Aiming for victory

Towards greater heights: (from left) Ahrayn, Siti Noor Halijah, Threessha and Zhi Heng will now contend for the coveted overall ‘Best in World’ award.

Students to represent region at global Cambridge science challenge

A TEAM of students from Victoria International School, Malaysia, was named the “Best in South-East Asia & Pacific” at the prestigious Cambridge Upper Secondary Science Competition 2023.

Their winning entry – submitted by team members Ahrayn Jordan, Siti Noor Halijah Md Moslem, Threessha Uganathan and Yap Zhi Heng – was titled “Comparison of Different Methods of Purification of Water from Lakeside”. It addressed the global challenge of providing safe drinking water to communities by determining the most effective way of purifying water from a lakeside source.

The team investigated the effectiveness of several water purification methods and the cost of widespread adoption of each method for real-world application.

The students said they were proud to win the award and appreciated Cambridge International’s recognition of their collective effort.

They also expressed their gratitude to their parents and teachers for their invaluable guidance and unwavering support, as well as to their teammates for the camaraderie shown throughout the contest.

The competition, which attracted 151 participating teams from around the world, offered an opportunity for learners to develop their passion for science and practical skills that complemented their academic studies.

Students studying for the Cambridge IGCSEs and the Cambridge O-Levels worked in small teams to conduct their own scientific investigation, with schools submitting their strongest entries to Cambridge International for evaluation.

In line with promoting sustainability, this year’s competition challenged students to consider sustainability in their planning and to investigate a topic of practical relevance to their school or community with the aim of assisting students to establish a connection between science and resolving real-world problems.

The winning team, along with other “Best in Region” awardees from across the globe, will now contend for the coveted overall “Best in World” award, which will be announced in December.

Cambridge International (Qualifications Development & Support) deputy director Carolyn Tiller commended the team for their remarkable achievement.

She congratulated the students on their scientific skills and research, and the teachers who supported them.

“We asked students to think about sustainability and the environment in their investigations, and the winning students from Victoria International School embraced the challenge.

“I hope this competition has helped them to see how they can apply their learnings in real life and inspire them to consider a science career,” she said in a press release dated July 11.

The expert judging panel included Dr Helen Eccles and Dr Elaine Wilson from the University of Cambridge; Dr Claire Malone, STEM lead at the Lightyear Foundation; Prof Chris Huang from the University of Cambridge; and Dr Lucia Garcia Lecuona, a former Cambridge International student, now at AstraZeneca.

The panel said, “We were delighted to see many excellent, thoughtful and well-executed science investigations. In particular, it was gratifying to see the wide range of topics chosen by the teams and the motivation behind these – most of them based on local issues with a wider sustainability impact.”

The second entry period for the Cambridge Upper Secondary Science Competition is scheduled to take place from now to October.

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