiatives, QCRI aims to inspire more people to become creators of technologies i.e. computer scientists, rather than just consumers of technology. Our various programs instill in children a curiosity for coding, robotics and the development of digital applications. By also inviting parents to take part in these programs, we are demonstrating to them how they can play an integral role in supporting their children in pursuing different career ambitions within the tech arena,” explained Dr. Eman Futuri, director of educational initiatives at QCRI.
The recent Mother-Child TechFun is one such program that facilitates a fun and stimulating learning environment for both parent and child. Mothers and their children attending the event were able to bond and try their hand at testing and familiarizing themselves with what it entails to conceptualize and develop technological innovations.
Mothers along with children between the ages of four and 12 participated in hands-on activities, which aimed to pique their interest in all things tech. These included the concept of robotics, which was delivered through games such as Cozmo, a robot that has AI capabilities and is suitable for all ages; Sphero, a spherical robot that children could program to go through a maze; Wedo, a Lego robot game that is suitable for ages 7-9; and DoBot, a robotic arm that children could program to draw and spell out their names.
Some of the DIY activities showcased during the Mother-Child TechFund event included a Hologram Projector, LED Art and Scribble Bots, which saw children using simple electronics to build a bot that is capable of moving around and scribbling, 3D pens and Augmented Reality Coloring.
Along with the child-focused activities, the event also featured a Mother-Child electronic maze, a game whereby mother and child were challenged to complete the entire labyrinth without releasing each other’s hand.
Continuing with its family-focused capacity building drive, QCRI will host the Creative Space fair on April 18. QCRI’s flagship program is a public event that provides a platform to showcase the K-12 programs offered by QCRI’s Creative Space Lab as well as those offered by other entities working in the Maker and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Members of the community can look forward to more than 50 STEM activities and a Science Show.
For more details, and to register, please visit qcri.hbku.edu.qa