Archive for the ‘Creative and Innovative Education’ Category

Scarcity makes for creativity

Monday, November 6th, 2017
Computer games ‘help’ us play and imagine. Someone else is designing our world for us, creating our games for us, and we don’t have to think. FILE PIC

ALONG, long time ago, a wise man once told me: “Last time, we didn’t have much technology, but we had a lot of creativity. Now, we have a lot of technology, but we don’t have much creativity.”

It was the early 1990s, he was a music producer and he was referring to the art of music production.

He was lamenting how The Beatles in the 1960s could achieve so much innovation using only rudimentary four-track recording machines and basic recording gear and how the industry had evolved to having a lot of technology and awesome digital gear but not much musical innovation.

Would The Beatles’ stunning albums like Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band be as innovative if John, Paul, George and Ringo had access to unlimited tracks and modern recording equipment and gear?

Producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick had to work with what they had.

But, with the scarcity of resources, they had no choice but to experiment, to try and keep up with the imaginative minds of the band members, and they produced the sonic masterpieces you hear today.

But, this is not just limited to music production.

The Viet Cong, armed with limited artillery and firepower compared with the Americans, figured out innovative ways to fight their more illustrious and way more well-equipped foe.

They lived in underground tunnels, even digging all the way to below an American base for added safety.

They made traps using leftover American bomb shrapnel.

The Americans had the military might. They didn’t have to think. Or, maybe that was the reason why they found it so hard to fight in Vietnam. They didn’t have to think. They were not pushed to think.

However, the Viet Cong had to be innovative. They had no other way. They HAD to think.

Scarcity breeds innovation.

Malcolm Gladwell puts forth this idea in his popular book, David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits And The Art Of Battling Giants .

He argues that a person with limited resources would be forced to be more creative than someone who had a lot of resources.

Gladwell mentioned a fact — that many successful people have dyslexia — and argued that this disability was a GOOD thing as it forced them to master other skills like developing high-level listening skills or strong memory that eventually helped them to be successful in life.

He said David, by popular notion, wasn’t expected to win his battle with Goliath.

But, because he was an underdog, and had to be more creative and clever, actually he SHOULD be expected to win.

Maybe by giving someone a disadvantage, we are helping him to win.

By giving someone a lot of resources, we are helping him to lose

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is an oft-said phrase.

I think it should be reworded to scarcity being the mother of invention.

Which brings me to another thought. Our minds.

Last time when we had nothing but a stick to play with, it didn’t stop us from imagining the most awesome scenarios.

We turned our gardens into battlefields, and our beds into spaceships. We created our own games.

Now, we have supreme technology to “help” us play and imagine.

Someone else is designing our world for us, creating our games for us. We don’t have to think.

Now, we are exposed to a barrage of information and news, thanks to social media and the proliferation of resources where we can get information.

We have Wikipedia, we don’t have to research, someone else has done it for us, right or wrong.

With so much information coming our way, we don’t have time to go into details, or research what it is we are reading.

By Ahmad Izham Omar.

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Supporting schools to achieve success

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Teachers constantly review their plan of interventions.

The improvement in the students’ performance in the 2017 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) English language paper was celebrated by many, including schools, teachers, students, parents and of course the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The ministry has been tireless in its efforts to improve the standard of English language amongst students. The MoE is constantly planning and executing programmes to ensure that students excel further to become globally competitive as stated in the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025.

It has outlined several initiatives to help students improve their command of the language and one which is directly linked to student outcome is the English Language Enhancement Programme (Program Peningkatan Bahasa Inggeris di Sekolah), or more popularly known by its acronym PPKBIS, which was initiated in 2014.

PPKBIS aims to improve student outcomes through a systematic data-driven approach. It involves secondary School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC+) and English teachers who are teaching upper secondary classes. The impact of this programme is measured through students’ performance in the SPM English language paper. This programme will reach out to 204,000 students annually.

The success of this programme is attributed to the professional training provided by the English Language Training Centre (ELTC), Ministry of Education, to all the SISC+. These training sessions have covered topics such as differentiated teaching and learning, coaching and mentoring, and multiple thinking strategies that can help students excel in English language learning. The knowledge gained through these courses has assisted the SISC+ to impart effective and meaningful pedagogical techniques in teaching and learning to teachers.

SISC+ provide continuous support to English teachers in the districts under their purview. They plan workshops and activities to guide English teachers effectively. They also coach them on how to address the multi-level needs and varied competencies of the students. The workshops conducted as part of the training sessions provide models of good delivery and serve as a platform for SISC+ to exchange ideas and best practices.

