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The 14th Students’ Annual Science and Arts Fair

The 14th Students’ Annual Science and Arts Fair will be held on Thursday and Friday, May 10 & 11, 2012 at the LAU Byblos campus. Apply here.

For more details, please contact Ms. Fadia Armalé:

Office of the Dean of Students

Tel: 09- 546262 ext: 2129
09-546262 ext: 2106
Email: farmalet@lau.edu.lb

I. Arts Categories

The students can participate in any of the following arts categories:

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Poster Design (Open)
  • Film making
  • Photography

All students who participate will receive a copy of the LAU Graphic Design Department End-of-Year publication. This booklet contains samples of LAU student designs and an interactive CD.

Students participating in any of the arts categories must have their projects available at the LAU – Byblos campus, to the attention of Dr. Mars Semaan no later than Friday, March 23, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. Sorry, but no late arrivals will be accepted. Semi-finalists will be notified through their respective schools, for them to come to the award ceremony on Friday, May 11th, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. Schools can participate in 2 projects in each domain in each of the two levels of student grades categories. The sizes of all Art work should NOT exceed 50X50X60 cm in width, height and length.

II. Poetries, Short Stories and Essays

The students participating in the writing contest for Poetries, Short Stories and Essays (in the three languages, Arabic English and French): The contest will take place on the LAU Byblos Campus grounds (Selina Korban Theatre) on Saturday March 24, 2012 from 09:00 to 13:00. The topic to write about will be provided to the students during the contest. Students are asked to bring their pens and pencils, and LAU shall provide the scratch and contest papers. Short Stories for the Intermediate classes should not exceed 1000 words, while the Essays should not exceed 500 words. Short Stories for the Secondary classes are not to exceed 2000 words while the Essays should not exceed 1000 words. Each school can participate in 2 Poems, 2 Short Stories and 2 Essays in each of the 3 languages and in the two levels of student grades categories. Semi-finalists will be notified through their respective schools, for them to come to the award ceremony on Friday, May 11th 2012, at 1:00 p.m. 

III. Public Speaking

Selection Criteria for Public speaking

 Public Speaking: one applicant (Intermediate or High) per school can participate. The contest will take place on the LAU Byblos campus grounds (Frem Bldg. Rm.# 203) on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 10-12p.m. Applicants will be asked to give a three minute informative speech on a Touristic destination of their choice.

A soft copy of the speech will have to be sent to suraya.rahme@lau.edu.lb by Thursday April 19, 2012. Applicants will also be asked to use PowerPoint as a visual aid. The speech must be done in English and will be graded on content and delivery. Winners will be notified after all the presentations are done on May 11, 2012.

  IV. فن الإلقاء 

 سوف يقام مسابقة في حرم الجامعة اللبنانية الأميركية – جبيل (مبنى فرام 204) يوم الجمعة الواقع فيه 11 أيار- 2012 ،من الساعة 10:00 إلى الساعة 12:00 .

سيطلب من المتقدمين مواضيع مفتوحة بين شعر و نثر تتضمن مؤلفات لأدباء لبنانيين وهم: سعيد عقل ،جبران خليل جبران،الأخطل الصغير،إيليا أبو ماضي، وسيحدد الوقت لخمس دقائق لكل طالب، سيتم إختيار طالب من كل مرحلة (إبتدائية أو ثانوية) لكل مدرسة، و سيراعى التشويق في الإلقاء:

  • (نبرات الصوت)                                                                       
  • التأني في الكلام                                                                         
  • حركات اليدين                                                                           

 A soft copy of the speech will have to be sent to Nidale.daccache@lau.edu.lb by Thursday April 19, 2012. Applicants will also be asked to use PowerPoint as a visual aid. The speech must be done in English and will be graded on content and delivery. Winners will be notified after all the presentations are done on May 11, 2012.

IV. The performing Arts

Students should be ready at 12 noon on Friday, May 11,2012, for their performances.

  • Dance: Every school can participate with only one troop of dancers (5 to 10 students). The students are supposed to select the music and the costumes, prepare the choreography and all accessories. The dance performance should NOT be a traditional or folk dance. The performances will take place on Friday May 11,2012 in the afternoon, followed by the award giving ceremony. The whole performance should not exceed 5 minutes, or the troop will be penalised.
  • Theatre: Every school can participate with only one troop of performers (3 to 10 students). The students are supposed to select the play, design their scene, costumes, and peripherals. The performances will take place on Friday May 11,2012 in the afternoon. The whole performance should not exceed 8 minutes, or the troop will be penalised. No mise-en-scène is allowed on stage.

