“Our team, ‘Lego King’, was dreaming only of participating in the US Robotic Competition and nothing more”, says Raed Musleh, computer teacher at the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Jordan’s Baqa’a camp. He trained the team of young Palestine refugees who came first in the ninth national robotics competition, held in March, with a smartphone application focused on natural disasters.
On 23 April 2014, the students from Baqa’a went to the United States, where they joined over 80 teams from around the world in St. Louis, Missouri, to compete in the FIRST LEGO League World Festival, whose theme this year was ‘Nature’s Fury’. Mr. Musleh says, “Due to the team’s strong determination and creativity, we managed to achieve something beyond imagination.” In fact, the team was recognized with a Judges’ Award
The Baqa’a students’ project was a smartphone application with three goals: providing awareness about the different kinds of natural disasters and how to perform first aid; directly connecting citizens with the Civil Defence Department (CDD); and helping CDD find people in need after a natural disaster – for example, those who are trapped under debris. In addition, the application gives full information about the phone’s owner.
Mr. Musleh says,“I thank UNRWA for its financial support which enabled us to participate in the competition.” One of the participating students, tenth-grader Huthyfeh Taha, adds, “Our participation in the world competition increased our communication skills and our knowledge about the cultures of other countries.”