The 2016 FIRST® LEGO® League Arabia Open will be held this weekend at the American University of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon and in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton. More than 50 teams of children from eight Arab countries compete in this year’s ‘TRASH TREK Challenge’, working to find solutions to the world’s waste problem.
This year’s challenge is especially compelling for teams based in Lebanon, where for more than eight months, the capital city of Beirut has been congested with numerous unsanctioned public garbage mounds.
Ramez Shehadi, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Booz Allen Hamilton MENA said, “Young people throughout our region must come to understand the critical importance of sustainability and be inspired and encouraged to make an impact. Studies in science, technology, engineering, health, and environment are just a few among many longer term directions they can take in pursuit of helping to create a better community.”
He continued, “This is not just the case in Lebanon or the region, but across the world – we are all faced with profound sustainability challenges that are impacting our access to clean water and renewable energy and which are only further complicated by the issue of efficient waste management. We must continue to identify ways to create meaningful engagement with our youth – empowering them and enabling the progress they deserve. The FIRST® LEGO® League is a tremendous example of an inclusive, challenging and exciting initiative that rallies young minds around a real world problem they are all intimately aware of. I look forward to understanding more about the solutions brought forward.”
The FIRST® LEGO® League Arabia Open is the biggest regional robotics competition in the MENA region, organized annually under supervision of the Arab Robotics Association, an organization formed of FLL Operational Partners in the Arab World to help share their experiences and organize regional tournaments.
This year’s event represents Booz Allen Hamilton’s second successive year of close collaboration with the initiative in the region. Participants of all ages will benefit from direct interaction with senior Booz Allen consultants who will share knowledge and expertise as part of their commitment to developing the next generation of innovators.
Booz Allen employees around the globe regularly donate their free time in support of a broad range of STEM programs and mentorships like FIRST. Earlier this year, the firm joined the ranks as a designated FIRST® Strategic Partner—one of only 18 organizations to achieve such recognition.
Read more about FIRST.
Read more about Booz Allen Hamilton’s commitment to STEM.