An important component of PPKBIS is the School Support Plan (SSP) which started in 2015 and designed for Form Four teachers. It specifically targets the improvement of students’ writing skills, especially for those who will sit for the SPM examination. The teachers training sessions provide them the knowledge and skills on how interventions are designed to cater to the needs of students in a particular school. SSP also aims to develop reflective practitioners who are committed to students’ progressive development and improvement through responsive, student-centred pedagogy. Teachers are also trained to use various types of data to understand students’ learning gaps and design relevant intervention activities to overcome these gaps.

There are several pertinent stages in the School Support Plan. It begins with the process of identifying students’ weaknesses and their learning gaps through data analysis of the pre-test in the form of an essay. The findings guide the teachers to develop intervention strategies to address the gaps found in the students’ written work. The well-planned and thought-through interventions are then carried out in the classroom. The teachers are also involved in ongoing reflections after each intervention. They constantly review their plan of interventions for future actions. The significance of this continuous cycle is that it is repeated until the students’ learning needs and gaps are successfully addressed. The post-test of the same topic is evidence of the students’ improvement.

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Telling a story through animation

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Kyle Balda (second from right) receiving The BrandLaureate International Brand Personality Award during The One Academy’s Film Directing Masterclass. With him are (from left) Tatsun Hoi, Asia Pacific Brands Foundation president Dr KK Johan and APBF chairman Tan Sri Rainer Althoff.

DO you know the man behind favourite movies such as The Mask, Jumanji, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Toy Story 2, and Despicable Me? He is also known for co-directing the animated films The Lorax (2012), with Chris Renaud, and Minions (2015), with Pierre Coffin.

It is none other than Kyle Balda, the internationally renowned animator and film director.

Balda was recently in Kuala Lumpur to give a Masterclass on 3D Animation Film Directing, co-organised by The One Academy and The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas).

This highly anticipated Masterclass participants included local film directors, animators, practitioners and students.

When he first came to The One Academy in 2010, Balda was talking more specifically about 3D animation methodology and how to approach the subject. This time around, he covered a wider scope; including the importance of story, the creation of themes, visual development and storytelling, creation of caricatures and styles, story development, as well as the art and production design.

On the first day of the two-day Masterclass, Balda took the opportunity to interact with students more closely.

Before the event, he had compiled a series of questions from the students for a Q&A session. He spent time to get a sense of where the students are at in terms of their learning curve.

From the questions, the students gave him insights into the process they were dealing with in making their own film and doing their own shots. When sharing his journey, Balda said his penchant for animation was encouraged and nurtured by a mentor who was also an animator on Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

He said his mentor showed him the path into the animation industry and suggested schools that he should enrol in to train as an animator.

“Having a mentor really helped me. I had someone I could turn to for advice and I could get his expert feedback on my work,” Balda said.

Balda’s seminar garnered encouraging feedback from the many animation students.

Nicholas Patrick, 19, a second-year student in Digital Animation at The One Academy, said he learned something new in terms of animation workflow that he was not familiar with.

“Ideas can come from many rough ideas anywhere, at any time. That is the good thing about being an animator. We just need a pen and a paper to start scribbling our ideas before we transform them using the tools.

“So far, I have had my hands on 2D animation, so today’s seminar is an eye-opener for me to get insight on 3D animation,” said Patrick, who is from Indonesia.

For Hadeel Kharashi, 26, from Saudi Arabia, her interest in animation started from a young age. “There’s something about the animation series and characters that always caught my eye and I think this is what I would want to do as a career. I just love everything about it — from animation modelling, art, 2D and 3D animation.

“Balda is a famous animator and director, so being here and listening to his lectures is an experience of a lifetime,” said Hadeel, who is in her second year of Diploma in Digital Animation.

The second day of the Masterclass involved more intensive lectures about story, character and emotion. Balda stressed that these are the three aspects of a film that are the backbones to construct a compelling and successful movie.

“Story provides a structure that helps us to grasp the narrative, characters allow us to relate to the narrative, while emotions persuade us to engage with the narrative,” he said.

He also delved into acting, staging and editing that should complement all other aspects to create memorable and emotionally entertaining screen moments that will sweep the audience away.

“To be a good animator, you have to be an observer of life. A lot of what interest me as an animator is drawing and watching Disney films. An animator is an artist, and also an actor and storyteller.

“The biggest challenge nowadays is not just drawing, but also learning computer software and branching out to tell stories and character performances,” he said.

As a talented and experienced industry animator, he enhanced his teachings with his insights and other great references that benefit young students in terms of practical skills and knowledge.

