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XVIth Annual Sciences & Arts Fair - May 8 & 9, 2014

Dear School Officials and Faculty,

Upon your requests, we started the preparation early to give you all a head start.  The LAU team met and brainstormed and came up with new and exciting topics for the Fair.  All these topics are to be discussed in our collective upcoming meeting Tuesday October 29, 2013.  

A discussion forum is available on our ‘LAU Arts and Science Fair’ Facebook page: http: //www.facebook.com/pages/LAU-Sciences-and-Arts-Fair/302049203228926 

The organising committee will be actively answering questions, at a rate of twice a month.

The following pages cover in details all aspects that you need to follow for the 16th Students’ Annual Sciences and Arts Fair which will be held Thursday and Friday, May 8 and 9, 2014 at the LAU Byblos campus grounds.  We URGE you to please abide by the deadlines and the requirements to make sure that your participation is as flawless as possible.

Best Regards,

Sciences and Arts Fair Committee

Arts Projects Descriptions

1. Visual Arts Contests:

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

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

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 21, 2014, 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 9th, 2014, at 12:00 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.

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Deadline for receiving projects Level
Arts Categories 1 student 2 per domain per level 50X50X60cm in width, height and length (Max). 14/02/2014 21/03/2014 High school & Intermediate

2. Fashion Design and Modelling Contest: NEW!

The Fashion Design and Modelling Contest is designed for high school and intermediate students to showcase their design and modelling talents. Each school is allowed up to three teams whereby each team consists of 1-2 fashion designers and 1 model.
Teams will be provided with the same items which include: scissors, pins and heavy duty tissue paper. There will be a 15 minute briefing upon arrival where the theme of the contest is revealed. After which the contestants will have 60 minutes (15 minutes should be allocated to design the item and 45 minutes to pin the item on) to prepare their models with an outfit that portrays the contest’s theme. By the end of the 60 minutes, the models should be dressed and no alterations can be made by the designers. The models will then be asked to showcase their team design on the catwalk with music. Judges from the School of Arts and Sciences and School of Architecture would judge both the design and modelling based on the following categories:

  1. Originality and creativity of the clothing item on display
  2. How good the concept looks on the catwalk
  3. Modelling technique & styling, (hair & make-up.)

Updated notes:

  1. Makeup and hair will not be judged but please be advised to have a day make-up look that goes for a neutral theme.
  2. Participating models may choose to wear heals, flat shoes or walk barefoot; however judging will not be based on the type of footwear adopted by each school.

Please note that the model will need to wear a vest or t-shirt and shorts so that the paper can be pinned to the body- and do be mindful of very provocative outfits as great design is about using the body as a canvas, not in an undignified way. Females and males will be competing against each other within the same category. A point scheme based on the item value will be provided at a later date.

For any school that would like to compete, we would kindly require that you send us the number of teams participating and the names of the participants. We would like to reserve the right to limit the number of participating teams from each school if the number of participating schools exceeds expectations.

Details will be provided during a briefing at 11:45 noon in Selina Korban.


10:00 a.m.:    Arrival
11:45 noon:    Briefing (Dr. Robin Taleb - Mr. Jason Steel)
12:00 p.m.:    Design and Pin contest starts
1:00 p.m.:      Design and Pin contest finishes
1:15 p.m.:       Modelling competition starts

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Fashion Design & Modelling 3 students 3 per school N.A. 14/02/2014 8/5/2014 Any level

3. 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 8, 2014 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 9th 2014, at 12:00 p.m.

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Poetry/ Short Story/ Essay 1 student 2 poems, 2 stories and 2 essays per language and level. Intermediate: 1000 words (story), 500 words (essay). Secondary: 2000 words (story), 1000 words (essay). 14/02/2014 8/03/2014 (09:00 to 13:00) Intermediate/ Secondary classes.

4. Public Speaking (English):

One applicant per school can participate. The contest will take place on the LAU Byblos campus grounds, Science Bldg. Rm. 608 on May 9, 2014 from 10:00a.m. to 12:00 pm.