VI. Science Knowledge contest

The students participating in the Science Knowledge contest should prepare by studying Physics, Chemistry and Biology related to the Program of the Lebanese Government for the 1st. and 2nd Secondary classes. This is a general knowledge type contest and will not look like the Brevet or Bacc. II official exams. The students will go through an elimination stage by answering 30 questions (10 in each of the topics). The questions will be flipped every 60 seconds (one minute) through a large screen from a Power Point presentation. The answers will be through a multiple choice type questions (Answer one from 4 or 5 different given answers). Students may bring calculators of any kind. One team of 2 or 3 students per school may participate. One of the students may be a 1st secondary student while the other two should be from the second secondary class.

The first elimination contest will take place at 11:00 a.m. sharp on Thursday May 10, 2012. The finals, if needed, will take place at 14:30 (2:30p.m.) the same day and winners will be notified so that they return on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. for the Science award giving ceremony.

VII. Science Projects

 The students participating in the ‘Science Projects’ part of the Fair should be ready to set up their projects between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Judges will start their evaluations at 12:30 sharp on Thursday May 10, 2012. Each school participating in this event MUST assign one of its Science teachers to serve on the Jury. We must know of the assigned names by Friday March 2, 2012, otherwise the school may not participate in this event. Winners will be notified at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, 2012 for the Science award giving ceremony. Schools can participate in 2 projects in each of the two levels of student grades categories.

VIII. The Big Science Challenge

There are over 1.5 billion cubic kilometers of water in the world, but less than 0.05 per cent is available for us to use for drinking, irrigation or industry. The rest is either seawater or ice and what little water we have, we waste or pollute. The Big Science Challenge calls for teams of up to 5 students to identify, research, and then design, a low cost, innovative and creative solution to a real water shortage problem in Lebanon.

Students are invited to identify a problem relating to water shortage. We then want students to conduct research and design an original and innovative low cost solution to this real problem and help protect our limited supply of water for the world. Will they design a new system to recycle, purify or harvest, or something completely new? Students should also consider the energy needed to operate their invention.

Teams may consist of up to 5 students from intermediate or high schools.

Schools can submit one entry (team) per school. Schools may wish to run an internal competition first to encourage wider participation and then put forward their best entry to The Big Science Challenge.

Teams should submit their identified solution in the form of a labeled diagram/poster or a prototype of their model or system. We want students to have fun with The Big Science Challenge so this can be as creative and colorful as you can make it!  

Please indicate if your school will be participating in either the diagram /poster or as a prototype; since they will be separated.

The challenge is open and we would welcome innovative and creative ideas. Examples of conventional solutions to water shortage include:

  • Sewage treatment
  • Rainwater collection
  • Desalination
  • Etc….

Lists of some issues facing Lebanon:

  • Lebanese wastes water: A dripping tap wastes up to 5,000 liters of water a year, whilst turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save 13 liters a day.
  • Climate change is expected to create water shortage in the coming years.
  • The Lebanese infrastructure and piping systems are aging and results in contaminated water, for example in many instances sewage is mixed with clean tap water resulting in non-potable water. This is creating the need for bottled water.
  • Deep water wells are getting depleted and sea water is moving into these valuable and non-renewable wells. Also sewage water is slipping into these wells without treatment.
  • Insufficient storage resulting in major shortage toward the end of the summer. And hence the need of trucks delivering water to domestics.
  • The growing tourism is placing further burden on water resources.
  • There is very uneven distribution of precipitation and high temperatures. For example some areas in northern Bekaa receive less than 10% of the average Lebanese precipitations.
  • Lebanese water is very hard (water containing calcium carbonate) which causes blockages and breakages in kettles, washing machines and taps.

* This is inspired from the British Council Big Science Challenge. For more information please visit: http://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/the-big-science-challenge/competition

The deadline for student registration is Friday March 2, 2012.

IV. Eating Well for a Better Health

The purpose of the project is:

  • To explore the connection between eating healthy or unhealthy foods and the body’s functioning.
  • To show how can food intake influence our health and lifestyle
  • To show how we can improve the way people are eating

Format of the project  (Display):
The purpose is to display your project to a judge.

  • 2 x 2 meter exhibition area.
  • Content, or the information on the board, is the most important thing → Your display should attract the attention of a viewer
  • The title is very important in a display board. It should be eye-catching and easy to read.
  • Student will have 5 minutes to present the display to the group of judges.
  • The oral presentation should include some background information as well as a description of the practical part and its purpose.

