The American School of Tangier’s FIRST Robotics team is composed of students who have never received any formal robotics instruction. In 2013, the IT manager, Aziz Laroussi, who will act as a mentor for the team, first exposed students to robotics. After discovering a small group of dedicated students eager to learn computer programing, Aziz started teaching courses at the school. In August 2016, AST created a makerspace with a 3D printer and woodworking tools.
The AST makerspace aims to use recycled parts and materials for projects, and students disassembled a copy machine to use for robotics projects. This year AST launched a pilot collaboration with the MIT International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI) to create a program in January 2017 to develop the makerspace. The AST-MIT internship was a full-time three-week program for thirty students in 7th to 12th grade. Sixteen students in the program had a technical focus in machines, electronics, or 3D design, and they worked in small groups on robotics-related projects. Through hands-on training, the AST-MIT internship exposed a group of bright students to the principles of mechanical and electrical design as well as computer programming. The AST Robotics team would like to create a robot with more sophisticated sensing and autonomous capabilities for the Global Challenge. The students of AST hope for the school’s makerspace to become a technological hub for innovation in Tangier. The Global Challenge provides the opportunity for AST to represent Moroccan innovation on the global stage.