“Animation can be very simple, entertaining and yet has a heart to it.

“One of the best things about a coaching experience is the connection you get together with other students, from the thought that somebody who is beside you lives and breathes animation like you do, and to be able to get feedback on the work you do from an industry mentor,” he added.

The One Academy is committed to its “Masters Train Masters” teaching philosophy whereby industry experts from all over the world are invited to teach students their ways and approaches as practised in the industry.

“I definitely love coming to The One Academy to teach. There’s a real dedication to quality when it comes to the education here. The One Academy is famous for bringing in people like Andrew Gordon, Matthew Luhn and other professionals from North America who have worked in Hollywood,” said Balda, who is also a Bafta nominated feature animation director.

Like many other talented creatives, Balda studied traditional animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

He spent more than 20 years working with different animation giants such as Industrial Light & Magic, Weta Digital, Pixar and is currently at Illumination Entertainment.

Following a number of years conducting 3D animation Masterclasses at renowned European and Asian film schools and directing short form animation projects, Balda returned to feature production in Paris as the head of layout for Illumination’s Despicable Me followed by co-directing The Lorax.

by Zulita Mustafa .

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Special Education Students Reap Success In Crayfish Farming Project .

Friday, April 14th, 2017

BAGAN SERAI, April 12 (Bernama) — A group of pupils under the Special Education Integration Programme (PPKI) in Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Alor Pongsu here have succeeded in breeding crayfish in an aquaculture project.

The project carried out at the rear of the school began two years ago, with support from 10 teachers and four student assistants.

Project coordinator, Sharul Azlan Sungit, 35, said the group of 34 special students had since enjoyed good earnings after three consecutive harvests.

“In the implementation of the project, the PPKI pupils were given an opportunity to adapt to the environment, as well as the value of entrepreneurship.

“They were indirectly, given education on science, mathematics and living skills in preparation for their adult days,” he said when met here today.

According to Sharul Azlan, the idea of breeding crayfish was aimed at being a teaching and learning process for the special students.

“The school has decided to go into the farming of Quadricarinatus species of crayfish (Red-Claw) from Australia as the breeding process is easier,” he said.

He said the school began with a capital of RM1,200 to implement the project, apart from additional contributions collected from every teacher and the school canteen operator.

“With the initial capital, we provided a canvass pond and 20 crayfish for seeding.

“With the tremendous efforts of the special students, teachers and support from other parties, the project now has five aquariums and three ponds, including a cement pond, after two years,” added Sharul Azlan.

He noted the ponds could accommodate at least 2,000 crayfish fries in each farming cycle which took between six to eight months.

“Breeding crayfish is not too difficult as we only need to provide suitable feeds, apart from managing the water temperature to ensure the ponds are not too hot.

“Crayfish eat green plants in the ponds which I personally grow, and pellets. However, they should not be overfed as it produces ammonia.”

Sharul Azlan said crayfish fries were sold according to their size. Those between one and two inches cost RM1.50 a piece while fries of two to three inches are priced at RM2.50 each.

by Ani Awang

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Here come the robots; your job is at risk.

Monday, March 13th, 2017

The new automation revolution is going to disrupt both industry and services, and developing countries need to rethink their development strategies.

A NEWS item caught my eye last week, that Uber has obtained permission in California to test two driverless cars, with human drivers inside to make corrections in case something goes wrong.

Presumably, if the tests go well, Uber will roll out a fleet of cars without drivers in that state. It is already doing that in other states in America.

In Malaysia, some cars can already do automatic parking. Is it a matter of time before Uber, taxis and personal vehicles will all be smart enough to bring us from A to B without our having to do anything ourselves?

But in this application of “artificial intelligence”, in which machines can have human cognitive functions built into them, what will happen to the taxi drivers? The owners of taxis and Uber may make more money but their drivers will most likely lose their jobs.

The driverless car is just one example of the technological revolution taking place that is going to drastically transform the world of work and living.

There is concern that the march of automation tied with digital technology will cause dislocation in many factories and offices, and eventually lead to mass unemployment.

This concern is becoming so pervasive that none other than Bill Gates recently proposed that companies using robots should have to pay taxes on the incomes attributed to the use of robotics, similar to the income tax that employees have to pay.

That proposal has caused an uproar, with mainstream economists like Lawrence Summers, a former United States treasury secretary, condemning it for putting brakes on technological advancement. One of them suggested that the first company to pay taxes for causing automation should be Microsoft.

However, the tax on robots idea is one response to growing fears that the automation revolution will cause uncontrollable disruption and increase the inequalities and job insecurities that have already spurred social and political upheaval in the West, leading to the anti-establishment votes for Brexit and Donald Trump.

