Abu Dhabi Education Council & Microsoft Gulf  launch Imagine Us competition for secondary schools
Rushika Bhatia

Abu Dhabi Education Council & Microsoft Gulf launch Imagine Us competition for secondary schools

Abu Dhabi Education Council and Microsoft Gulf announced the launch of the Imagine Us competition for the second year in the row in partnership with technology partners, Fujitsu and AMD by training 70 IT teachers across the Abu Dhabi Emirate to mentor high school students of grades 9 to 12  as part of this innovative technology competition.

Imagine Us is a pioneering technology competition aimed at developing the skills, imagination and creativity of high school students by using special computer applications in designing, graphics, web, and digital video.

The competition will encourage young high school students in UAE to apply their imagination, passion, and creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world. This is in line with the ongoing efforts of Abu Dhabi Education Council and Microsoft to disseminate knowledge and educate high school students about the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

His Excellency, Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, ADEC’s Director General said, “Education is a key enabler to help Abu Dhabi in its efforts to become a successful knowledge-based society. As part of the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision, we continue to invest heavily in raising the standard of education in the country to empower nationals and residents. ADEC has four priorities in the field of basic education: Graduating students with global standards, providing every student living in Abu Dhabi with an opportunity to learn, setting up a private education sector committed to meeting standards set by the council for reasonable fees and promoting the national identity in the educational environment.”

“We strive to prepare a new generation of future leaders by improving their skills in problem solving, creative thinking, scientific research, teamwork and getting away from the conventional method of education which focuses on the book as the only source of knowledge.

“We are pleased to partner with Microsoft Gulf to take positive steps towards utilizing technology for social development. Imagine Us Competition offers high school students a variety of opportunities to develop a wide array of skills and potentials which they can use to design web sites, digital films and graphics. We look forward to the creativity of our children to find solutions that will address the challenges surrounding us in the world today.”

Samer Abu-Ltaif, Regional General Manager of Microsoft Gulf added, “Microsoft’s Imagine Us is all about igniting the imagination of tomorrow’s technology visionaries and leaders. When coupled with the power of technology the potential of young people is unlimited and the ideas they develop for the event could significantly improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

The launch of this competition reflects Microsoft’s long-term commitment to collaborating with academic institutions to contribute to socio-economic development. We commend the Abu Dhabi government’s ambitious vision of using technology to advance the cause of education and enhance IT skills development that will enable citizens to compete in today’s global economy,” he said.

High school students from all the Abu Dhabi Emirate, aged between 16 and 18 at the time of entry, can take part in the competition in teams of three to four students in one of three categories. In the Web Design Category, teams will design and develop an HTML web site using Microsoft Expression Web.  In the Digital Video category, competitors can submit a short film (five to ten minutes) created and edited using Microsoft Windows Movie Maker. The Graphic Design Category will have teams designing an original poster using Microsoft Expression Design.

Farid Al-Sabbagh, Managing Director of Middle East, Fujitsu Technology Solutions mentioned, “Fujitsu has a long standing relationship with educational institutions across the Middle East, working with schools and universities across the region to provide students with the latest IT tools to help them reach their goals. Partnering with Microsoft on the ‘Imagine Us Competition’ gives students the opportunity to put in practice their passion for technology.”

According to Bernard Biolchini, VP and General Manager of AMD Middle East, Turkey and Africa, “Educational institutions and students around the world rely on AMD to provide the technology they need to meet their needs, from world-class supercomputers and powerful workstations for advanced research, to cost-effective servers, desktops and notebooks. By encouraging young high school students to apply their imagination, passion, and creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world.”

Teachers were trained in three sessions in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Algharbia. The teams from schools across the country will be given a deadline to submit their entries which will be shortlisted for the final round.  In the closing ceremony, students will present their works in front of the audience and winners will be selected by the end of May 2011 for valuable prizes from Fujitsu and AMD.