Seri Bintang stars shine bright in STEM

SEVEN Form Four students from SMK Seri Bintang Utara, Kuala Lumpur, were acknowledged for their ideas to make the world a greener place.

They bagged multiple awards at the recent British International Education Association (BIEA) STEM Youth Innovation Competition 2020 with their creativity and ingenuity.

The BIEA is a not-for-profit organisation, with its head office in London that promotes British education to emerging international education markets.

The theme of the competition, “Help Us Solve the Global Plastic Problem”, highlighted two concepts – technological innovation and the clearing of plastic waste.

Aliff Luqman Nasution from Team Rigel Kentaurus won the Best Report Award for their report on Newt-12, while Eeshwar Uthaya Kumar, Puteri Nur Atiqah Omar and Kow Hong Kiat won the Best Video Award for their video titled “Well Rounded Remotely Operated Vehicle Killing Flying Jellyfish.”

Powered by solar power and wind power, Newt-12 is a drone that can be controlled by remote function or automatic sensors. Its name was inspired by the amphibian, a newt, as it can also move on both land and water, and is suitable for windy and hot beaches, coastal plains and mudflats.

The “Flying Jellyfish” refers to plastic bags floating in the ocean and is the theme of the competition.

Ejjaz Hakimi, Ezrin Marissa and Ryan Khoo, collectively forming Team ERE, won the Rising Star Award.

The award was given to those who deserve to be rewarded for their talent and hard work.

Eeshwar said: “I have gained so much knowledge about plastic debris through this experience.”

Although the long and difficult process of producing the video was made even more challenging by the movement control order, Hong Kiat said he was glad that the team managed to stand out at an international platform, representing Malaysia.

The students had to meet and discuss everything online before they submitted their entries on June 1.

They then had to face a final question and answer session via Zoom before the award ceremony in early July.

But it was not only the students who had to work hard to adjust to the new norm, their teacher mentor Lee Saw Im also found herself in unfamiliar territory when she had to guide them virtually.

“The students are not proficient in using certain applications to prepare their projects and I had to teach them how to use applications such as Sway, Teams and Google Slides, ” she said, adding that unstable Internet connection was also an issue.

Proud of what her students have achieved, she stressed on the importance of exposing students to international science competitions.

“Students’ exposure to STEM competitions can increase their interest in learning the subjects and prepare them to face the fourth industrial revolution.”

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