LAU Summer School for Young Robotics and Extended Reality Enthusiasts

This July, middle schoolers will get to experiment and put their robots to the test at the School of Engineering’s advanced labs.

By Raissa Batakji

Asking “why” and “how” is integral to learning, and for children in their early teens, experimenting their way to an answer not only makes learning fun and memorable but can also spark a lifelong interest in the subject.

This summer, the LAU School of Engineering (SOE) is setting up a summer school to feed the curiosity of young learners. The Robotics and Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) Summer School is designed to develop middle schoolers’ hard skills in robotics, programming, navigation and design while honing their soft skills, such as problem solving, presentation, teamwork and public speaking.

The school is tailored to robotics and extended reality enthusiasts in Grades 6 to 9. Participants will be able to create versatile robots, as well as VR and AR applications while engaging in recreational activities and competitions embedded in the program. It will also feature special talks by experts in the field.

SOE Assistant Professor Noel Maalouf noted that hands-on experiences in robotics and extended reality “not only fosters young students’ intellectual curiosity, but also equips them with essential skills for the future.”

The school will run over four sessions in July 2024, where each cohort will join a week-long session, given by LAU engineering faculty, staff and students at the university’s state-of-the-art Engineering Labs and Research Center on the Byblos campus. Transportation and meals will be provided.

“The access to these facilities,” added Dr. Maalouf, “ensures that the participants have the best possible environment to explore, create and innovate.” He underscored the program’s value in inspiring the next generation of technologists and innovators.

At the end of each session, the students will present their projects at a robotics competition, where innovative creations will be rewarded, and participants will receive certificates of completion.

To find out more, go to the summer school websiteand contact Dr. Maalouf.