Curtin Sarawak’s IEEE Student Branch introduces TECHmentor Programme in Miri

Norman Lee (middle) posing with his teacher Mr. Yuan (2nd left) and mentors and judge from Curtin Sarawak.

Norman Lee (middle) posing with his teacher Mr. Yuan (2nd left) and mentors and judge from Curtin Sarawak.

Miri – 15 January 2015 – The Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Student Branch of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently introduced the TECHmentor Programme in secondary schools in Miri following its successful implementation in Penang.

TECHmentor is a programme led by Chumbaka, an organisation committed to re-igniting children’s passion to learn about science and technology, guided by mentors equipped with open-source learning tools. The programme in Miri is being sponsored by DreamCatcher, Sarawak Energy Berhad and Curtin Sarawak’s University Life Department.

DreamCatcher is a training provider that provides technical training to various industries, such as electrical and electronics, telecommunications, oil & gas and life sciences.

The TECHmentor programme consists of three sections – Learning, Project Design and Project Implementation. Participating students will learn the basics of embedded systems and coding with a specially-designed training kit that emphasises a fun way of learning science through a hands-on approach.

Prior to launching the programme, members of the IEEE Student Branch recruited a number of volunteers among Curtin Sarawak students to be mentors to the participants. Besides having to attend a full-day training programme conducted by members of the student branch, the mentors had to design projects to demonstrate their innovativeness and creativity.

Their projects were showcased during the university’s Open Day in September last year and the team comprising Francelouis Tie Sing Yong, Wong Jin En, Kong Ing Hong, Aaron Koh Chyi Yaw and Hii Tian Hee emerged the winner for their ‘Housing Alarm’ project using Arduino kits and sensory system.

Throughout the implementation of the TECHmentor programme in Miri, the mentors supervised the participating students by visiting them in their schools and conducting tutorials via Skype. The students were then required to present their projects to their mentors. On hand to select the winning project was electrical and computer engineering senior lecturer Dr. Garenth Lim King Hann of Curtin Sarawak’s Faculty of Engineering and Science.

Norman Lee Jia Cheng and Jonathan Raphael of SMK St. Columba won with their project entitled ‘House Motion Sensing’.

Lee remarked that participating in the programme was a real eye-opener as it not only provided him the opportunity to garner programming skills, but also teamwork and leadership skills.

Chair of the IEEE Student Branch of Curtin Sarawak, Saaveethya Sivakumar, said the student branch looks forward to organising similar community outreach programmes in the near future. She also thanked the programme sponsors for their continuous support.

The IEEE Student Branch of Curtin Sarawak was established to inspire engineering students of Curtin Sarawak to reach their full potential in line with IEEE’s motto ‘To Foster Technological Innovation and Excellence for the Benefit of Humanity’. It regularly organises site visits, technical talks, competitions and social activities for its members.

For more information on the IEEE Student Branch of Curtin Sarawak, e-mail [email protected] or visit ewh.ieee.org/sb/malaysia/curtinsarawak. One can also visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CurtinSarawak.IEEE.

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