NewTechKids recently taught computer science workshops to children in the United Arab Emirates during the Sharjah International Book Fair (November 2 – 12, 2016).

The Book Fair is one of the largest in the Middle East, with thousands of participants including children from local and private schools.

It was an honour to be selected as the only company providing technology-themed workshops covering topics such as algorithmic thinking, programming, binary systems, and design and rapid prototyping. (We wondered why almost all of the children constructed skyscrapers when asked to prototype a ‘house’ until we realised that most children live in skycrapers. Only one boy designed a traditional house with a parking garage.)

There was a real hunger among the children we taught to learn about computer science and how technology works. This region is booming, powered by oil plus science and technology.

We hope to continue our collaboration with the local governments to bring computer science education to local schools and students.

A special thanks to the organisers for inviting us as well as Anma, the volunteer with whom we worked closely to manage the classes. A special mention goes to Emma, an engineering student at the American University in Sharjah who volunteered to translate our lectures into Arabic after dropping her brother off at one of our workshops.