Miri – 5 November 2016 – Students of three secondary schools in Miri, namely SMK Luak, SMK St. Joseph and SMK Merbau, will be among the participants proudly representing East Malaysia at the ‘Young Innovate Malaysia 2016’ competition held in Kuala Lumpur today during the annual KL Engineering Science Fair (KLESF).
‘Young Innovate Malaysia’ is a national-level Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) based design competition open to secondary schools in Malaysia. Its primary objective is to inspire students’ passion in STEM, developing their living skills and exposing them to open-source hardware and software.
Qualifiers are selected at regional ‘Young Innovate’ competitions, such as the ‘Young Innovate Miri’ held in conjunction with the open day of Curtin University, Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) on 8 October 2016, in which the three teams emerged tops among 24 teams from 12 secondary schools. Six teams from Curtin Malaysia also took part in the open category of the competition.
Representing SMK Luak with its ‘Automatic Buggy System’ project at the national competition is ‘Luak Team 2.0’ comprising Yeo Yii Yun, Nurul Afiqah binti Nor Arizal and Nor Badiriah binti Napisa. Their buggy system helps air travellers with physical disabilities navigate and move around airports more easily.
‘The Graphite Atoms’ team members McLaren Ludan anak Bada, Kevin Ruly anak Andrew and Malcolm Ling Essa of SMK St. Joseph will be showcasing their ‘Repelly’ (Ultrasound Insect Repeller), an eco-friendly, compact bug repellent that uses ultrasound to repel insects.
Meanwhile, team ‘Alpha’ of SMK Merbau comprising Avesha Veronica Law and Soon Ee Ying hopes to put up a good showing at the competition with its ‘Water Flow Sensor’ that tackles the issue of household water wastage. The sensor detects how much water is used and sets off an alarm when users exceed the normal daily usage.
All three projects received rave reviews from the panel of judges at ‘Young Innovate Miri’. The panel consisted of Ayisha Arshad of Shell Malaysia, Sabatini Jihob of Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (TEGAS), Siti Aisyah binti Zakaria of IM4U Outreach, and Mohamad Zulfadli Amin of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC).
Ayisha said the creativity and innovation shown by the students exceeded her expectations, adding that their ability to articulate their projects and the quality of their prototypes spoke volumes of their involvement and passion.
Sabatini praised the students for their ability to identify real-life problems and provide sound solutions, as shown in their projects. She was particularly impressed by their creative use of recycled materials, an element she suggested should be considered in all innovation projects.
Siti Aisyah, meanwhile, commented that ‘Young Innovate Miri’ is a brilliant programme and competition that encourages critical thinking among students and thanked Curtin Malaysia for championing it.
Mohamad also commended the students for the quality of their ideas and show of incredible talent, saying that they were able to conceptualise, communicate and execute their solutions very well.
‘Young Innovate Miri’, formerly known as the SAINS on Wheels – Tech Mentor Sarawak programme, is a community service programme organised by Curtin Malaysia’s Leadership and Entrepreneurship Centre (LEC) and Curtin Malaysia Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) Student Chapter with support from its Faculty of Engineering and Science.
The programme is made possible by the university’s partnership with industry partners and government agencies Dreamcatcher, Chumbaka, TEGAS, Sarawak Energy and iM4U. Launched in 2013, it has reached out to more than 3,000 youths in Sarawak.
Last year, five school teams from Miri represented East Malaysia for the first time at the KLESF, bagging gold and bronze medals and proceeded to the ‘Young Innovate Malaysia’ finals in Penang.
To prepare for the competitions, the teams were required to attend training workshops facilitated by volunteers from the Curtin Malaysia IEEE Student Chapter and LEC, where they learned to solve day-to-day problems innovatively through the use of technology and by applying design thinking.
They also attended technical workshops on open-source applications and microcontrollers where they acquired skills in coding, 3D design, multimedia production and project management. In addition, they were trained in using embedded systems in their designs and participated in practical activities that promoted teamwork, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
The LEC is on a constant lookout for project partners and sponsors and welcome any enquiries from the public. Those interested can contact Haslina Malek at 085-443939 or by email to [email protected].my.
科廷大学（澳洲大学马来西亚分校） Curtin University Sarawak Malaysia