The display can represent:

  • A live experiment
  • The modelling of a certain biological mechanism
  • Nutrition and health education/information tools (ex: billboards to teach mothers about breastfeeding and its advantages)
  • The chemistry of food, quantification, ingredients, degradation etc.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • The originality of the idea
  • The visual characteristics of the display (ex: interesting pictures, colorful design, easy to understand etc…)
  • The quality of the scientific knowledge presented
  • The oral explanation of the project (using proper scientific terms, not reading off the display, enthusiasm of the team).

 X. Illuminating LAU Workshop

 This is a new 1-day workshop on the technology of Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The workshop will have a background part (the what, why, how) on the electronics of LEDs and a technical workshop (soldering, connection, lighting) where we actually use LEDs to build a Lighting Installation to be permanently illuminating LAU. In short, it will be a fun and educative 1-day workshop held on Saturday March 24, 2012 from 09:00 to 13:00. The completed display will be illuminated for the first time during the Awards Ceremony of the Science Fair on Thursday, May 10th.

The deadline for student registration is Friday March 2, 2012. 

XI. Chemistry Olympiad:

 Base Titrations Competition

Event location: Science Building of Lebanese American University Byblos.
Event date: Saturday, March 24, 2012.
Participants: Grade10 or grade 11students.
Evaluation criteria: Accuracy, Precision, Technique.
Registration deadline: March 2, 2012

Participants need to bring their own laboratory coat and safety goggles to the event. The participants can prepare for the event. A typical titration procedure is outlined below. On the day of the competition, the participants will perform the titrations three times in the laboratories of LAU. The winners of the competition will be announced at the Annual Science and Arts Fair on Thursday, May 10, 2012.


We will use the titration equation relating CaVa to CbVb which allows us to determine what combination of acid and base results in neutralization.

Calculation example: What volume of 1 M Al(OH)3would be required to neutralize 50. mL of 2.0 M H2SO4?

CA = 2.0 mol/L, VA = 0.050 L
CB = 1.0 mol/L, VB =?

Figure out the stoichiometry to calculate the unknown concentration of the base.

Titration assembly:


Procedure of a typical acid base titration

  1. Gather together a burette, a squeeze bottle containing distilled water, a 250 mL Erlenmeyer, a 100 mL beaker. Rinse all equipment well with distilled water.
  2. Place 0.20 M HCl in the 100 mL beaker. Rinse the burette with acid (don’t forget to rinse the tip). Fill the burette to the 0 mL mark with HCl. (Ensure that there are no air bubbles in the tip of the burette).
  3. Using a 10.00 ml pipette, transfer 10.00 mL of a solution of NaOH (that will be given to you) into the 250 mL Erlenmeyer flask.
  4. Add 5 drops of phenolphthalein to the NaOH. (The solution will turn pink)
  5. Rinse the inside walls of the Erlenmeyer with distilled water.
  6. Now start your titration by adding HCl dropwise (from the burette) over the NaOH solution in the Erlenmeyer flask. You have to stir the solution continuously. If no magnetic stirrer is available you may shake the flask continuously with one hand, while doing the titrations with the other hand.
  7. Keep on adding HCl till the pink color disappears; this indicates the complete neutralization. (make sure not to overshoot the titration end point)
  8. Record the volume of HCl delivered from the burette to at least one decimal place.
  9. Repeat this procedure 2 more times in order to improve the accuracy of your results.
  10. Take the average value of the volume of HCl in order to calculate the concentration of NaOH which was given to you. (The value should be given to 4 decimal places).
  11. Present your calculation clearly and submit your results.
  12. Rinse all the glassware well with tap water. 

Table of result:

 Number written on your flask is:      

 Volume of HCl 

Trial #









Average Volume


Concentration of NaOH


  • Participants need to bring their own laboratory coat to the event.
  • The participants can prepare for the event. A typical titration procedure will be provided on the LAU web site.
  • On the day of the competition, the participants will perform the titrations three times in the laboratories of LAU.
  • The winners of the competition will be announced at the Annual Science and Arts Fair on Thursday, May 10, 2012.

 XII. Computer Science Category

The competition will involve three categories that will be judged separately. Students will be competing for first, second and third positions within one category.

The categories are:

  1. Web design (open for all students)
  2. Social computing (open for all students)

 1. Web design (open for all students)

In this project, students should design a website. The website should be interactive i.e. there should be a component that involves the uploading of documents which will be stored in a special folder on the hosting machine.
Criteria for evaluation:

  • Clear user interface
  • Interactivity with user
  • Underlying technology used
  • Speed of display

 2. Social computing (open for all students)

In this project, students should implement a Facebook application, a mobile application or a chatting system.
Criteria for evaluation:

  • Originality
  • Ease of use
  • Speed
  • Programming languages and underlying technology used

Prizes each category:

1st place:
250 USD
2nd Place: 150 USD
3rd Place: 100 USD
+ Five honorary mention 50 USD each

XIII. The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

Mr. Randy Parton from Rube Goldberg Co. requested from us to design and build a Rube Goldberg Machine. This machine will be part of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest© during LAU Science and Arts Fair on May 10, 2012.


