PUTRAJAYA: One may think that Victoria Institution students Mohd Faeiz Yusop, Loh Zixiang and Tan Kin Wai would all be harbouring hopes of becoming renowned scientists one day.
After all, the 17-year-olds did clinch the National Science Quiz award, besting students from three other schools to the grand prize of a trophy, RM2,000, and a trip to Denmark and to Sweden to attend the Nobel prize presentation.
However, only Zixiang seems to be interested in taking up a career in research chemistry. The other two have set their sights on medicine.
“I hope to meet the Nobel laureates during my trip and ask them maybe on their experiments and what kind of work they have to put in to win such a prestigious prize. I want to get their autographs as well,” said the visibly excited Zixiang, who sat for his SPM exam recently.
“This trip will certainly be an eye-opener and inspiring for me. I find chemistry, especially in the area of research, to be extremely interesting.”
Mohd Faeiz, who aims to be a cardiologist, said they began preparing for the quiz since March.
“We would surf the Internet constantly to get ourselves updated on the most recent topics on science and technology. We would even highlight any article we came across in the main newspapers.
“We focused on our frequent discussions on our syllabus and also subjects like astronomy and on the Nobel prize, thinking that these would be favourites with the judges,” said Mohd Faeiz, who thanked teachers at his school for guiding them through the quiz.
The trio would be leaving for Stockholm on Dec 4 and would be joined by their teacher Darlilah Daraman.
The group would be led by Space Science Studies Division director-general Prof Datuk Mazlan Othman of the Science, Technology and Environment Ministry.
The 10-day trip is sponsored by Novozymes Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
Deputy Minister Datuk Zainal Dahalan, who was at an award ceremony to honour the three winners here yesterday, said the Government hoped to attract some 500,000 visitors to the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition scheduled to be held at the National Science Centre next year.
He said he hoped that the exhibition, which would be held from March 20 to June 27, would be able to inspire Malaysians, particularly students, to take up careers in science and technology.
“We want to achieve the target of drawing some 300,000 students to visit the exhibition.
“For this purpose, we will extend the opening hours of the centre until even 9pm on Saturdays and 6pm on Sundays to make it easier for families to visit the exhibition,” said Zainal.
“The centre is usually closed on Fridays for maintenance work. However, during this period, it will remain open from 9am until 5pm. On other weekdays, the centre will only close at 7pm.”
The exhibition, which is modelled after one currently on show at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, is being held in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the award in 2001.
Malaysia would become the first country in South-East Asia and the third in Asia after Japan and South Korea to host the prestigious Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition.