Win n e r s a ll: (From left) RHB Bukit Bintang branch manager Alice Pang Yoke Kee, Science teacher Nur Atikah, Yen Ming, Hai Cheng and Megan Ooi, and The Star head of events and promotions, Kenny Thong, at the prize presentation ceremony for winners of the lower secondary category.
Some schools have produced multiple champions during the last six years of the competition.
TEAM captain Ooi Yen Ming together with Teng Hai Cheng and Megan Ooi emerged triumphant after dazzling judges with their public speaking skills and general knowledge.
“We feel really excited about winning. I think we did a great job.
“We tried really hard and all our work paid off,” said Yen Ming, team leader of the all-girl Form Three team from SMK Convent Bukit Nanas, which won the lower secondary title in the Kuala Lumpur leg of RHB-The Star Mighty Minds National Challenge 2014. The trio impressed judges with a model of an automated parking system complete with manually controlled movable parts in the hands-on challenge.
“We stayed back in school for two days to prepare for our model and presentation. I think our model is quite special. Thank god it held together,” said Yen Ming.
Hai Cheng said the victory was dedicated to their Science teacher who was with them throughout the competition.
“We’d like to thank Puan Nur Atikah Abdullah who guided us and gave us an adult’s opinion on our model,” she added.
SMA Majlis Agama Wilayah Persekutuan and SMK Seri Bintang Utara were placed second and third respectively in the lower secondary category of the competition.
Meanwhile, it was sweet success once again for Prasad Thandapani as he was part of the winning team of the upper secondary category in the competition.
Prasad who is in SMK Taman Yarl Form Four Science, teamed up with schoolmates Sonia Sanjiivii and Sudha Ashvinder to take part in this year’s competition.
“We brainstormed for ideas for the hands-on challenge and came up with a whiz kids institute of intelligence which would provide scholarships to deserving students with higher order thinking skills,” said Sonia.
Sonia and Sudha who are Form Five science students, also took part in last year’s competition but did not win.
Prasad was part of the school’s winning team in last year’s lower secondary category which came out tops in the Kuala Lumpur challenge. The team was placed among the top five at last year’s national finals.
SMK Victoria and SMK Seri Saujana were placed second and third respectively in the upper secondary category.
SMK Taman Yarl was not the only school with a repeat victory. SMK Sultan Sulaiman from Kuala Terengganu had also grabbed top spot in the lower secondary category every year, except in 2011. This year, the prize went to classmates Ahmad Syauqi Mohamed Ridhuan, Tan Li Yen and Lam Sin Gee.
Li Yen, 15, said that they were delighted to win by just a narrow margin.
“This is the second time the three of us took part in this competition, so we had a bit of experience and it might have given us a bit of an edge,” she said.
Li Yen was also able to impress the judges with her speech on her team’s hands-on model — a miniature power plant called “The Triple Element World”. The trio had only about a week to prepare for the competition because of their exams. “Our science teacher gave us a lot of help,” they said.
In second place of the same category was SMK Chukai, Kemaman, while SMK Seri Nilam of Kuala Terengganu bagged third place.
SMK Tengku Mahmud of Besut were champs in the upper secondary category.
The northern school enrolled more than one team in both categories, but it was the fifth formers, Sharifah Iman Solehah Noorzali, Muhammad Izwan Alif Mohd Sukri and Ahmad Arifridhwan Yakcob,who took home a prize. The team did well in the multiple choice question quiz and hands-on challenge but were not as quick in the buzzer quiz.
“We were afraid that would spoil our good start in the earlier categories!” said Sharifah Iman.
“We are very happy to be able to win as we entered the competition without much expectations,” she added.
The winning teams took home RM5,000 cash and a projector for their schools. The competition will next move on to Perlis on Aug 9, and Pahang on Aug 16, Selangor on Aug 23 and Malacca on Aug 30. After the 14 state challenges are complete, all champions will make their way to the Klang Valley for the National Finals.
The competition is jointly organised by Star Publications (M) Bhd and RHB Banking Group. For details, contact The Star’s Customer Care Unit at 03-7967 1777/1703 or visit www.thestar.com.my/mightyminds.