Young Science Warriors Shine at CCM Stem Up Challenge 2018

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Students from SMK (P) Temenggong Ibrahim were awarded first place due to their outstanding performances throughout the many competitions within the CCM STEP UP Challenge 2018

First-time competitor, SMK (P) Temenggong Ibrahim beats 1,450 students from 31 schools in Batu Pahat, Johor District to win first place

Puan Bahiah Akil of SMK (P) Temenggong Ibrahim, Batu Pahat, Johor, could not contain her joy and excitement after her school was crowned champion in the inaugural CCM STEM UP Challenge 2018, a science competition to nurture secondary school students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and shape them to become future innovators of Malaysia.

“The results came as a total surprise. We did not expect to take the top spot as this was our first time joining a science competition. However, I’m glad that we partook in the CCM STEM UP Challenge 2018 as it was an eye-opening experience and exposed the students to STEM skills and concepts,” said Puan Bahiah who teaches Biology at SMK (P) Temenggong Ibrahim.

“The students ran a number of experiments and data collection related to STEM and together with Physics teacher, Puan Norhayati Salamon, we discussed and came up with the idea of developing a mini vacuum cleaner for children that is safe, light and portable. The mini vacuum cleaner encourages children to assist their parents with household chores in a fun way,” she added.

The champion team consisted of three of the school’s best students, Stella Pui Hui Min, Ng Wan Li and Lim Jin Qian. Stella revealed that she read numerous revisions books on Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Additional Mathematics, and took online quizzes on STEM to equip herself for the competition. “The preparation required a significant time commitment and I could not have achieved this win without my amazing teammates and our teacher’s unwavering support and guidance.

As the champion, SMK (P) Temenggong Ibrahim took home RM5,000 cash prize, a 3D printer, medals, backpacks and certificates of achievement.

The CCM STEM UP Challenge 2018 was organised by Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCMB) in partnership with the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. It was opened to Form Four and Form Five students from the science stream or their schools’ science club in Batu Pahat, Johor District.

Heeding the Education Ministry’s call for encouraging students to venture into STEM fields beginning secondary level in order to address the declining pool of talent in high-level scientific and technological fields, CCMB strongly believes that the CCM STEM UP Challenge 2018 will become a game changer in creating a greater awareness of STEM amongst secondary school children.

Nik Fazila Nik Mohamed Shihabuddin, CCMB’s Group Managing Director said that nurturing students’ creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills is crucial in the unfolding Fourth Industrial Revolution which emphasises science and technology to reshape the way people live and work.

Meanwhile, Professor Dr. Yang Farina Abdul Aziz, Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia commended CCMB’s efforts to get students excited about learning STEM through the CCM STEM UP Challenge 2018.

“As our nation moves closer to the year 2020, the critical role of science, technology and innovation (STI) is undoubtedly recognised. As a body entrusted to inspire interest in STI, the Academy is committed to conducting various STEM initiatives such as the National Science Challenge (NSC), Young Makers Competition in Northern Chapter and Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) as one platform to nurture, promote and enhance the interest among school students in STI. The similar value and objective brings us here today, to support this very good programme organised by CCMB that is in line with the national agenda in promoting STEM,” she said.