Saudi project clears 1,630 Houthi mines in Yemen

Saudi Mawhiba Talent Foundation Shortlists Applicants to International Science and Engineering Fair

DJEDDAH: More than 330 students, men and women, are shortlisted to participate in the fifth phase of the National Olympiad for Scientific Creativity, also known as Ibdaa.

The first ones from the central stage of the exhibition will qualify for the final stage of the competition before entering the International Science and Engineering Fair in 2022.

Ibdaa is a science and engineering competition organized by King Abdulaziz and his Companions for Giving and Creativity Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. It is Saudi Arabia’s largest pre-university science and engineering competition, empowering the next generation of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.

Some 110 talented students from the western region present their projects at the King Faisal Convention Center at King Abdulaziz University for three days, starting Wednesday. Earlier, more than 220 applicants presented their projects in Eastern Province and Riyadh, as part of the central stage of the competition. The candidates received training in specialized workshops.

There are two judging committees made up of 56 assessors representing 54 public and private sectors of the Kingdom. Their main task is to review the projects and approve the winners for the next sixth stage before the final stage.

According to Dr Nazeeh Al-Othmany, assistant secretary general of corporate relations and business development at Mawhiba, more than 103,000 students entered the competition. He added that 333 of them have qualified for the current stage.

“We are in the third central exhibition of the National Olympiad of Scientific Creativity, where 110 students of both sexes from the regions of the west, south and north of the country participate to exhibit their innovative work before a committee of expert judgment can give its preliminary assessment, ”Al-Othmany said.

He added that the committee will select some of the projects for the next phase of the Olympiad. He added that they had recently concluded similar exhibitions in Riyadh and the Eastern Province, in which more than 220 students participated.

“We will now select 150 participants from the three central exhibitions to compete in the next stage, which will be held in Medina under the patronage of the Governor of Medina, Prince Faisal bin Salman. Each project will be evaluated and judged by four evaluators. We will then select the best projects to represent Saudi Arabia at ISEF 2022, where 2,000 to 2,500 students will represent up to 90 countries, ”he told Arab News.

He noted that Saudi students have won 83 awards since Mawhiba started attending the annual international event.

Speaking on the criteria by which a project is judged, the Deputy Secretary-General said that a group of specialist academics review all submitted projects and decide which ones qualify for the other stages of the competition.

“Our main goal is for students to understand the basics of scientific research, scientific methodology, performing experiments, collecting results and analyzing them. We also aim to guide participants to deploy their creativity and talents to find solutions to problems in their societies, such as problems related to the environment, artificial intelligence, agriculture, health and sustainable development ” , did he declare.

Abeer Taher, Creativity Supervisor at the Jeddah Education Department, told Arab News that they evaluate their students’ projects before submitting them to Mawhiba.

She added that they also communicate with universities and research centers to facilitate the work of talents and provide them with all possible assistance.

“Some 33 female and 10 male students from the Jeddah Education Department have reached this stage of this year’s edition of the competition,” said Taher, who is also a STEM ministerial supervisor.

She hopes more teachers will be trained to find and support talented students. She noted that Ibdaa provides her students with the skills of scientific research, such as deep questioning and critical thinking.

Giving a briefing on his project, Abdullah Ruaidan, a 11th grade student from Mecca, told Arab News that his project involved a warning system capable of detecting tsunamis that cause significant environmental damage and casualties.

“The goal of my idea is to build an ocean buoy that can serve as a real-time early warning system. The idea also aims to develop a control center using AI to collect and analyze data data and activate a warning, ”said Ruaidan. He added that underwater sensors can detect the speed and direction of the tsunami.

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