“Code the Raspberry Pi and Invent for the Benefit of Lebanon”

Beirut, Lebanon: Under the patronage of the Minister of Education and Higher Education, HE Mr. Elias Bou Saab, and for the first time in Lebanon, the Raspberry Pi competition took place at the ministry under the title “Code the Raspberry Pi to Invent for the Benefit of Lebanon”. 278 students from 30 schools (15 public, 15 private) presented 44 projects; they addressed problems that Lebanese face in the domains of health, power, water, waste, agriculture, education, and others giving practical solutions to solve them. Girls’ participation was a landmark in this competition as they represented 51% of the students, taking leading roles in the design and coding of projects related to different fields as well as in the construction of their prototypes; moreover, two public high schools for girls won prizes the first for the Outstanding Project and the second for the High School Category.

The support of the ministry played a key role in the dissemination and the success of the competition, which was within its policy to support extra-curricular activities that promote constructive thinking where students set positive strategies to succeed in their work, especially that such activities enable teachers to integrate different learning subjects within one project (like sciences, technology and language).

This unique coding-making opportunity was provided through the partnership between UK Lebanon Tech Hub and the International Education Association, IEA in line with the Central Bank’s Circular 331 Initiatives to support the growth of the knowledge economy in Lebanon.

Moreover, the program has an outstanding support from leading Lebanese universities like the American University of Beirut, Rafic Hariri University, St. Joseph University (ESIB), Holy Spirit University – Kaslik, and the University of Balamand. They encouraged their students to volunteer in the delivery of the training workshops and they facilitated running the latter in their computer labs.

Mr. Elie Neim representing HE Minister Elias Bou Saab, Mr. Nadim Zaazaa Country Director of UK Lebanon Tech Hub, Mrs. Eliane Metni, IEA Director, addressed the audience. Mr. Oliver Quinlan, Head of Research at the Raspberry Pi Foundation¬ made his intervention through the Internet.

The jury was composed of Mr. Joe Feghali from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Bassam Moslem of the Rafic Hariri University, expert in robotics and the Raspberry Pi, Mr. Constantine Nicolaou, programming expert, and Mr Maher Hassanieah, entrepreneurship ecosystem expert.

The Outstanding Project award was given to Zahle Public High School for Girls for their Techno Green House Project, which aims to provide a stable favorable environment for the plants. It opens and closes according to the weather conditions and operates water sprinklers based on the soil water level. The students and teacher won a study trip to the United Kingdom.

The High School Category winner was the Ghobeiry 1 Public High School for Girls, for their Smart Trash Basket project, which is an automatic trash sorting system that differentiates between three common types of non-organic trash: Paper or Plastic, Glass, and Metal. The team of three young girls won $1,000.

The Middle School Category winner was Al Mahdi School, Kfarfila for their Smart School project, which uses a smart phone application and a Raspberry Pi to automate a school. The team of five boys won $1,000.