Battle of bright minds

Champions of the RHB-The Star Mighty Minds state challenges in Pahang and Kelantan prove they have what it takes to represent their states in the national finals.

IT was a tough act to follow but the team from SMK Abdul Rahman Talib did it with much aplomb.

“Our seniors were the champions last year – we had to live up to the huge expectations heaped on us,” said team leader Nurul Nadiah Nordin.

But Nurul Nadiah – together with teammates Mohd Nazmi Mohd Nordin and Tengku Muhammad Faris Tengku Afzan – battled their nerves and remained collected under pressure to clinch the top spot in the upper secondary category at the RHB-The Star Mighty Minds Pahang state challenge recently.

They defeated the team from SM Sains Tengku Abdullah while SMK Telok Cempedak took the third place in the competition held at Berjaya Megamall Kuantan.

Now, Nurul Nadiah, Mohd Nazmi, Tengku Muhammad Faris are getting prepared for a higher stake of the game when they represent their state in the national finals.

“Come to think about it, it’s unnerving to face all the champions from the other states,” said Nurul Nadiah.

“I’ve got my hands full now as I am also preparing for the SPM examination, but we will put together a strategy to win this competition,” she said.

Meanwhile, it was well worth the sacrifice for SMK Sultan Abu Bakar student Yeo Min Qian, who gave her prefects board trip to Langkawi Island a miss to participate in the competition.

After all, she and her teammates Hoe Zhan Hui and Thye Chuan Huei proudly pocketed the RM5,000 prize money as champions of the lower secondary category.

Zhan Hui also made a wise choice when he decided to drop out of a badmintion match to take part in this competition instead.

“Although we did not spend a lot time on preparation, we managed to pull through by relying on our combined strengths,” said team leader Min Qian.

The second and third places of the lower secondary category were claimed by SMK Tanah Putih and SM Sains Tengku Abdullah respectively.

Meanwhile, the champs at the Mighty Minds Kelantan state challenge unanimously agreed that the key to their succcess was teamwork.

“It was a pleasant surprise to be announced as the champions. However, our victory would not have been possible without teamwork,” said Liew John Kheng from Sultan Ismail college.

John Kheng, together with teammates Danny Darwis and Tengku Long Zarsanc Tengku Long Haniss clinched the coveted top spot in the lower secondary category.

“We had to put our minds together to score points during the last round of the buzzer quiz challenge,” said John Kheng.

MRSM Jeli was the runner-up while third place went to SMK Hamzah I.

Competition was stiff in the upper secondary category but the MRSM Pengkalan Chepa team had a wise leader in Muhammad Hafiz Shamri Ibrahim Bakri who steered them to victory.

“We have full confidence in Muhammad Hafiz who took charge of the situation during the nail-biting buzzer quiz challenge,” said teammates Nur Izzati Rozali and Muhammad Hussain Abdul Aziz.

“The questions were not too difficult but demanded a strong foundation in Science and Mathematics principles,” added Nur Izzati.

SMJK Chung Cheng and SMK Datuk Ahmad Maher were the runners-up and second runners-up respectively in the upper secondary category.

The RHB-The Star Mighty Minds National Challenge 2011 is jointly organised by The Star and RHB Banking Group.

Fuelling energy to the brainiacs with breakfast, lunch and tea was food and beverage partner McDonald’s Malaysia.

Divided into two categories – lower secondary (Forms One to Three) and upper secondary (Forms Four and Five) – the competition will sweep through eight remaining states before culminating in the National Finals.

The contest is open to 60 teams per category for all states except for Selangor, which will be held over two days (July 30 and 31) to cater for the 120 teams per category.

The four-stage challenge includes an MCQ quiz, whereby 15 teams with the highest scores will move on to the hands-on challenge, where participants must build a model based on scientific principles.

Only the top five teams will qualify for the third and fourth rounds, which consist of an oral presentation on the constructed model and a buzzer quiz.

Marks from all four categories will determine the eventual champion teams that will represent their state in the national finals in October.

If you want the chance to prove your might, act fast!

Registration forms are available from and all RHB Bank and RHB Islamic Bank branches nationwide.

Contest tips will be made available in F3F5, The Star’s Science and Maths guide for students sitting for their PMR and SPM examinations. For enquiries, contest registration or subscription to F3F5, call The Star’s Audience Development Unit at 03-7967 1777 or 03-7967 1703.

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