“Program Your Idea” Competition

This competition is an opportunity for students to apply their innovative thinking skills & to create a variety of applications including (but not limited to) educational games, science, cultural apps, mobile and web-based tools: all for learning purposes.
Programme your Idea


  • Design and implement applications that focus on topics such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
  • Encourage interest in STEAM-based learning among UAE's youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for creative thinking.


The competition is team-based and includes four categories:

  • Scratch-based project for Cycle 1 (G1 to G4).
  • Scratch-based project for Cycle 2 (G5 to G8).
  • Scratch-based project for Cycle 3 (G9 to G12).
  • Code-based project open category (not limited to grade).

For Scratch-based categories, each team must consist of 2 to 3 students and one supervisor/teacher from the same school.

For Code-based open category; participants may participate as individuals or a team (made up of 2-3 students). Submissions for this category may use any coding language or platforms.


Kindly note that the competition for 2019/2020 has started on 22 September 2019, Even though the deadline to register your interest in "Program Your Idea" Competition is 21 November 2019 .

Teachers can register and submit their student projects using the following LINK

Scratch-based Categories

The maximum number of projects a school can submit is based on the number of students in the school as per the table below:

# of Students  Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3
Less than 200  1 1 1
 201 to 700 2 2 2
 701 to 1500 4 4 4
More than 1500 4 4 4

You must submit projects as per their school cycles following the above criteria

For Example:

  1. Cycle 1 school with 500 students may submit up to 2 projects.
  2. Cycle 2 school with 1000 students may submit up to 3 projects.
  3. Common Cycle school with 800 students in Cycle 2 and 600 students in Cycle 3 may submit up to 3 projects for Cycle 2 and 2 projects for cycle 3.

*Total 5 projects can be submitted

The Scratch programming tool is available at https://scratch.mit.edu/


For this category; participants may participate as individuals or a team (made up of 2-3 students). Submissions for this category may use any coding language (such as Java, C++, Python, HTML and Visual Basic) or platforms (such as mobile apps, desktop programs, web-based, hardware-based, robot, flash and multimedia applications).

The submission of projects for this category is regardless of their cycle. Each school may participate with only one project in this category.

Please conduct internal competition within your school to select the best project to be submitted for the Program Your Idea Competition.

Competition Preparation

  • Each school should organize an internal competition to select the best projects to participate in Scratch-based competition and may select the best project for the code-based open competition category. The school might follow and use the same judging criteria and guidelines available on this website.

Below are the steps the school may follow in order to develop and submit a project for the competition:

  • Form a team.
  • Develop an idea.
  • Analyze the project.
  • Design the project.
  • Develop the project.
  • Test the project.
  • Develop documents or presentation about the project (prefer to include screenshots or a video).
  • Select the best project(s) through an internal competition (within your school), if needed.
  • Submit project(s) through the competition website.

The following are the set of rules defined to provide clear guidelines for all participants:

Development and submission of the projects

  • The registration form must be filled for each participating team (if a school has three teams then three registration forms must be filled)
  • Students are preferred to work in the school under the supervision of the teachers, however, they can work from home as well
  • The project can be developed to present an idea in any subject
  • Projects are assumed to be original and the sole owner of the participating students.
  • Each project team must prepare a description and presentation about their project (preferred to include a screenshot or a video)
  • Plagiarism will not be accepted. Any team found with plagiarism will be immediately disqualified at any stage of the competition or even after the competition with retrospective effect.
  • The participant should satisfy the submission deadline
  • Project in Code-based category can use any programming language or platform
  • Previously submitted projects in Program Your Idea competition will not be accepted
  • Any team or school disqualified in the previous round is not allowed to participate in one round.

Demonstration of projects on the Awarding Ceremony Day

  • Present an overview of their project for 5 to 10 minutes, the presentation must address two areas: (1) a detail description of the project, and (2) a fully working demo.
  • Each team is encouraged to develop a project poster in English (or Arabic). The project poster shall outline the main focus of the project. The poster dimensions shall not exceed the A0 dimensions (841mm x 1189mm).
  • Each team will be provided with only one stand.
  • At least one member of a team is required to be there at all times during the exhibition to explain and demonstrate their projects to the evaluators and public.
  • Students must bring their own devices, laptops or equipment to demonstrate their projects.
  • For Code-based category, students must bring all the required devices (laptops, hardware chips, tablets, mobile phones etc. ) to demonstrate their projects.
  • Students must exhibit a functional prototype.
  • Students must have the source code ready on the final ceremony day for judges to review.
  • The first position team in each category may get a chance to present their project to the audience.
  • The decision of the judges is final.
  • The evaluation committee reserves the right to disqualify any participating team who fails to adhere to the above-mentioned rules.

The rigorous evaluation process follows two external evaluation levels, in addition to the initial school-based evaluation.

Stage One: Two judges will be assigned to each project, each assigned judge will evaluate each project independently and after completing the evaluation process, ten shortlisted projects in each category will be invited for the exhibition on the day of the competition.

Stage Two: On the day of competition, a panel of judges will evaluate the shortlisted projects and accordingly select the best three projects in each category. Grand prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in each category. The teams from 4th to 10th position in each category will also be recognized and rewarded.

General Information about Evaluation and Awarding

  • After submission deadline is closed, projects will go through an evaluation and screening by evaluation teams.
  • 10 best projects will be shortlisted in each category based on the evaluation criteria, therefore, a total of 40 teams/projects will be shortlisted across all categories.
  • The 40 shortlisted teams will be invited to participate in the final competition ceremony day where each team must exhibit their project and idea to the judges.
  • Judges may ask questions and explanations from each team to ensure the quality and validity of the shortlisted projects.

These submissions will be evaluated based on seven merits to select the top performing projects.


  • There will be 10 winning teams in each category.
  • The judges will select the top 3 projects in each category and rank them in first, second and third position on the final ceremony day.
  • Grand prizes await the winning teams in first, second and third place.
  • In each category, every individual from the winning team will receive an award in addition to the supervisor and school leader. Also, all winning students will receive medals and/or certificates.
  • High-value prizes will be distributed in the form of gifts (such as Mac Books, Laptops, 3D printer, iPad, Robots, educational kits, vouchers, trophy, medals etc.) based on the winning position.
  • Trophy awarded to the winning team may be displayed at the School afterward.