Figure 1: Rube Goldberg gets his think-tank working and evolves the simplified pencil-sharpener: Open window (A) and fly kite (B). String (C) lifts small door (D) allowing moths (E) to escape and eat red flannel shirt (F). As weight of shirt becomes less, shoe (G) steps on switch (H) which heats electric iron (I) and burns hole in pants (J). Smoke (K) enters hole in tree (L), smoking out opossum (M) which jumps into basket (N), pulling rope (O) and lifting cage (P), allowing woodpecker (Q) to chew wood from pencil (R), exposing lead. Emergency knife (S) is always handy in case opossum or the woodpecker gets sick and can’t work.

A Rube Goldberg Machine is a non-conventional device that uses as many steps as possible to achieve a simple task. Randy requested from us the task of displaying the word “LAU” using a Rube Goldberg machine with a minimum of six steps.

For this contest you are requested to form a team of maximum six students (1 team per school) in order to participate in the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest ©. The deadline for signing up your team is Friday March 2, 2012.

The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest© will be graded according to the following matrix:



Number of steps

3 points per step

Genuine Designs

30 points


40 points

In this project we encourage using “junk yard” material for building a cheap machine. It is required that each team present an expense report detailing team budget that is limited to 250$ (including all parts, machine shop assistance, etc…) must be included. Numbers have to be reasonable, and receipts must be attached. The maximum size of the machine must fit in a square of 2m x 2m. No explosives or other unsafe features should be used in the machine.

 XIV. The Robot-Sumo Competition





Place the two robots onto the ring

Match begins with the judge’s announcement "Hakkeyoi nokotta (Ready, go!)"

The first robot to be pushed off the ring loses.

Robot-sumo or SumoBot , is a sport in which two robots attempt to push each other out of a circle (in a similar fashion to the sport of sumo). The engineering challenges are for the robot to find its opponent (usually accomplished with infrared or ultra-sonic sensors) and to push it out of the flat arena. A robot should also avoid leaving the arena, usually by means of a sensor that detects the edge.

There will be two competitions (Run separately with two trophies and 1 team per school in each):

  • Remote controlled
  • Autonomous

 All SumoBots must fit the following specifications:

  • Mass (including accessories) must not exceed 3 kg. However, the wireless remote control unit of a remote control robot is excluded.
  • Robots must fit inside a 20 cm by 20 cm box, any height.
  • The robot must not include any parts that might damage or deface the Dohyo (The Sumo ring).
  • The robot must not include a device that insufflates liquid, powder or gas.
  • The robot must not include a firing device.
  • The robot must not include a throwing device.
  • The robot must not include any part that fixes the robot to the Dohyo surface and prevents it from moving (such as suckers, glue and so on).

SumoBots could be built from scratch or you could use the Lego Mindstorms sets. The competition takes place in the Sumo ring “Dohyo”, the robot can only be operated by one person for the remote controlled competition and nobody for the autonomous competition. The team could be made of up to 4 students.

The Dohyo Specification:

  • A Dohyo is a wooden cylinder with a height of 2~3 cm and a diameter of 154cm (including the border line). A sticky black Vinyl sheet is attached to the top of the cylinder.
  • The starting lines ("Sikiri-Sen") are indicated as two brown lines with a width of 2 cm and a length of 20 cm. Each line is located 20 cm from the center of the Dohyo.
  • The border line is indicated as a white circle with a width of 5 cm. "On the border" is defined as being within the interior of the Dohyo.
  • The exterior area of a Dohyo extends at least 50 cm from the border line. The color of the exterior can be any color except white. There are no restrictions on the type of material that can be used or the shape of the exterior as long as they do not violate the spirit of the rules.
  • The remote controls of the robots should be able to operate with at least two bands/ frequencies so all robots can play against each other.|
  • All remote controls are surrendered at the beginning of the competition. And any external remote control affecting/interrupting the performance of any of the teams will result in immediate disqualification of the student’s school.

