Just for smart alecks

  • Education
  • Sunday, 09 Jun 2013

RHB-The Star Mighty Minds Kuala Lumpur state challenge at Berjaya Times Square yesterday.

Students who read on a variety of subjects are usually more knowledgeable, and add value to their respective teams at the state challenge.

IN JUST one more week, the RHB-The Star Mighty Minds National Challenge 2013 will be back on the road, starting with Penang on June 15.

In the weeks after that, the competition will be in Johor, Terengganu, Perlis and Perak.

Focusing on general knowledge this year, students who tend to read on a wide range of subjects, will do well in the challenge.

Information on who Dilma Rousseff is (the President of Brazil) and which animal has the biggest eye (giant squid) would not be found in most school textbooks.

In the other state competitions, some teams who were lagging behind managed to catch up in the buzzer quiz because of the knowledge they had gained from their extra-curricular activities, and from reading and absorbing information on a variety of topics.

These are some buzzer quiz questions that had the less-exposed participants from previous states scratching their heads.

Would you know the answers?

An audiophile is a hi-fi enthusiast and a technophile is a person who loves technology.

What do you call a person who greatly admires England and all things English or British?

Answer: Anglophile

“Miss Pleasant is always willing to bend over ____________ to make her mother happy”.

In this sentence, what is the correct word to complete the expression “bend over _____”. Clue: This expression means ‘try very hard’.

Answer: backwards (bend over backwards)

What caused the death of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first woman prime minister, on Apr 8, 2013?

Answer: A stroke

If you think you too can answer the questions and are up for the challenge, it is time to persuade two equally knowledgeable friends to join you and sign up.

State challenge champions take home RM5,000 cash and a 40” LED TV for their school.

They will then head to Kuala Lumpur for the national finals in October.

Upper secondary finalists stand a chance to win a trip to Dublin, Ireland where they will visit the Young Scientist and Technology exhibition, sponsored by the Penang Medical College.

The state challenge has been held in nine states so far.

The competition is jointly organised by Star Publications (M) Bhd and RHB Banking Group.

For details, contact The Star’s Customer Care Unit at 03-7967 1777/1703 or visit www.thestar.com.my/mightyminds.

Lower Secondary


Lighting is very important in a home and adds both ambience and mood. As an ornamental wall bracket, a sconce can hold a candle or a light source, but also could be a conversation piece in terms of a room’s decor.

Design an innovative model of a sconce with a science theme.

List of some of the materials and apparatus provided:

A square of cardboard, a black mounting board (50cm x 38cm), a manila card (50cm x 35cm), a piece of decorative translucent cloth (40cm x 30cm), two strips coloured board, some bubble wrap, 1 A4 size sheet of transparency, two toilet tissue role cores, two cashier receipt roll cores, five straws, two CDs, two push pins, four flexible wires, five skewers, a length of wool, two pieces origami paper/coloured paper, one short candle (height of 4cm), two batteries, one battery holder, one switch, one bulb, two insulated wires (red & black), one empty mineral water bottle (1.5L) and a portion of plasticine.

Upper Secondary


We live in a progressive society in which the visually impaired should not be marginalised. Research shows that games for the fully blind usually work well when they have large components, are easily taught and do not last too long. Design an innovative model of a game that can be played by blind children. 

List of some of the materials and apparatus provided: 

A square of Styrofoam, one empty 30-egg tray, a rectangle of cardboard, a black mounting board (50cm x 38cm), a manila card (50cm x 35cm), two strips coloured board, some bubble wrap, four toilet tissue role cores, two marbles, some beads, a portion of plasticine, a length of wool string, one dish-washing sponge, one metal key-holder ring and ten popsicle sticks. 


The materials and apparatus provided are simple, economical and disposable items. Since this is a competition, be prepared to be flexible in your innovation because some of the items listed may be removed or replaced. New ones may also be added on. You are not allowed to bring in any materials or apparatus of your own. On the day of the competition, only the top 10 teams from each category in the Multiple Choice Question Challenge will be eligible to participate. They will be given ONE hour to build their model in the hands-on challenge.

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