Recent studies are showing that deepening use of automation will cause widespread disruption in many sectors and even whole economies. Worse, it is the developing countries that are estimated to lose the most, and this will exacerbate the already great global inequalities.

The risks of job automation to developing countries is estimated to range from 55 to 85%, according to a pioneering study in 2016 by Oxford University’s Martin School and Citi.

Major emerging economies will be at high risk, including China (77%) and India (69%). The risk for Malaysia is estimated at 65-70%. The developed OECD countries’ average risk is only 57%.

From the Oxford-Citi report, “The future is not what it used to be”, one gathers there are at least three reasons why the automation revolution will be particularly disruptive in developing countries.

First, there is “premature deindustrialisation” taking place as manufacturing is becoming less labour-intensive and many developing countries have reached the peak of their manufacturing jobs.

Second, recent developments in robotics and additive manufacturing will enable and could thus lead to relocation of foreign firms back to their home countries.

Seventy per cent of clients surveyed believe automation and 3D printing developments will encourage international companies to move their manufacturing close to home. China, Asean and Latin America have the most to lose from this relocation.

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Branson: Get out of your comfort zone.

Monday, March 13th, 2017

PETALING JAYA: From his record-breaking hot air balloon feats across the Pacific to donning an air stewardess’ uniform, there seems to be nothing daunting that Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson wouldn’t do.

This included leaving school at 16 to start a magazine Student, his first business.

On his last day of school, his headmaster had told Branson, who has dyslexia and was a poor student, that he would “either end up in prison or become a millionaire”.

Today, he is said to be worth US$5.2bil (RM23.15bil) with the Vir­gin Group controlling over 400 companies, including airlines, music labels and a space travel venture.

In an interview, the British magnate said he owed a great deal to his parents, who had always seen his passion and given him the courage to stand by his decisions, be it right or wrong.

“I was not a great student and though I did not focus on academic subjects, I always had big dreams and ambitions … I liked challenges in life and have always pushed myself out of my comfort zone.

“You can make what people believe is impossible possible if you set big enough targets,” he said.

However, Branson puts the success of his first business down to “a stroke of pure luck”, having found out much earlier that banks were not lending to enthusiastic teenage entrepreneurs and that it was almost impossible to secure funding for his ideas.

“My mother found a lost bracelet and when no one claimed it, this was returned to her. She sold it and loaned me the money for the Student magazine.

“If it wasn’t for that moment of chance, I might not be where I am today,” said Branson, who now passionately runs a non-profit Virgin StartUp that helps give new entrepreneurs the best possible opportunity at starting out.

“I’ve always said that the key to success is happiness. If you’re not happy in what you’re doing, move on,” he said.

Far from letting dyslexia get in the way of what he is doing, Branson has achieved a lot, including playing cameos in Hollywood blockbusters Super­man Returns and Casino Royale.

He has learnt to use his reading disabi­lity to his advantage.

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School Co-ops Should Venture Into High-impact Business – Angkasa

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 18 (Bernama) — School cooperatives should venture into high-impact business to increase revenue and profit, Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Bhd (Angkasa) President Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah said.

He cited retail business as one of the areas as 500 school co-ops nationwide were involved in the sector, with four of them getting more than RM1 million in profit a year.

So far, the total profit obtained by 2,349 school co-ops nationwide rose from RM311 million in 2013 to RM321 million in 2014 and RM338 million in 2015, he told reporters after attending a special programme on the Penang school co-op business development in 2017, here today.

Abdul Fattah said Angkasa targeted the total profit of school co-ops nationwide would increase to RM500 million in 2020, with 50 of them recording more than RM1 million profit a year.

Meanwhile, he urged parent teacher associations to encourage students to be more active in school co-ops to enable them to learn about entrepreneurial skills and business integrity, besides earning dividends.

Parents should also support school co-ops by buying books and stationery from them and invest in their shares, he added.


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Teaching Strategies to Promote Critical Thinking

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Critical thinking has been an important issue in education, and has become quite the buzzword around schools. The Common Core State Standards specifically emphasize a thinking curriculum and thereby requires teachers to elevate their students’ mental workflow beyond just memorization—which is a really good step forward. Critical thinking is a skill that young minds will undeniably need and exercise well beyond their school years. Experts agree that in keeping up with the ever-changing technological advances, students will need to obtain, understand, and analyze information on a much more efficient scale. It is our job as educators to equip our students with the strategies and skills they need to think critically in order to cope with these tech problems and obstacles they face elsewhere.

