Nurturing drive to create solutions

(From left) Tan with Christalyn, Sean and Siew Hao at the award ceremony at Wisma Shell in Cyberjaya. – SHAARI CHE MAT/The Star

THREE students from Sarawak became the national champion of Shell NXplorers Malaysia 2022 for their innovative IoT-based smart parking prototype.

Calling themselves IT Warriors, the team from SMK Bintulu developed the EZ Park app to help drivers find indoor parking space easily by receiving real-time data from sensors connected to embedded systems (Arduino) using Bluetooth.

Yiek Siew Hao, Sean Lee Jia Roung and Christalyn Siaw Ern Qi, all 16 years old, beat five other teams in the final.

The finalists were chosen from among 153 teams from 25 schools nationwide.

For their efforts, the three students and their teacher, who mentored them, won an all-expenses paid study tour abroad.

Siew Hao hoped that their idea could be developed for use at malls in Sabah and Sarawak.

“We interviewed The Spring Bintulu shopping mall security and carpark manager to get data on parking bays available and related aspects,” said Siew Hao.

He also won the National Best Speaker award for his eloquence in describing the invention.

Sean said they took three months to develop their app.

“Our win was a pleasant surprise. I am delighted we made our school proud,” he added.

Meanwhile, Christalyn thanked Shell for the valuable experience.

The Shell NXplorers Malaysia programme (previously known as #MyGeekMovement) was launched in August 2017.

It is a STEM immersion programme, targeting 200 students annually.

It is carried out via Shell’s integration with NXplorers, an educational programme.

Shell NXplorers challenges schoolchildren to design solutions to real-world problems within the nexus of food-water-energy.

Additionally, it provides them with skills to tackle these problems using collaborative, innovative and inter-disciplinary approaches.

So far, over 600 inventions have been showcased under the programme.

Shell Malaysia chairman and Upstream Malaysia senior vice-president Datuk Ivan Tan said the inventions were getting better each year, thanks to the students’ learning prowess.

“We also collaborated with the Education Ministry to launch the self elearning NXplorers STEM module on the ministry’s DELIMa (Digital Educational Learning Initiative Malaysia) portal,” he said at the award ceremony at Wisma Shell in Cyberjaya, Selangor.

“This is a significant contribution to STEM education as it can reach 2.5 million secondary school students nationwide.”

Tan encouraged students to be curious.

“Ask why! You will find out the answers and get excited,” he said.

Shell global STEM lead Tariq Hussain said the programme had been launched in 21 countries.

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