In order for students to be qualified to apply, they need to attend an obligatory Public Speaking Workshop which will be held at LAU Byblos campus grounds on March 8, 2014 from 10:30a.m. to 12:30 pm. in Science Bldg. Rm. 608.  Those who will not attend the workshop cannot participate in the competition.

The theme of the informative speech will be Innovation. Applicants will be asked to choose a specific topic and give a three minute informative speech on it.

A soft copy of the speech will have to be sent to suraya.rahme@lau.edu.lb by Friday  April 25, 2014. 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.

Semi-finalists will be notified after all the presentations are done in order to come to the award ceremony on May 9, 2014.

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Public speaking (English) 1 student

1 applicant


N.A. 14/02/2014

C:09/05/2014 (10:00 to 12:00)

High School or Intermediate

5. Public speaking (Arabic):

فن الإلقاء     

سيطلب من المتقدمين مواضيع مفتوحة من الشعر والنثر تتضمن مؤلفات لشعراء معاصرين وهم: محمود درويش، خليل حاوي و نزار قبّاني، وسيحدد الوقت لخمس دقائق لكل طالب، سيتم إختيار طالب من كل مرحلة (إبتدائية أو ثانوية) لكل مدرسة، و سيراعى التشويق في الإلقاء:

نبرات الصوت
 حركات اليدين
 لتأني في الكلام 

One applicant per school can participate. The contest will take place on the LAU Byblos campus grounds , Science Bldg. Rm. 607, on May 9, 2014 from 10:00a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
A soft copy of the speech will have to be emailed to Nidal Daccache  by Friday April 25, 2014. Applicants will also be asked to use PowerPoint as a visual aid. The speech must be done in Arabic and will be graded on content and delivery.
Semi-finalists will be notified after all the presentations are done in order to come to the award ceremony on May 9, 2014.

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Public Speaking (Arabic) 1 student

1 applicant


N.A. 14/02/2014

9/05/2014 (10:00 to 12:00)

Any level

6. The performing Arts:

Students should be ready at 12:00 noon on Friday, May 9, 2014, at the Selina Korban theatre 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 9, 2014in the afternoon, followed by the award giving ceremony.  The whole performance should not exceed 5 minutes, or the troop will be disqualified. The performance shall be stopped at exactly 5 minutes.
  • BFABB Title (Born From A Boom Box): NEW!
    Schools need to choose one dancer from every participating dance group.  The name of your school representative must be submitted by the Application deadline listed below.  The competition will be in the form of a battle between these representatives. Each battle is composed of 2 “dancing rivals” selected randomly to challenge one another. In an interval of 5 minutes per battle, students are to unleash their “inner dancer” and improvise their dancing moves to music handed to them on the spot (may be of different varieties). They are to be judged based on their attitudes, expressions, creativity, wittiness, synchronized moves to the music played, and ability to provoke their competition. Winners out of every battle will move on to compete against each other at further stages leading towards one ultimate final battle in which one winner remains. 
  • 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 9, 2014 in the afternoonThe whole performance should not exceed 8 minutes, or the troop will be disqualified.  No mise-en-scène is allowed on stage. The performance shall be stopped at exactly 8 minutes.
Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
The Performing Arts. 5-10 dancers 3-10 actors

One troop of actors and one troop of dancers per school

5 min for the dance and 8 minutes for the theatre performance. 14/02/2014

9/05/2014 (12:00pm)

High School and Intermediate (both)

Science Projects Descriptions

7. 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 10:30 a.m. sharp on Thursday May 8, 2014 IN SELINA KORBAN.  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 8, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. for the Science award giving ceremony.

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Science Knowledge contest. 3 (one from the 1ST sec and 2 from the 2nd sec)

One team per school

N.A. 14/02/2014

8/05/2014 at 10:30. Finals at 14:30 pm.

Secondary classes (1st & 2nd).

8. Science Concept Movie Competition:

Background information: 

The best way to learn is to teach! This competition gives the students an opportunity to explain a scientific concept.  The movies will serve as a database for fellow students to learn and better understand these concepts.

