STUDENTS from Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur made their school proud when they won the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) - Chevron Phillips Chemical Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Chevron Phillips Chemical) Young Sustainability Innovators Awards 2015 for their string made from PET (polyethylene terephtalate) bottles.
The students’ idea was to demonstrate the recyclability of PET bottles. The PET strings are more durable and sturdier than the typical raffia strings.
One of the criteria for students to develop their innovation was to use items made from plastics recyclables.
Each invention was to be made of approximately 70% plastics.
The award ceremony was the results of three months of effort undertaken by participating students in the competition.
Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur principal Chia Loy Tian said she was happy that the school had been given the oppportunity to take part in the competition as it had given students the opportunity to hone their talents and creativity.
“The school had previously taken part in engineering competitions. But this is the first effort where students were tested on how they could reuse waste products in a creative manner by providing solutions to everyday problems,” she said.
The competition was organised by MPMA and Chevron Phillips Chemical and open to all students’ clubs over a three-month period.
Students were required to form groups of not more than five students with a mix of lower and upper secondary individuals.
The organisers invited Bugs Tan from Uncle Bugs Creation Sdn Bhd to help students understand the approach to creative thinking.
A Facebook page was also set up to help and provide useful ideas and tips.
Thirty four groups initially presented their innovations during the first round of judging by the school’s teachers.
A further 15 innovations were then shortlisted and scrutinised by a panel of industry experts including MPMA, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Halo & Syn Sdn Bhd, a product design company.
Students’ creations were judged based on the boldness and originality of their design, impact on meeting environmental objectives, importance and relevance to social needs and presentation.
The winning group won RM5,000 while the second prize was RM3,500 and third prize RM2,000.
The remaining finalist groups were each awarded RM500.
Chevron Phillips Chemical director Robert Chng said the company was always seeking ways to work with schools to promote science and engineering among students in order to develop tomorrow’s workforce.
MPMA president Datuk Lim Kok Boon said this was the second effort between the association, Chevron Phillips Chemical and the school.
“Our first effort was to create awareness on anti-littering, the 3Rs and sustainability.
“This second effort was to challenge students to be creative and innovative.
“They also had to think of ways to use recyclable materials to create innovative products,” he said.