Syrian Students Win at Vex Robotics

Syrian students from a refugee camp in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley recently designed an award-winning robot at the 2018 Vex Robotics Competition in the United States.

Maher Al Issawi, Ammar Nasser Kpoor, Tahani Arnaout, Rawan al-Gohary and Amna Labbad designed the robot which won the Inspire Award.


Along with participating in the Vex Robotics Competition, the students visited a number of American secondary schools, robotic teams. Funding for the students was provided by Multi Aid Programs (MAPS) and the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).

Multi Aid Programs

MAPS provides assistance in education, community service, health and relief programmes for Syrian refugees based in Lebanon. Empowering refugees with skills, the project also values the inclusion of Syrian teachers.

Syrian American Medical Society

SAMS – Syrian American Medical Society is a global medical relief organization. Essentially, they work on the front lines of crisis relief in Syria and its neighboring countries. SAMS provides medical care and treatment to patients in need.

An example of their work would be a dental clinic at the al-Karam refugee camp in northern Syria. In fact, the al-Karam refugee camp has been a home for roughly 100,000 internally displaced persons who have evacuated eastern Aleppo since 2016. Since 2011, there have been more than 450 attacks on Syrian hospitals


The Hope of Syria Robotics Team

In 2016 The Hope of Syria robotics team composed entirely of Syrian refugee students was the first of its kind to attend VEX Worlds. Formed shortly before the competition, the team overcame many obstacles and they received first place at the competition. In addition, they had their passion and dedication to growing awareness for STEM in Syria acknowledged by the judges.

Syrian students next to Wilson High School’s robot. L to R in red shirts are Tahani Arnaout, Rawan al-Gohary, Ammar Nasser Kpoor, Maher Al Issawi and Amna Labbad.



The 2018 Vex Robotics Competition winners, academic achievements continue as they are determined to become doctors, engineers, and lawyers. VEX Competitions bring STEM skills to life by tasking teams of students with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge.

The ongoing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has seen the number of Syrian refugees reach approximately 5.5 million. Essentially, the increase in Syrian resettlement began in 2015. Refugees have since been resettled in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and a number of European countries. Predominantly refugees from Syria have been hosted in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.

HTIL have previously discussed the benefits of empowering refugees through education and training in settlements. We have shared work byThe Refugee Code Academy, to training in video advocacy in Northern Uganda.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.