IGNITING STEM PASSION


(From left) Mosti’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Enculturation and Services Division secretary Abdullah Daud, PETRONAS strategy and corporate services senior general manager of product delivery and technology Abang Jimmy Abang Mordian, Petrosains Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Ezarisma Azni Mohamad, Tracer Robot designer Mok, and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang. — CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2024 now open for registration

STEM – which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – has gained prominence in education and industry for its role in driving economic growth, with institutions nationwide fostering STEM learning to equip youth with skills for future success.

To aid in the continued development and adoption of STEM in Malaysia, Petrosains is bringing back the Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2024 for its sixth instalment to democratise and make STEM learning accessible for all.

Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2024

Encompassing a holistic combination of learning, meticulous preparation, spirited competition, invaluable networking and seamless collaboration, the Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2024 is designed to cultivate a holistic and future-proof skillset.

This year’s competition was officially launched at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre at Suria KLCC on May 6 and officiated by Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) Minister Chang Lih Kang and Petrosains Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Ezarisma Azni Mohamad.

“Looking at the importance of STEM around the world, the government always emphasises the implementation of science, technology and innovation activities to unearth the talent of local youth,” said Chang.

“The Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2024 is not just an annual event, but an important pillar in accelerating the progress of science, technology and innovation among Malaysians.”

Ezarisma added that this year’s competition will maintain its three main categories, namely Robo Tracer, Robo Sumo and Innovation – with eight sub-categories, themed on sustainability.

“This comprehensive focus also emphasises PETRONAS’ commitment to foster innovation among participants that goes hand-in-hand with environmental sustainability and community well-being.

“This year, the aspect of artificial intelligence (AI) will also be integrated into the Robo Tracer category to offer the participants an opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of the latest technologies.

“This addition will enrich the competition experience and equip participants with skills closely related to the rapidly evolving robotics and AI technology industry.

“By incorporating these aspects into the framework of the competition, participants are encouraged to innovate and contribute to a more sustainable future,” he said.

He added that this year, the competition’s Innovation category also features a new sub-category called “Indigenous Culture and Technology”, which is specially designed for indigenous students in Malaysia, emphasising digital inclusivity and community development by empowering indigenous communities with STEM knowledge and promoting projects centred around environmental sustainability.

The competition structure is designed to prepare participants with basic training in design, coding and the use of sensors in robotics development, as well as educate the public on the rapid developments of the digital age, such as robotics, AI and the Internet of Things (IoT).

STEM strengthening sessions

There will also be workshops and educational sessions for participants held throughout the competition period to strengthen their STEM knowledge, as well as being provided unlimited access to learning modules, open-source coding software and a wide range of robotics tools and equipment.

“Providing this form of support to participants helps give them a headstart, by allowing them to learn new skills and knowledge, which are crucial for the future workforce,” said Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2024 project director Norhana Hamim.

“By engaging in experiential learning, participants will see how interesting STEM can be, which is why we hope this competition will not just spark, but also sustain youth’s interest in STEM, and encourage them to get involved in STEM-related careers, which are in high demand.”

Registration for the Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2024 is open till July 31. Teams participating in this competition are asked to submit video entries to showcase their robot creations that can solve problems or deliver innovative ideas.

The final round of the Petrosains RBTX Challenge 2024 will be held in October, with the Zone Qualifying Phase conducted from August to September.

Winners of this competition stand a chance to win cash prizes worth more than RM48,000, as well as an e-certificate from Petrosains.

Since its inception in 2018, the Petrosains RBTX Challenge has impacted over 50,000 individuals in Malaysia and internationally, with roughly 4,700 teams making up over 14,000 participants.

To register and for more information, visit rbtxchallenge.com

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