SNHU GEM and MAPS Robotics Team Fight to Win in Annual Robotics Competition

SNHU GEM Robotics team working together

Meet the members of the robotics team and their competition-ready robot, SNHUmo.

Last year, Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Education Movement (SNHU GEM) and Multi Aid Programs (MAPS) partnered to offer a new robotics course for 18 refugee learners in Lebanon. The course allows students to work on real-world robotics projects and hone their problem-solving, programming, and teamwork skills.

Zaher Alchikh Kwider, a SNHU GEM and MAPS student pursuing his BA in Management with a concentration in Logistics and Operations, described the course as “a chance to explore a completely new field and learn exciting skills that combine technology and creativity.”

The members of the robotics course decided to build on what they are learning in their coursework by forming the SNHU GEM and MAPS robotics team. Now, the students are gearing up to compete at the 9th Annual Robotics Competition (ARC) in Beirut, Lebanon on April 20, 2024. ARC offers students from across the country the chance to showcase their engineering and programming skills through a variety of events, from robot battles to races and more.

At the ARC, the SNHU GEM and MAPS team will compete in two events – the primary of which is a competition based on traditional Japanese sumo wrestling. Tasked with building a robot that could work autonomously to push a competitor out of a ring, the team created SNHUmoa robot that they have affectionately named SNHUmo. The robotics team will face off against competing teams from across Lebanon, but they are confident that SNHUmo, who has been programmed with a mix of offensive and defensive strategies, will bring home a win.


SNHUmo, the SNHU GEM Robotics Team's robot


SNHU GEM’s hands-on, project-based education model does more than prepare learners for robotics competitions – it prepares them for careers in the global workforce, too. Students are able to directly showcase their abilities to employers – demonstrating that they have mastered the skills necessary to succeed in the global workforce.

“The fun and interactive environment enriches the learning experience and helps us solve problems collaboratively,” explains Zaher.

Dalal Alkak, a Syrian refugee working toward his BA in Management with a focus in Logistics and Operations, agrees that SNHU GEM’s innovative academic model, when combined with the wraparound academic, career, and livelihood supports provided by MAPS, have enabled him to thrive in his studies, and find “an educational opportunity through which I can build a future for myself.”

We can’t wait to cheer on the SNHU GEM and MAPS robotics team and SNHUmo as they compete and show off their skills next month!