Competition to enhance understanding of steroids

MENTION the word “steroids” and most people will probably tell you about their adverse side effects straightaway.  

To dispel this misconception, nine teams from Taylor’s College pre-university programmes – Cambridge A-Levels, International Canadian Pre-University and the South Australian Matriculation – went all out to justify the pros and cons of using steroids.  

The students did this through skit presentations and the use of molecular models in a competition organised by the college's School of Biomedical Sciences. 

Themed The good and bad of steroids, the competition was an opportunity for students to think and evaluate information critically, said School of Biomedical Sciences programme director Dr Malini Eliatamby.  

“At Taylor’s, we do our best to encourage active learning and engage students in the learning process.  

“The problem-based learning approach we adopt also promotes interaction among the contestants. This enhances the impact of the learning process.”  

Dr Malini added that many people had the wrong impression that the sciences are meant for “studious” people.  

“Through role play, we show that science can be as fun and creative as other disciplines,” said Dr Malini. 

Of the nine competing teams, The Autistic Four, comprising Cambridge A-Levels students Phang See Yung, Joshua Tan Hoong Yu, Salihah Mohd Kamal and Yeap Cheok Hao, bagged the grand prize. They came up with a funny and thought-provoking sketch which showed how steroids saved the life of an autistic child, and walked off with the cash prize of RM1,000. 

“We were elated upon hearing the announcement,” said team leader See Yung. 

The team House was awarded the prize for designing the Best Molecular Model.  

Their task was to determine the benefits of steroids in treating patients diagnosed with anaemia. 

The panel of judges included Malaysia Chemistry Department director-general Datuk Kee Sue Sing, Health Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Ir M. S. Pillay and Taylor’s School of Biomedical Sciences lecturer Lai How Yee. 

Chief judge Kee commended the students on their engaging performances.  

“Many people fail to recognise that steroids can have numerous benefits when used in moderation. 

“I am pleased to see that Taylor’s students have successfully conveyed this message to the audience through the competition,” he said.  

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