KUALA LUMPUR: For a student with a passion for science, winning a gold medal at an international competition can be one of the best memories of a school life.
The alternative fertiliser project by Royal Military College Form Five student Damien Chong Hao Xuan, 17, has won him a gold medal in the Environmental Science category at the 23rd International Conference of Young Scientists.
Chong was a member of the Malaysian delegation at the conference in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, from April 16 to 22, which saw some 30 countries taking part.
Chong said he was ecstatic when he heard the result and was surprised by the positive feedback from the judges.
“They stated that it was really well thought through and beneficial to the environment. They told us that the presentation was good and it caught their attention,” he said.
The International Conference of Young Scientists, an annual science competition for secondary school students no older than 20 years of age, is usually hosted in Central or Eastern Europe.
The project, which took about a year to conceptualise, develop and test, uses beneficial micro-organisms and household products to create a fertiliser that is less harmful to the soil than conventional fertiliser.
Chong said he was inspired by the fact that the agriculture industry was very important to Malaysia and that the constant use of chemicals would cause the soil quality to drop.
“That’s a problem that Malaysia is facing.
“So, I just took the idea and made it into something that could help,” said Chong, whose ambition is to be a doctor.
The delegation was sponsored by Bank Negara and supported by Pusat Permata Pintar Negara.