KUALA LUMPUR: “Mind-blowingly magnificent” – that was how Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan described the skills and talent he saw at the RHB-The Star Mighty Minds Challenge 2015 grand finals.
“The amount of work and research done, the way the questions were answered, the teamwork among the participants and what the students knew of financial management was amazing,” he said.
Now in its seventh year, the competition is jointly organised by Star Media Group Berhad (formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad) and RHB Banking Group.
Students in the lower secondary category had to design a model based on the theme “RHB Land – a banking-themed adventure park as an interactive platform to teach young Malaysians about financial planning and investment”.
Those in the upper secondary category had to create an innovative application that would engage an aging population in an increasingly digital financial world.
Teams in both categories were given the use of Microsoft Surface 3 tablets to prepare their presentations.
The national champions for the upper secondary category was SMJK Sam Tet, Ipoh, Perak. The team, which finished second in the lower secondary category last year, created an application that would enable the elderly to pay their bills online without having to use the keyboard via QR codes.
Team leader Foo Yu Cheng said the competition brought the team together.
“I’m really thankful to my teammates. We would not have made it if we did not stand by each other.”
The team leader for Johor’s SMK St Andrew, Melvin Ng, said the competition was tough.
“Being students, we don’t think much about banking. We had to do a lot of Internet research,” he said, adding that having to complete their presentation in three minutes was tough.
St Andrew won the lower secondary category.
RHB Banking Group group chief governance officer Norazzah Sulaiman said: “This is the first year we introduced digital innovation to test the students’ business acumen and knowledge and the outcome was beyond what we expected.
“The app creations made sense of what is required of finance and services, which is often complex. And it was unexpected to learn how those who built the playground likened taking risks to roller coasters!”
“We note that the competition has developed their communication and thinking skills, and we hope that this will help to prepare them for life after school,” said Star Media Group Bhd group chief operating officer Calvin Kan.
The champions from each category won RM10,000. Second place in the lower secondary category went to SMK Chung Ling from Penang, followed by SMK St Paul from Negri Sembilan in third. The fourth spot went to SMK Methodist (L) KL of Kuala Lumpur while Maktab Nasional from Sabah was fifth.
In the upper secondary category, MRSM Alor Gajah in Malacca took the second prize, while SMK Chung Ling in Penang was third. SMK Taman Yarl in Kuala Lumpur took the fourth spot and SMK Sultan Abu Bakar from Pahang fifth.
The champions for each category took home RM10,000 per team, followed by RM5,000 for second, RM4,000 for third, RM3,000 for fourth and RM1,500 for fifth placing.
For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thestar.com.my/mightyminds. See full report in StarEducate next Sunday.
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