Innovative ideas of students pass Taqaddam Oman test

Energy Sunday 03/June/2018 22:11 PM
By: Times News Service
Innovative ideas of students pass Taqaddam Oman test

Muscat: A smart helmet for construction workers, road sensors to alert drivers of lane drifting, and a solar-powered irrigation monitoring system for farms.
These were the winning ideas honoured by the British Council and HSBC Bank Middle East at the culmination of their annual Taqaddam life skills programme in Muscat.
Helping to develop resilient youth who can thrive in a rapidly changing work environment, Taqaddam challenges participants to apply their newly acquired soft skills to present a solution to a global or social problem. More than 400 students from the Caledonian College of Engineering and Higher College of Technology participated this year, with Omani nationals representing 80 per cent of the participants. Divided into teams, the students presented a total of 56 big ideas. The winning team members will now be given the opportunity to join the British Council in Oman for an internship.
In first place was the ‘Smart Helmet’. This team aims to ease weather conditions for construction workers with a modernised hard hat featuring a cooling fan and a light, powered by both battery and solar panels. The students consulted a team of construction workers on the prototype and positive feedback has led them to seek sponsorship to make the project a reality. The team in second place plans to improve road safety by developing sensors that monitor when vehicles drift from their lanes. The sensor would then alert any oncoming traffic with flashing red lights.
Tackling an environmental issue, the team in third place proposes to develop a solar device that can measure the soil around crops to regulate irrigation systems on farms. This method of irrigation would save countless gallons of water used by agricultural companies, as crops would only be watered when required, rather than based on a predetermined watering schedule.
According to the judging panel, represented by Paul Hilder – Country Director, British Council Oman; Ali Al Balushi, Assistant Head of the Department of the English Language Centre at Caledonian College; Khalid Al Balushi, Director of the English Language Center at Higher College of Technology and Ruqaiya Al Moosa, Head of Marketing and Corporate Sustainability, HSBC; the students all demonstrated high levels of passion and teamwork. The top three performers won not only because of their innovative ideas, but because of the confidence and collaboration skills shown by each team member.
“Nurturing young talent and driving educational development are fundamental parts of HSBC Bank Oman’s DNA. The themes of the Taqaddam programme are central to our values, and we believe that instilling such life principles and soft skills in students today will enable them to be successful individuals in the future and to contribute positively to the Sultanate’s ongoing development and prosperity.” said Andrew Long, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bank Oman.
Regarding the awards, Paul Hilder, Country Director, British Council Oman, said: “We would like to extend our congratulations to all participants in this year’s Taqaddam programme. With soft skills featuring prominently on the list of hiring criteria for private and public companies, Taqaddam plays an important role in supplementing students’ learning journeys so they feel better prepared to lead, collaborate, listen and ultimately start their careers with confidence.
Developed by HSBC and the British Council, using content created by the Goodall Foundation, the seven-week Taqaddam programme provides 15-16 year olds with a wide set of enduring personal and professional strengths and skills increasingly required today.
Taqaddam, which means “moving forward” in Arabic, is being delivered across seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The programme combines online learning and resources, with face to face teaching, culminating in a ‘Make It Happen!’ workshop where students showcase their ideas to solve tomorrow’s challenges using lessons learned from the programme.