‘Little Explorers’ help youngsters learn Saudi history through fun

‘Little Explorers’ help youngsters learn Saudi history through fun
‘Little Explorers’ help youngsters learn Saudi history through fun

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: The Saudi Air Navigation Service recently concluded the first Fikrahthon competition which was held with the goal of stimulating innovation and creativity among Saudi students, presenting new ideas to improve air safety in the Kingdom.

The competition also provides practical experience that will contribute toward better professional careers and opportunities.

The contest, which began on Sept. 3, witnessed an impressive turnout with 665 students from 37 universities across the Kingdom participating. Following a rigorous vetting and screening process, 36 students representing eight universities advanced to the final competition, held at the Hilton Hotel on Nov. 23.

Abdulaziz Al-Zaid, CEO of SANS, expressed his appreciation to the Saudi leadership for its support for the civil aviation sector and its keenness to provide a supportive environment for Saudi youth to showcase their creativity and ideas.

He added that Fikrahthon is a national endeavor in attracting young people and preparing them for the job market: “Over the past five years, we have fostered innovation and idea development through our internal Fikrah program. This year, we decided to extend it to university students who possess the latest technologies and software knowledge, enabling and involving them in the thinking process and finding solutions for SANS.”

He noted that students were selected based on their skills and commitment to developing solutions that align with the competition’s goals.

“During the last stage, we evaluated the solutions presented, and the results exceeded our expectations, as the solutions offered were very rich and promising,” he added.

According to Al-Zaid, Saudi Vision 2030 “aligns with supporting these young talents, nurturing their ideas, and enriching their experiences in all aspects.”

Wahhaj Motawie, chief shared services officer at SANS, congratulated the competition winners, emphasizing his pride in them and the innovations that will contribute to improving air traffic in the Kingdom. He also reflected on the extent of the human resources of the country, as well as their role in serving the national economy in a way that reflects the enabling and facilitating of various areas in the field.

He added that the competition is an important step towards achieving the Kingdom’s goals in the field of innovation and creativity, as well as developing the capabilities of Saudi youth in the field of air navigation services.

Four groups emerged as winners in the Fikrahthon competition, each excelling in different categories. In the “Departure Sequence Assignment and Planning” category, the top spot was claimed by the “Red Sea” team from the University of Jeddah. Comprising of talented female students Amirah A. Alhamed, Sadeem A. Alsawat, and Thekra A. Aljaghthami, they showcased exceptional skills.

Second place in this category was secured by the “Sarawat Mountains” team from King Khalid University, consisting of Faisal S. Alqarni, Sarah M. Alahmari, and Raghad T. Alshehri.

Moving on to the “Automation of Safety Impact Processes” category, first place was awarded to the “Wej” team from Taif University. The team, led by Atheer A. Alharthi, Linah A. Alharthi, and Layan N. Juaid, demonstrated remarkable proficiency. Second place went to the “Hejaz Mountains” team from King Abdulaziz University, with members Abdullah S. Alowis, Ahmed A. Sait, and Omar A. Abdulbagi showcasing their expertise.

The winning groups signed their employment contracts with SANS in addition to receiving appreciation awards, and the runners-up received awards and training opportunities.

“Securing first place was an exhilarating achievement for our team, a true reflection of the relentless effort and commitment we put into the six-week Fikrahthon,” said Linah Alharthi.

“Our journey was enriched by the invaluable guidance of mentors Abdullah AbuAlkhair and Jed Ezzair. The unique mentoring support provided by SANS played a vital role in our success, transforming Fikrahthon into a life-changing experience for all of us,” Alharthi added.

Emad Khuraishee, Fikrahthon program supervisor said: “Through the Fikrahthon, we are dedicated to fostering innovation and creativity among university students. Our goal is to provide them with a platform to showcase their potential, connect with experts in navigation systems, and gain valuable experience. We were committed to supporting their growth, overcoming obstacles, and facilitating knowledge exchange throughout the competition.”

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