Maktab Sabah and La Salle secure top spots in invention contest

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 23 Mar 2019

Memorable outing: The winners and judges at the Shell #MyGeek-a-thon prize giving ceremony in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Students from SM Maktab Sabah and SMK La Salle in Sabah emerged as the champion and second place winners respectively in oil and gas company Shell’s #MyGeek-a-thon competition.

Competitors from the two secondary schools have earned a place in the national-level invention competition that focuses on sustainable living systems with their “Smart Street Light” and “Fueler X” creations respectively.

SM Maktab Sabah team members Andry Lin Haslan, Sharon Vianne Lazarus F and Mohamad Syari’ifuddin ‘Irfan Muhamad Riza beat all other contenders from the state with their invention.

Their innovation allows the streetlight to turn on and off automatically when it detects vehicles or other moving objects – humans and animals included, on the street.

The students said the use of infra-red sensors in the invention creates a system that can save electricity.

“We were shocked when we were announced as the winners. We attribute our win to our passion, efforts and most importantly, teamwork,” they said.

“We are very inspired by our learnings in #MyGeekMovement and want to use the knowledge gained in this programme to solve problems of sustainability,” the students said.

First runners up Ryan Anakin Chong Jia Wen, Elther Ethalbert and Ian Carter Hellyson from SMK La Salle said their invention, Fueler X is a fuel pump system that converts seawater into hydrogen through electrolysis, with the potential of replacing petrol as a source of fuel.Both schools will represent Sabah at the national #MyGeek-a-thon competition at the Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur on May 1.

Shell Malaysia selected five schools from Sabah to compete in its initiative to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) amongst secondary school students in Malaysia.

This year’s participating schools were SM St Michael of Penampang, SM All Saints, SMK La Salle and SM Maktab Sabah from the Kota Kinabalu district and SM Sung Siew from the Sandakan district.

Sabah Shell Petroleum Company general manager Prithipal Singh said today’s young generation are naturally tech-savvy.

“Our goal is to further nurture their interest towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics, where the application of innovative and critical thinking is crucial,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“We aim to equip our students with the relevant skills and tools to steer them towards becoming future engineers and innovators,” he said.

In August 2017, Shell Malaysia introduced its STEM immersion programme called the #MyGeekMovement in line with the government’s call to achieve a 60:40 ratio in the science and arts streams in high schools to meet Malaysia’s future human capital needs.#MyGeekMovement provides learning content that complements the existing school co-curricular structure with a long-term goal to increase the number of students opting for the science stream, while boosting interest in science and technology amongst the younger generation.

For more information on Shell’s #MyGeek­Movement, visit

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