Project description and evaluation criteria:

Students participating in this competition will prepare a short movie that explains a scientific concept. The movie should not exceed 3 minutes, and the concept explained could be either in Physics, Chemistry, or Biology. The movie is judged based on the quality of the movie (editing, graphics, and effects) and the innovation used in presenting and elaborating the concept. The difficulty of the concept will be considered but not of great importance. Experimental work is highly appreciated but not required. All pictures/movie segments need to be the student work and not reproduced. If this is deemed necessary proper referencing is required.


  • Movies must be uploaded prior to May 1st 2014 to our Facebook page at: Science Movie Competition (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Science-Movie-Competition/467621263279114).
  • There will be a total of 6 categories, 3 for intermediate and 3 for high schools. The categories are Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.
  • Each school can participate with one movie per level per category (up to 6 movies).
  • Movie lengths exceeding 3mins are automatically disqualified.
  • All groups are invited to LAU to receive the prize on May 8. Winning movies will be displayed during the ceremony.
Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Science concept movie competition Up to 6

For each school: 1 movie per level & category

3 mins length. 14/02/2014

Movies uploaded prior to 01/05/2014

Intermediate and high school

9. The Big Science Challenge: 

Background information: 

Human population is continuously growing, and our resources are being depleted each year at a much faster rate. Up-cycling is the next trend to help cope with this continuous increase in demand for raw material. Applying the Upcycling methodology we can slow down the process of exhausting our earth’s natural resources and decrease the amount of energy needed to transform raw material to a final product.

Project description and evaluation criteria:

This year the Big Science Challenge focuses on helping our planet by implementing a project in your school to decrease the continuous need of new natural resources. This should be achieved by coming up with a useful product mainly using no longer needed material (i.e. VHS tapes, electronic chips from a damaged radio/TV/Cell phone, old CDs, plastic bottles, books, etc.).

The teams will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Usefulness - 25%
  2. Creativity - 20%
  3. Effort vs. Value - 20%
  4. Neatness - 10%
  5. Percentage of Junk used - 25%

Up-cycling Samples: http://toponlineengineeringdegree.com/?page_id=116

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
The Big Science Challenge. 3 to 5 student

1 per school per level

2mx2mx2m in width, length and height (Max). 14/02/2014


Intermediate and high school

10. Recipes 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  (ex: cooking a low fat desert)
  • The modelling of a certain biological mechanism  (ex: what happens to excess dietary fat in the body)
  • Nutrition and health education/information tools (ex: billboards with tips about healthy foods)
  • The chemistry of food, quantification, ingredients, degradation etc. (ex: sugar in soft drinks or preservatives in canned foods)

Evaluation Criteria:

  • The originality of the idea
  • The visual characteristics of the display (ex: interesting pictures, colourful 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).
Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Eating Well for a Better Health 3 students

2 per level

2*2 meter exhibition area (5min presentation) 14/02/2014


High School & Intermediate

11. Detection of genetically modified foods on the Lebanese market: (Environmental & Biology Club)

Background information:

The field of recombinant DNA technology-more commonly known as genetic engineering-is relatively new but has witnessed a dramatic boom in the past thirties years revolutionizing the fields of biology, medicine, and even agriculture. The need to feed an ever growing world population has led to the production of genetically modified foods (GMFs). These are foods that contain genes from other organisms. These genes serve a multitude of functions ranging from enhancing crop productivity, to frost resistance, to protection from pests.  However many people argue that GMFs do more harm than good. Biosafety is one aspect that causes alarm as there have been cases where allergies and deaths have occurred after ingestion of GM products. Environmental concerns such as the effect on biodiversity, gene transfer to other organisms, ethical and moral issues such as the right to create novel organisms, and corporate monopolies are a few of the many reasons that argue against such crops. However, very few studies have focused on the presence of GMFs on the Lebanese market.

