Rural school lights the way

Brilliance in the dark: The EcoBright solar lamp lighting up the bridge at Kampung Pamol.

KOTA KINABALU: A rural school in Sabah has won the judges’ hearts in an innovation competition with its solar lamp that could help thousands of people living in interior areas.

Five students from SMK Pamol, a school located in Sapi Nangoh, about 250km from here, came up with the idea of the EcoBright solar lamp (ESL) after seeing the problem of irregular electricity supply in interior areas.

The students – Shymelysney Mooney, Susanna Qwek San San, Siti Rafbiyatul Adawiyah Josmin, Margarcesybell Safrese and Muhammad Roufieq Romena Nasir – took home the gold award in the environmental innovation category in the InoBorneo2023 competition.

The event was organised by the Tawau Institute of Teacher Education (IPG) campus and the Semporna district Education Ministry last month.

School principal Sanaleh Daud said the students would now represent Malaysia at the Asia Pacific Conference Young Scientists (APCYS) 2023 in Hermosillo, Mexico.

The international competition will be held virtually. “It’s a proud moment for the school,” Sanaleh said in a statement.

He said the ESL was made from recycled plastic bottles based on the 3R concept (reduce, reuse and recycle) and utilised solar power to produce electricity.

“The objective of this invention is to help people in interior areas who have problem getting electricity supply.

“Besides that, it can also contribute towards minimising the effects of global warming in the country through the use of solar power,” he added.

Sanaleh said a prototype of the ESL had been used to light up a bridge in Kampung Pamol as well as the main entrance of SMK Pamol.

“The school is also planning to use the ESL as decoration lamps at the main entrance soon,” he said.

He said the InoBorneo 2023 competition saw 152 entrants.

“We took on the challenge despite being a rural school where the nearest town, Beluran, is 106km away,” he said.

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