The Robotics and Computer Science Lab is one of the most exciting places at Maktab. As you walk past the lab you might see eight-year-olds building a model aeroplane and writing code to automatically control motor speed with angle of attack or fourteen-year olds designing their newest home automation project using Arduino Boards and Raspberry Pi computers.
At Maktab children are introduced to programming at an early age through the internationally acclaimed curriculum at www.code.org. After they have learnt the basics of programming, they start building robots with Lego We Do kits. These kits allow children to design, build and programme robots. Before children leave Junior School, they have a year-long exposure to Scratch, a programming language developed at MIT, and the largest creating coding platform in the world. Students design and code their own games and projects, upload them on the Scratch website to share their creation with the rest of the world.
The Middle School robotics/computer science programme starts off with a two-year intensive exposure to Python. This allows children to get to grips with designing and coding real-life applications. In Grade IX, students start working with Arduino boards and Raspberry Pis. These microcontrollers and computers are ideal to design Internet of Things (IoT) projects such as home automation and video surveillance systems. As an extremely important side-benefit children also get exposure to C programming language.
Maktab also participates in the First Lego League (FLL), an international robotics competition where tens of thousands of teams from all around the world participate. The competition nurtures innovation, persistence, cooperation, and mutual respect. In this competition children are given a mission such as tackling the issues involved in space exploration or building smart cities, and spend months trying to achieve that mission using robotics, state-of-the-art technology and modern science. In the past we have qualified for the nationals with flying colours and have been invited to take part in international FLL contests.