Aim of the project:

The aim of the project is to check the amount of GMF existing on the Lebanese market. Each participating student is expected to collect samples from various corn based products available in local supermarkets such as corn cobs, corn flour and corn chips. The students will test these samples for the presence of foreign transgenic sequences in our Labs. DNA from the organisms will be extracted and the presence of the CaMV35S promoter-a sequence commonly found in many transgenic products- will be determined by the polymerase chain reaction method (PCR) and compared to a certified reference transgenic strain.

Such an experiment will be carried out in our laboratories under the supervision of Dr. Roy Khalaf.


The project targets mainly senior high school students (Grade 11 and 12). One student per school is allowed. A maximum of twenty students can be accommodated and divided into groups of two. The places will be filled on a first come first serve basis.

Two to three sessions would be provided to carry out the project on Saturdays, April 5 and 12, 2014.

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Detection of genetically modified foods on the Lebanese market One (Total number is 20 students)

One student per school

N.A. 14/02/2014

Workshop:5 and 12/04/2014

Grade 11 and 12

12. Labventure Day “Illuminating LAU”:  NEW!

Background information: 

OLEDs (Organic light-emitting diodes) have found their way into everyday life in TVs, Displays and most recently into our hands in Smartphones such as Nokia Lumia 1020, Samsung Galaxy S4, Motorola Moto X, Gionee E5, NEC Medias X 06E, and others.

OLEDs have a fairly simple device construction: A substrate is coated with a conductive material (anode layer) followed by an organic layer and a cathode layer. When applying a voltage, the emissive organic layer creates light. This direct creation of light is the major advantage over other display technologies.

Figure 1. OLED device Source: http://www.techradar.com (Aug. 2013)


This is a one day, hands-on challenging workshop for high school students (grades 11 and 12) during which we will explore OLED technology and produce and illuminate actual OLED devices ourselves. Workshop day is Sat. 01.03.2014 with max. 20 participants. Additional date(s) on following Saturdays are available dependent on demand. All materials are provided, participants need to bring a lab coat and wear lab-appropriate clothing and shoes.

Project Name Team size # Teams Application deadline Workshop date Level
Illuminating LAU 1-2 students

1 team per school



Grade 11 or 12

13. Chemistry Magic Trick Competition:

In this competition, students are asked to perform experimentally a chemistry magic trick where they should be able to explain it in a pure chemistry way; for example through a set of chemical reactions, through a concept of indicators…….

So the student should be fully aware of what are the factors behind this trick.

Thus,  he/she  will be graded on how clear is the experimental  Magic show, how good is the presentation within the show, how much the explanation behind this trick is chemically oriented and most important how much capable is he /she to answer questions related to his/her  trick.

To double check the safety of the magic trick experiment, a procedure will have to be sent to: gnaous@lau.edu.lb by Thursday April 24, 2014. Any experiment considered unsafe will be automatically rejected. 

The projects need to be set up in less than 5 minutes.  Starting 12:00 noon, each team will be given 5 minutes to set up his trick on stage and 4 minutes to present it.


  1. One group per school is allowed to participate.
  2. Preferably, the group should be composed of a maximum of 2 students.
  3. Students from grade 10 or grade 11 are allowed to participate.
  4. Students should bring with them any related material to the magic show (like glassware, heaters…)
  5. Unsafe magic trick experiments are not allowed.
Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Chemistry magic trick 2 max

One team per schooll

Table of 1m x 0.5m 14/02/2014 and 24/04/2014


Grade 10 and 11

14. Chemistry Olympiad:

Base Titrations Competition

Event location: Science Building of Lebanese American University Byblos.
Event date: Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Participants: Grade10 or grade 11students.
Evaluation criteria: Accuracy, Precision, Technique.
Registration deadline: 14/02/2014

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 8, 2014.


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)3 would be required to neutralize 50. mL of 2.0 M H2SO4?

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

Figure out the stochiometry 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 #                                          VHCI                        


         Average Volume         Concentration of NaOH  
  • Participants need to bring their own laboratory coat to the event.
  • Every school can be represented by one group consisting of two students who will carry out the titration together (NOT separate).
  • 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 8, 2014.
Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Chemistry Olympiad 1 student

1 per school

N.A. 14/02/2014

9:00 - 13:00 

Grade 10 or 11

Engineering and Computer Science Project Descriptions

15. Computer Science Category:

The competition will involve two categories that will be judged separately. Students will be competing for first, second and third positions within one category.  Thursday, May 8, 2014.

