Dream come true for young rocketman flying high

Youngest rocketeer: Muhammad Khawarizmi (centre) hard at work on his dream project. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Young rocketeer Muhammad Khawarizmi Muhammad Kamalrul Zaman, 13, is living proof that creative thinkers produce their best work when they are young.

The Form One student of SMK Dato’ Syed Omar in Alor Setar started creating and designing his own model rocket using solid fuel when he was just a nine-year-old.

He used online computer-aided design (CAD) software to create a phone application to control the launch and movement of the rocket.

Sharing his experience, Muhammad Khawarizmi said the CAD software is used with a 3D printer to print the model rocket before it is tested and launched with the use of fuel.

“I would design and sketch the rocket structure in 2D format and transfer it to the CAD software before printing it out as a model rocket.

The story of the eldest of three siblings took the media spotlight when his video, using the software to produce the rocket in 3D format, went viral on social media in 2020 after it was uploaded on YouTube.

The slightly over two-minute clip earned him the coveted title of “Malaysia’s Youngest Rocketeer” reported Bernama.

His father, Muhamad Kamalrul Zaman Zainol, plays a key role in shaping the life of this young inventor. The 38-year-old assistant science officer at the Kedah Chemistry Department branch said at the age of 10, his son was able to use the software to produce his own rocket while he only assisted in the use of fuel and safety aspects of handling the rocket in the final phase before its launch.

Muhammad Khawarizmi also maximised the movement control order (MCO) period in 2020 to create an online rocket launch game.

“After producing the rocket, we thought of transferring the rocket launch into animation and online gaming.

“At the end of 2020, I started to focus on game development, coding, programming, and building applications that can control the rocket launch by using the telephone and wireless system,” he added.

The father-and-son team also succeeded in creating a telephone application, especially for parents to control their children’s computer usage via offline means.

“In this application, parents can fully control their children’s screen time, their access to Internet content, as well as data on websites accessed by their children based on history,” he added.

According to Muhamad Kamalrul Zaman, as a father to three boys aged between eight and 13, he has always encouraged them to engage in various STEM activities, such as robotic contests, science exhibitions, and workshops in school and at the national level.

Among other achievements, Muhammad Khawarizmi has been awarded the STEM Kid Icon in conjunction with the Malaysia Techlympics 2021 programme launch at Technology Park Malaysia.

“We are also participating in the Malaysia Techlympics 2022 and plan to introduce our rocket innovation which was developed three years ago,” he said, adding that parents should encourage their children to focus on STEM subjects for their long-term survival.

“During my childhood in the 90s, I derived satisfaction from creating products out of used materials that were available in the village and continued to pursue my interest till my adult years.

“Since they were young, my children were exposed to innovative activities. They were given the responsibility of solving matters related to programming. I also took them on visits to the Planetarium and the National Science Centre and encouraged them to participate in exhibitions and STEM workshops.

“All these had proven fruitful as my children share a similar journey that I went through when I was a child,” he added.

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