Johor's brilliant young achievers


  • Education
  • Sunday, 08 Jun 2003

BY PHILIP AUGUSTINE

BUILDING tomorrow's world today, is what a group of science stream students from Sekolah Sultan Ismail, Johor Baru, aim to do with their project – LagunKelisa, Where home is a resort and living is a lifestyle – a proposed RM18mil housing venture that bagged the top prize at the recently-concluded ISM Young Achievers' Award competition. 

After losing out in last year's event, success was relished by the enterprising students and their teacher. 

“Several key improvements to our project were made, such as using colourful recycled materials for the model and having a more prominent structure,” says supervising teacher Chia Lok Thye. 

LagunKelisa was named after the Arowana fish (called kelisa in Malay) and the project's intended location near the Tebrau Straits.  

“The two apartment blocks in our model are called Arowana and Arapaima. These apartments are different because they have condominium facilities such as a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a club house,” explains team member Ong San San. 

BUILDING DREAMS:Some members of the Sekolah Sultan Ismail Johorteam and their supervising teacher Chia Kok Thye,showing off theLagunKelisa housing project which won the ISM Young Achievers'Award.

In their presentation, the group came up with an advertisement for the project, as well as a mini role-play that was both professional and entertaining. 

“We worked a lot on our advertisement because we believe that our project, though not easy, is feasible,” says group leader Ian Cheng.  

The Form Four student says it took almost two months to complete the model of the project at a cost of RM200.  

“My group mates and I worked on our project during weekends and school holidays. The combined efforts of everyone is what pulled off our success,” says Ian, adding that his father, a housing developer, helped by giving useful suggestions and tips. 

Along with the top prize of RM5,000, the group received a trophy and Certificate of Participation. 

Meanwhile, the second prize of RM3,000 and the Chairman's Award for Best Visual Presentation went to the Penang Chinese Girls High School, while third prize winner SM La Salle, in Kota Kinabalu, received RM2,000. 

Six schools were shortlisted for this year's national finals held in Putrajaya. 

Instilling interest in mathematics, science and technology and the science of measurement is what the ISM Young Achievers' Award is all about. 

Now in its third year, the competition was launched by the Institution of Surveyors Malaysia to create awareness of the surveying profession and to help develop students' ability to reason and formulate strategies given real economic scenarios. 

Students are asked to identify a piece of agricultural land of not more than two hectares on the fringe of their hometown which has potential for development.  

They are then to come up with an optimum development project for the site that would prove to be viable, profitable, and appropriate for the locality. 

The necessary tools and an adviser are assigned to each school, and winners are chosen based on the number of points accumulated from a set of criteria that includes a comprehensive project report, an A1-sized model of the project, presentation skills on the day of the competition and students' ability to answer questions on their projects. 

Open to all fourth and fifth formers, each team is given RM300 for the initial preparation of the project, while the regional winners get an additional RM200 to improve their project in preparation for the national finals. 

“Every year the competition is taken to greater heights as students come up with well structured and even better designs,” says organising chairman Sarkunan Subramaniam. 

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