A love for science

  • Education
  • Sunday, 05 Jul 2015

Off they go: The Elastic Band Car Race saw teams designing and building an elastic car that could literally go the distance.

AN international school in Petaling Jaya hosted over 300 future scientists in the making at the SIS Science Games Day.

The event organised by Sunway International School (SIS) saw the 14- to 17-year-old participants competing in a series of science-based games in a bid to win the SIS Science Games Day trophy.

The participants competed in teams to complete multi-event science assignments leading up to the actual Science Games Day. 

On the actual competition day, teams were judged on their constructed projects. They could also earn extra points through a Mystery Box Build competition and Einstein’s Challenge, which is an online live response quiz testing students on topics from Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Space.

Themed Collaborate, Construct, Compete, the Science Games Day aimed to encourage a passion for science by creating interactive and experiential science-based competitions.

The event was the brainchild of SIS Technology Coach Evan Long as well as mathematics and science teachers Oliver Lietz and Terry Reich from Sunway College’s Canadian International Matriculation Programme.

Teachers and staff from both SIS and Sunway College were out in full force volunteering their efforts and support.

The games kicked off with a keynote address by aspiring female Malaysian astronaut Roshini Muniam. The crowd then rotated between the first three challenges.

In the Water Bottle Rocket Challenge, teams deliberated over the appropriate amount of water to use and the angle to launch their single-stage designed soda-bottle ‘rockets’ to travel the furthest horizontal distance.

They had initially been given time to research, design and test their rockets prior to the competition.

Contestants watched attentively as the distances travelled by the rocket were measured, and kept a closer watch over the performance their rivals achieved.

The Elastic Band Car Race saw teams designing and building an elastic car that could literally go the distance.

Team Lovely Rose Chen from SMJK Katholik Petaling Jaya set the record for the furthest distance covered, at a whopping 27.5 metres.

In the Mystery Box Build Challenge, the teams opened the mystery box to find their challenge instructions and building materials, and had only 40 minutes to construct their device.

The challenge did not end there, as the teams had to transport and test their contraptions without breaking their cargo.

In the final Einstein’s Challenge, the teams tried their best to answer as many science-based questions as fast and accurately as possible to gain the most points.

Long, the games organiser, found a way to unite his two passions in this challenge, by administering the questions and scoring via online programme Kahoot! and testing the students’ technology prowess by using a web-enabled device, either their mobile phones, tablets or laptops.

“We wanted to design the games to include as many different challenges as possible to bring in concepts from all aspects of science in a direct, hands-on way,” said Long.

“At the same time, challenges like the Mystery Box will get students to think on their feet, work under pressure and learn to work together for success.”

The day concluded with the award ceremony, with Pay Fong Middle School taking the top spot, followed by Sri Emas International School in second place and Sirius Scholar Study Skills in third place.

The champions were also rewarded with four all-access complimentary tickets worth RM600 to Sunway Lagoon amusement park, while the rest received cash prizes.

The SIS Science Games Day recorded participation from over 30 local and international schools, which reflected the growing interest among students to learn and be involved in science and technology.

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