Forty-eight UAE high school students participated in the virtual Ektashif Spring Camp, which ran from 28 March to 6 April 2022. Ektashif is a program organized by KU’s Outreach Office designed to teach high achieving students in grades 10, 11, and 12 programming languages so they can create games, apps, robots, and more.
This year’s cohort was a diverse mix of students from different backgrounds and nationalities. Thirty-six were UAE national students, while 12 were international students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, India, Oman, Yemen, Sudan, Palestine, and Iraq.
The two-week long program included programming workshops on C++ and MATLAB, as well as workshops on MBTI personalities, discussions on undergraduate major selections, courses on building critical thinking and grit, and much more.
The students enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to gain important skills and knowledge in C++ and MATLAB, both powerful programming languages.
Coding will equip youth with the skills needed to excel in the world as it moves towards a more automated and digital future, and it is an integral part of Digital Literacy, or the ability to effectively and appropriately use technology. These skills are becoming increasingly important in the employment market, particularly in the high-growth industries of big data, blockchain, robotics and other tech sectors.
Layan Al Shaibani, a grade 11 American Curriculum student from ADNOC Schools, described the program as fulfilling. “I was able to achieve a deeper understanding of my passion, computer science, as well as better understand important life-related topics that will not only help me in college but also later in life.”
Rashid Arif Obaid Mohammed Alzaabi, a grade 11 ASP student from Humaid Bin Abdul Aziz Secondary Education School, had fun learning new programming skills and other soft skills. “I really enjoyed all the programming and self-improvement classes we took. Everyone was really nice, and I liked that we were organized into groups so we could socialize and learn the values of having a team that works together toward a shared goal. All the instructors were excellent and professional in giving us instructions and answering all our questions clearly. I would definitely recommend this program to others.”
Shiakha Khalid juma Albloushi, a grade 12 Elite student from Al Nuaimia School for Basic and Secondary Education, said that she was certain that she will use everything she learned in her future career.
Noora Abdulla Ali Alnaqbi, a grade 11 Elite student from Um Almumneen school, felt proud to be a part of the program and to be surrounded by her fellow participants. “This program was unforgettable and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I improved my communication skills since I had to socialize with my group members and participate in the lessons. I learned how to program using C++ and Matlab in a short period of time, which is actually difficult but because of the best teachers I had no difficulties. I will never forget this experience. I would like to sincerely thank the organizers and instructors.”
Senior Publication Specialist
12 April 2022