‘Space explorers’ shine at STEM

SOME 87 students recently took home attractive prizes comprising laptops, gadgets and digital products after being named winners at the inaugural science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competition hosted by Maxis nationwide.

Named Misi Jelajah Digital, the competition, launched in September last year for students aged 10 to 17, was part of eKelas, a flagship community outreach programme of Maxis.

It aimed to foster critical thinking among students and encourage them to innovate through coding, creative and design thinking skills, which are increasingly becoming new commodities in the digital future.

The campaign attracted nearly 5,000 new registrations to eKelas within three months. Those who registered received Physical Activity, Sports and Co-curriculum Assessment credits.

The submissions by the students for the two challenge pillars, Misi Bumi and Misi Marikh, drew positive feedback from the judges, according to a press release dated April 15.

It added that by coding their obstacle courses, spaceships and human colonies on Mars, as well as providing clear explanations on spaceship components and the basic needs for Mars colonisation, the students demonstrated a flair for creativity in their designs and solid understanding of the subject matter.

During the competition, the young challengers received all-round support with the provision of learning modules, demonstrations, and a sharing session with STEM experts, including Emerita Prof Tan Sri Dr Mazlan Othman, Malaysia’s first astrophysicist and United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs former director, who gave a special talk and officiated the launch of the competition.

SM Teknik Melaka Form Four student Arif Iskandar, who is one of the four grand prize winners of the competition, said what was most fun about the challenge was that it enabled him to create houses, townships and islands based on Malay culture.

eKelas Mathematics teacher Kamarul Rodzmier said the challenge called for students to apply theoretical STEM knowledge which they had learnt in school to a simulation of real life in the world of Roblox.

“These skills are relevant in line with the progress the country is making in STEM fields,” he said.

Misi Jelajah Digital was organised in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) #mydigitalmaker and Lenovo Malaysia.

Approved and supported by the Educational Resources and Technology Division (BSTP), the Sports, Arts and Co-curriculum Division (BSKK), and the State Education Department under the Education Ministry, the competition was conducted in accordance with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards.

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