Tenom students’ ‘Wing-ed School Bus’ wins top prize


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 30 Nov 2019

The winning project: (From left) Mark, Niea and Valerie presenting their prototype on stage during the final round. — Pic courtesy of Yayasan Sime Darby.

KOTA KINABALU: Three students from a school in Tenom district were crowned champions in the Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge 2019 national finals for their school bus safety system.

SMK Kemabong’s Mark Greatingan M. Shapi, Niea Suelea Peturus and Valerie Estelle Nicolas, all aged 16, beat 14 other prototypes created by teams from secondary schools across 10 states.

The team named their prototype “Wing-ed School Bus”, which aims to ensure the safety of schoolchildren when crossing roads after they disembark from buses. It also aims to educate other road users about pedestrian safety at locations where school buses make stops.

The invention is aimed at reducing accidents and fatalities involving schoolchildren who disembark from buses, said Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) in a statement.

Participating teams were required to produce workable prototypes that would address issues faced by the community through the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technology such as sensors, software and electronics.

The team won a Yayasan Sime Darby innovation grant up to RM50,000 to develop their prototype into a viable solution for the community, and prizes worth up to RM4,000.

YSD governing council member Datin Paduka Zaitoon Othman, YSD chief executive officer Dr Yatela Zainal Abidin, Sime Darby Motors Head of Corporate Affairs Datuk Aishah Shaikh Ahmad and Yayasan Chow Kit co-founder Dr Hartini Zainudin were present to hand over the prizes.

“This year, we put the spotlight on our everyday heroes – the school bus and commercial lorry drivers, fishermen, nurses and security guards, among others – and focus on bringing them solutions to make their demanding jobs a little easier.

“The fourth edition of the SDYIC this year aimed to create empathy-driven innovations which would solve some of their challenges. We believe it will be able to solve the basic issues of the communities, which pave the way for solutions at the national level, ” said Yatela.

This year, 785 teams comprising 2,283 students from 300 schools participated in state-level Young Innovators Challenge competitions nationwide.

It also involved training 250 school teachers and 200 undergraduates from 14 universities to mentors the participants.

A team from SMK Merbau, Miri, which developed a system to ensure parking spots for drivers with disabilities, got second place while a team from Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, Johor Baru, which developed a prototype called “Techno IV” sensor to help nurses prevent medical complications in patient wards, won third place.

The announcement of the winners was made during a ceremony on Nov 20 in Kuala Lumpur.

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