Seven-time Grammy award-winning musician and education advocate will.i.am headlined the opening ceremony of the 2019 FIRST Global DXB Challenge.
The global gathering of creative young minds in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence kicked off on Thursday at the Festival Arena in Dubai with the participation of more than 1,500 youth from over 191 countries.
will.i.am sent out a strong message to participants about the power of education in transforming lives and shaping the future.
Apart from being an international music icon, will.i.am is also a tech enthusiast, who is strongly committed to encouraging youth to pursue their education in science, technology, education and mathematics, STEM.
"It's an exciting time to be in Dubai to celebrate excellence in technology and the achievements of the world's most motivated, smartest young people who are part of the FIRST Global robotics community," he said.
"While every school has a football pitch, very few students will ever become professional athletes. In contrast, every school, in every country should have a FIRST robotics programme so that every student can become a tech star and an active member of the digital economy."