Beginning of the game:

  • Before the match, the contestants bow to each other outside the Dohyo following the chief referee’s instructions, and then enter the Dohyo. After that, the contestants put their robots on or behind their starting lines. The robot cannot outstep the starting line before the match begins.
  • With a remote control robot, the match begins when the contestant begins operating the robot with a remote control unit after the referee’s signal.
  • With a self-operated robot, the contestant presses the start button on the robot at the referee’s signal. The match begins when the robot begins action (after about 5 seconds). The contestant exits the Dohyo when the match begins.

End of the game:

  • The match ends when the referee calls the winner. Both contestants bow after removing their robots.

Game canceling and rematches occurs under the following conditions:

  • The robots are locked together in such a way that no more action is possible, or they rotate in circles several times.
  • Both robots touch the exterior of the Dohyo at the same time.
  • Any other conditions under which the referee judges that no winner can be decided.

In case of a rematch, maintenance of competing robots are prohibited until a "YUKO" is observed, and the robots must immediately be put back to the start line. If neither of the competing robots win nor loose even after a rematch, the referee may reposition both robots to a specified location and restart. If even that does not yield a winner, the match may continue at the location decided by the referee, until the time limit is reached.

Yuko (effective) points are given under the following conditions:

  • When a robot ejects its opponent from the Dohyo with a fair action.
  • When the opponent’s robot steps out of Dohyo on its own (for any reason).
  • When the opponent’s robot is disqualified or has had more than one violation or warning.

Violations and warning:


  • The operator or a part of the operator (remote control etc.) enters the Dohyo before the referee’s call ends the match.
  • Preparation for the restart of a match takes more than 30 minutes.
  • The robot begins action (physical expansion or moving) before the chief referee’s start signal.
  • A warning may be given for any other actions that may be deemed unfair.


  • A part or parts of the robot that exceed a weight of 10 g are separated and dropped from the robot.
  • The robot stops moving on the Dohyo.
  • Both the robots are moving, but don’t contact each other.
  • The robot emits smoke.

 Loss by violation:

  • A contestant does not attend the appointed Dohyo when called at the beginning of the game.
  • A contestant who ruins the game. For example, by intentionally breaking, damaging or defacing the Dohyo.


A contestant who takes any of the following actions will be disqualified and forced to leave the game. A disqualified person will lose the right to enter the competition and to receive a commendation:

  • A contestant’s robot does not meet the "Specifications of the robots" stated in earlier.
  • A contestant makes a robot using a restricted method as mentioned ealier.
  • A contestant displays unsportsmanlike behavior. For example, using violent language or slandering an opponent or a referee.
  • A contestant intentionally injures the opponent.

 *These rules and pictures are taken/inspired from the Japan Robot-Sumo Tournament. For more details please visit: http://www.fsi.co.jp/sumo-e/index.html

 XV. Line Tracking Robot

The line Tracking Robot is a competition in which a robot has to track a line as fast as possible. The track is a whiteboard (paper top) that measures 0.75m x 1.5m. The track is of an unknown shape marked with a black colored line has a width of 2cm is placed on the white board. An example is provided in the figure below. The surface of the board is a printed paper. The robot will have 5 checkpoints (squares of 4cm x 4cm red colored) to cross. The start at the “Start” Line and the robot that crosses the end line the fastest will win the competition. Three attempts are given per team and the best time is recorded.

The teams are of 4 students (any age) and 1 team per school.

Note: The robots are autonomous and hence it is recommended to use the Lego Mindstorms NXT robot.


 Important Remarks

 Your student participation is instrumental for the success of this annual event. Please encourage them to do so. Enclosed, please find participation forms that must be completed and returned to us by Friday March 2, 2012. Sorry, but no projects are accepted if the proper forms are not received on time. We need the time to organize. Your cooperation and understanding are appreciated.

 All Science awards will be presented on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 4:40 p.m. and Arts awards will be presented on Friday, May 11, 2012, after the completion of the performances. Students should be able to leave before 4:30 p.m. They may take their projects with them when they leave. Those who did not make it to the semi-finals may take their projects with them on Thursday, May 10, 2012. All projects that are not taken by their owners will be discarded the week after the Fair.

We will be awarding each school a memorabilia for participation, and also each participating student will receive a participation certificate. We expect that all school representatives be available on Friday afternoon to receive the certificates for their students, as well as the participation memorabilia.

Before the end of the ceremony, we will also be awarding two ‘School of the Year Awards’ one for Arts, and one for Sciences. And as last year, LAU will be providing each of the two School of Year winners a 50% of full tuition for a student from the school who will attend LAU in the next year.

Contact us

Riman Jurdak
Office of the Dean of Students 
Ext: 1101

Alan Kairouz
Office of the Dean of Students 
Ext: 2536

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