In a series of firsts for the GCC, AUBH partnered with RVIS and MIT to further the region’s vision of innovative high-quality education in the region.
(Riffa, Bahrain) – The American University of Bahrain (AUBH) concluded its two-week MIT-MISTI Global Lab Teaching Robotics Workshop in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI) and Riffa Views International School (RVIS) and with the sponsorship of the U.S. embassy in Bahrain.
The program underscored the use of cutting-edge robotic technologies to advance knowledge and upskill students with some of the necessary hands-on technical skills as well as the soft skills required in today’s fast-paced world.
A team of MIT instructors conducted workshops in AUBH’s newly inaugurated D-Lab using tools and creative workspaces. Among the topics discussed were prototyping and robotic concepts. The students also learned about rapid prototyping, 3D computer-aided design (CAD) models, laser cutters, and 3D printers to improve their original prototypes. The workshop also covered mechanical prototyping and the ideate, design, build, and iterate cycle for robotic arms.
Initiated and co-founded by three MIT Bahraini graduate students, Marwa Al Alawi (MIT Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D.), Maryam Al Jomairi (Doctoral Candidate at Harvard and Fulbright alumnus), and Latifa Al Khayat (Graduate Student at MIT Architecture), this program aimed at enriching Bahrain’s scientific and educational communities by promoting cultural and scientific exchange between Bahraini educational institutions, faculty, and students with MIT, and formulating a multidisciplinary model of education and practice.
Under the guidance of four MIT instructors, Kristan Hilby, Masarah Ahmedhussein , Maxwell Yun, and Ngima Hyolmo, and with the supervision of Ali Janahi, AUBH Director of Facilities, 22 students from AUBH and other public and private universities in Bahrain engaged in a wide variety of engineering and innovative practices. Utilizing their newly acquired skills, the students were able to create viable solutions to issues and effectively showcase the value of their concepts in a practical setting.
By acquiring these skills, students were able to develop tangible solutions to problems and demonstrate the potential of their ideas in a real-world context.
Throughout their time, participants had the opportunity to engage with MIT and Harvard researchers who are at the forefront of innovation in their fields. These skills were then applied to the field of robotics, where students programmed and built robots that were able to distinguish between colors, grasp objects, and launch projectiles.
“We introduced university students to a wide variety of engineering and robotics tasks designed to challenge their thinking and problem-solving skills. The enthusiasm and determination they brought to each project inspired us as a team,” Kristan Hilby, a fourth-year PhD student and one of the four MIT instructors at the workshop, said. AUBH Provost Dr. Jeff Zabudsky commented, “This partnership is an exciting milestone as it creates opportunities for the next generation of local and international students to experience a world-class learning experience. We look forward to strengthening those collaborations to enrich the educational experience in Bahrain and the region as a whole.”