SCIENCE is an important subject that teaches us about ourselves and everything around us. However, it does not appeal to everyone.
This was evident in a research by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry in 2014 on the public awareness of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
The interest level of Malaysians in STI was found to be low compared with European countries as well as the United States.
In an effort to cultivate interest and instil love in STI amongst Malaysians, the ministry has launched the National Science Week 2018 for the first time.
This event is set to take place on an annual basis.
This year, carrying the theme “Negaraku Berinovasi” (my innovative country), several venues across the country will be hosting fun and interactive science-related activities.
The National Science Centre in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, has been transformed into a playground of sorts for scientists, researchers, teachers, students and industry players.
Various activities including Arduino and DIY workshops, Science Show Marathon, Science Emerging Exhibition, petting zoo and Meet the Scientist are being held until tomorrow.
The programme is in line with World Science Day by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco) since 2002.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among the younger generation should be enhanced.
“This is to ensure the nation will have a generation contributing to the advancement in technology.
“It is important to progress in STI for Malaysia to become a developed nation, earning a high income especially when it is moving towards Industry 4.0,” he said at the launch, adding that students need to be proficient in this field.
Wilfred added that the upcoming National STEM centre was expected to benefit about 138,330 STEM specialist teachers and more than five million students in Malaysia.
“The centre aims to develop the latest learning methods as well as focus on inquiry-based science education in the teaching and learning of science and mathematics,” he revealed.
At the event, guests were treated to dinner as well as performances by notable artists.
They also had the opportunity to witness a hologram show as part of the launch gambit.
The minister presented the Special STEM Award, National Young Scientist Award and National Technologist Award in recognition of the recipients’ contribution and achievement in STEM, STI and research and development.
Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair, Association of Science, Technology and Innovation, and Majalahsains.com each received the Special STEM Award along with RM2,000, plaque and certificate.
Malaysian Palm Oil Board assistant research officer Wan Saridah Wan Omar received RM10,000, plaque and certificate for the Technologist Award while Univer-siti Sains Malaysia senior lecturer Dr Oon Chern Ein was given RM20,000, a plaque and certificate for the Young Scientist Award.
“I hope these awards will continue to motivate and inspire young scientists and technologists to advance the country’s science, technology and innovation more rapidly,” said Wilfred.
The launch also saw the flag-off of Kembara GoMore Science “Sep Kito Minat Sains”, which marks the start of National Science Week Kelantan edition.
For details, visit www.mosti.gov.my/minggu-sains-negara