The categories are:

  • Web Design (open for all students)
  • Mobile Computing (open for all students)

a. 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

Mobile Computing (open for all students)

In this project, students should implement a mobile application.

Criteria for evaluation:

  1. Originality
  2. Ease of use
  3. Speed
  4. Programming languages and underlying technology used

There will be prizes for the winners of each category.

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
Computer science category Up to 3


N.A. 14/02/2014


High School or Intermediate

16.  The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest: (ASME)

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 8, 2014.


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 Feb.14, 2014.

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

Number of steps 3 points per step
Genuine Designs 30 points
Complexity 40 points

In this project we encourage using “junk yard” material for building a cheap machine. It is required that each team presents 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.

Project Name Team size # Teams Space Application deadline Competition date Level
The Rube Goldberg Up to 6

One team per school

50X50X60cm in width, height and length (Max). 14/02/2014


Intermediate and high school

17. The Robot-Sumo Competition:  (ASME)




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 earlier.
  • 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

Project Name

Team size

# Teams


Application deadline

Competition date


The Robot-Sumo Competition.

up to 6 students

1 team per school per level per competition: 
* Autonomous

Robots must fit inside a 20 cm by 20 cm box, any height.



Any Age

18. Line Tracking Robot:  (ASME)

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.


Project Name

Team size

# Teams


Application deadline

Competition date




1 team per school

The track is a whiteboard (paper top) that measures 0.75m x 1.5m.



Any age

19. Paper Bridge Design (Civil Engineering Club)

Description of the project:

A bridge should be built solely of plain paper and should be able to carry at least one book. Paper clips can be used at the connections. No other material will be allowed, including glue, tape or rubber bands.
A bridge must support its own weight (the dead load) as well as the weight of anything placed on it, like the book (s) (the live load). Your paper bridge must span at least 40 centimeters, with a minimum width of 5cm. The sides of your bridge will rest on two simple supports and cannot be taped or attached to the supports (e.g. Bricks).

You will be provided with papers, scissors, and staples and be given approximately 2 hours to build the bridge on site.  The grading criteria will be given right before the start of the competition at 11:00 a.m.

What You Will Need:

  • standard plain paper (80g/m2)
  • paper clips or staples
  • ruler
  • 2 supports
  • books as loads or other small weights
  • scissors

 Try It Out

  1. Discuss possible ideas with your partner before you start building. What can you do to the paper to make it stronger? When you have decided on a design, construct your bridge. 
  2. Place the bridge across two supports that are at least 40 cm apart. Remember that the space below the bridge must be clear to allow vehicles/boats to pass! 
  3. To test your bridge, load it with small loads, one at a time, until it collapses. Record how much load your bridge supported.


The following rules will be used to grade each group bridge:

  1. How many plain papers have been used (the less the better)
  2. How many paper clips have been used (the less the better)
  3. How many books can be loaded on the bridge (the heavier the better)
  4. How stable is your bridge (the way it rests on the supports)

Project Name

Team size

# Teams


Application deadline

Competition date


Paper Bridge Design.

Up to 6 students

1 per school

The paper bridge must span at least 40 cm, with a minimum width of 5cm.



Any age

Closing 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 February 14, 2014.  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 8, 2014 at 4:40 p.m. and Arts awards will be presented on Friday, May 9, 2014, 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 8, 2014.  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.

Thank you for your participation, and regards,


Mars E. Semaan, Ph.D.                          Barbar Aklé, Ph.D.
Dean of Students                                     Assistant Dean, Associate Professor
LAU Byblos Campus                               School of engineering, Committee Chair


N.B.: Mrs. Fadia Armalè can be reached at:

Tel : 09- 547262  ext : 2129
Fax : 09-546262 
Email : farmalet@lau.edu.lb

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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