First Scratch coding competition launched
January 30 2018 12:02 AM
Officials and representatives from the French-Qatari School Voltaire, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Unesco Doha Office, QNRF and QMIC announcing the details of the first Qatar National Scratch Coding Competition at a recent press meeting.

Students from schools across the country stand to benefit from the newly launched Qatar National Scratch Coding Competition (QNSCC), the first such initiative.
French-Qatari School Voltaire, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Unesco Doha Office, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC), has announced the launch of the competition in the country.
This is the first programming and coding competition using Scratch – a visual programming language developed by MIT Media Lab that encourages children to develop essential coding skills through fun and interactive learning – in Qatar, according to a press statement from the organisers.
All schools and students aged six to 18 years, in primary, middle and high schools, as well as students attending after-school coding clubs in Qatar, are invited to register for the competition until tomorrow at 
Almost 50 schools and more than 400 students have so far registered to take part in the competition, the organisers 
have said. 
“The ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society. The competition seeks to boost interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through enjoyable projects, aiming to encourage critical thinking, creativity and innovation,” QNSCC founder and computer science and technology teacher Eman Khouja said at a press conference organised by all partners at the French-Qatari School 
The ministry’s scientific research team head, Asma al-Mohannadi, praised the initiative along with similar projects such as the Al Bairaq programme, which are in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and greatly contribute to encouraging students to explore higher studies and professional careers in the field of research, science and technology. 
Marion Desmurger, senior programme assistant at the Unesco Office for the GCC and Yemen, explained that the competition will be held under the internationally agreed-upon framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, which range from promoting healthy life to eradicating poverty and fighting climate. “By learning coding, students will see how they can create local solutions through technology to have a positive impact in their 
communities,” she said.
Omar al-Jaber, head of strategic partnerships and outreach at QMIC, noted that the competition is part of their strategy to empower people to make a positive contribution to society through technology, and expressed QMIC’s interest to continue supporting this initiative and additional efforts to support youth through innovative 
technologies in the future.
The 2018 QNSCC awards ceremony will take place during the National Scientific Research Week from March 11 to 15 at Qatar National Convention Centre. 
More than 14 prizes will be granted to the three first winning teams in each category and each age group, the statement adds.

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