Life-saving flood alert system wins top prize for Penampang school at invention competition

(From left) Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd general manager Prithipal Singh with Waverly Rhys Tann, Charlize Hope Ensingan Garai and Ahuvia Rinai Clerance from Team Lovelies.

KOTA KINABALU: A life-saving flood alert system invented by students of SM St Michael notched the school the top position in the Shell NXplorers Sabah competition.

Team Lovelies from SM St Michael, a school in the flood-prone Penampang district near here, invented the alert system, called Wiver, which keeps residents aware of increasing water levels in nearby monsoon drains or rivers.

The system is equipped with a siren, LED lights and a mobile app notification with three levels of warning to ensure residents are able to take proactive measures to safeguard their family and property.

Team Lovelies’ inventors consisted of Charlize Hope Ensingan Garai, Ahuvia Rinai Clerance and Waverly Rhys Tann.

“We are truly thankful to have won the state challenge,” they said, in a statement.

“And we want to thank Shell for providing us with a platform to learn about the integration of thinking, problem solving, planning and most importantly, practicing the Theory of Change in helping address sustainability-related issues.

“We look forward to participating in the national challenge and hope to make our state proud,” they added.

Meanwhile, Team Zxuara, comprising Ryan Ng Jun Lei, Aisha Loh Xiau Wei and Azana Asha Nordin, from SM All Saints, emerged the first runner-up.

Their invention, called Smart H2O, is an intelligent watering system that has the ability to detect humidity and temperature in the environment.

Equipped with a sensor to detect soil moisture, the solution also waters plants automatically which helps enhance the growth of plants and prevents them from dehydrating.

Both these schools will represent Sabah at the national Shell NXplorers Malaysia challenge, which will take place in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 30.

The Shell NXplorers is Shell’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related competition which challenges school students to work in teams to design and develop solutions to real-world problems within the nexus of food-water-energy.

Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd general manager Prithipal Singh was impressed with the level of ingenuity shown by the students.

“Today’s young generation is naturally tech-savvy. We aim to further cultivate this generation and grow them towards becoming thinkers, innovators and problem solvers who can lead the world towards a cleaner and more sustainable path.

“We all need to play a part in nurturing our young talent and equipping them with the needed tools and skills towards becoming the next group of dynamic leaders,” he said.

Nine schools competed in the competition this year - SMK Badin, SMK St Joseph, SM La Salle, SM Sung Siew, SMK Pekan Telipok, SMK St John (M) and SMK Bandaraya KK besides SM St Michael and SM All Saints.

With support from the Education Ministry, Shell NXplorers Malaysia worked with more than 1,000 secondary school students from 26 schools across Malaysia.

These students were given the opportunity to gain hands-on STEM learning, with a focus on technology.

In Sabah, 700 students were selected, while peer-to-peer coaching was also implemented to share the knowledge with the larger student community of about 12,000 students from all participating schools in Sabah.

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