MIRI: Thirty-five pupils from SK Kelapa Sawit No. 4 get their first lesson in basic computer programming during a visit to Curtin University Malaysia.
Their visit was hosted by Curtin educational facilitators, a group of student volunteers who organise education and skills-development programmes for local schools.
Information Technology associate lecturer Nong Nurnie Nistah, who was one of the facilitators, said it was heartening to see the students actively engaging in the activity.
“Although they did not fully understand how computer memory works, they were very determined to decode numbers and letters using binary digits,” she said.
The computer programme is aimed at exposing rural pupils to university life and get them interested in pursuing tertiary education as well as giving them the opportunity to experience first-hand modern learning and teaching facilities as well as new technology at Curtin Malaysia.
The workshop was held in the state-of-the-art Collaborative Learning Space in the campus’ new RM30mil Engineering and Science Faculty building.
Another facilitator Kamaroizan Mohamad said the programme allowed students to identify problems and carefully construct simple instructions to address them, thus teaching them to solve problems systematically.
In addition, the pupils took part in a “Binary Bauble” session aimed at introducing them to the concept of binary numbers, a language that is used to store and represent information in computers.
This was the first time Curtin student organisation had been approached by a rural school to conduct such an activity at the campus, as opposed to outreach activities.
The pupils started by participating in a “Stack-Up Algorithm” session which introduced them to the concept of devising simple instructions for constructing a structure using paper cups.