Fortunately, teachers can use a number of techniques that can help students learn critical thinking, even for children enrolled in kindergarten. Here are some teaching strategies that may prove immediately effective:

Teaching Strategies to Encourage Creativity:

Traditionally, elementary teachers prepare templates for art projects before they give it to their students. By doing so, it levels the creative playing field and can, in some ways, help the classroom run more smoothly if every child’s snowflake looks the same.

I know it may be a bit unnerving to relinquish a bit of control, but rest assured that not having everything prepped in advance is a good thing. Instead, give students all of the supplies needed to create a snowflake, and let them do it on their own. This will allow students to become critical thinkers because they will have to use their prior knowledge to consider what a snowflake looks like, how big it is, what color it is, etc

Do Not Always Jump in to Help:

It’s too easy to always find a solution for a student who needs your help. Kindergarteners especially will get very upset when they can’t find their crayons or scissors. The easy way for a teacher to answer is “It’s OK, you can borrow a pair of scissors from me.” Instead of always readily finding a solution for your students, try responding with “Let’s think about how we can find them.” Then, you can assist the student in figuring out the best possible solution for finding their lost item.

Brainstorm Before everything You Do.

One of the esiest and most effective ways to get young children to think critically is to braistorm. Regardless of subject, have students think about what they’ll be doing, learning or reading – before actually starting each activity. Ask a lot questions. like “What do you think this book will be about?” ot “Tell me three things you will be learning in this lesson about space?” Give students every opportunity you can to be critical thinkers.

Classify and Categorize:

Classification plays an important role in critical thinking because it requires students to understand and apply a set of rules. Give students a variety of objects and ask them to identify each object, then sort it into a category. This is a great activity to help students think and self-question what object should go where, and why.

Compare and Contrast:

Much like classifying, students will need to look closely at each topic or object they are comparing and really think about the significance of each one. You can have students compare and contrast just about anything—try this out with the book your class is reading now. Compare and contrast the weather forecast for today and yesterday. Compare the shape and color of a pumpkin to another vegetable. Compare and contrast today’s math lesson with last week’s—the ideas are endless.

Make Connections

Encouraging students to make connections to a real-life situation and identify patterns is a great way to practice their critical thinking skills. Ask students to always be on the look for these connections, and when they find one to make sure they tell you.

Provide Group Opportunities:

When children are around their classmates working together, they get exposed to the thought processes of their peers. They learn how to understand how other people think and that their way is not the only route to explore.

When this valuable skill is introduced to students early on in the education process, students will be capable of having complex thoughts and become better problem solvers when presented with difficulty. It’s important for students to possess a variety of skills, but it’s just as important for them to understand the skills and how, and when to use them.

How do you teach critical thinking in your classroom? Do you have any teaching strategies that can help students learn this important life skill? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear your ideas.

by Janelle Cox.

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A free hand to settle classroom issues

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

TEACHERS in 1,178 primary and secondary schools across the nation will have more leeway in solving teaching and learning problems.

They will act as “problem solvers” when they are faced with issues pertaining to the subjects they teach in the classroom. The Education Ministry has said that it will take a step back and be content to remain just as “support provider”.

Deputy education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin said the plan under the Profess-ional Learning Course (PLC) 2.0  will enable teachers to come up with solutions and take the best route when dealing with difficult topics in Mathematics, Science, History and English.

“This new approach requires teachers to identify problems faced by their students and find ways to deal with them using their own unique methods,” said Dr Amin.

“The ministry will no longer be spoonfeeding teachers on how they should conduct their lessons.

This, he pointed out, is a departure from the norm where teachers rely on the ministry to solve their problems.

However, Dr Amin maintain-ed that this approach will not burden teachers too much.

“This approach does not need any sophisticated teaching method, but only the commit-ment and initiative from teachers towards their students.

“The ministry will only step in for big issues such as those that touch on policies or involving senior school authorities,” he said.

Dr Amin also emphasised that the ministry will no longer monitor pedagogical aspects or resolve issues involving students, but will instead, focus on the school’s growth and results.


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Rural schools can spring a surprise

Monday, June 27th, 2016

MENGGATAL: Never underestimate the abilities of rural schools. Unlike in previous competitions, SMK Tenghilan, a rural school, sprang a surprise in the just-concluded 10th Sindex (Sabah Invention and Design Exhibition) by beating city schools to emerge as Sindex Overall Winner 2016 and to clinch the Best Presentation prize.

The winning trio, Group Leader Cerolintina Soimin, 17, Florrenna Elip, 17, and Hezron Aideno, 17, of the Form Five Class (Vocational Education Stream) received a trophy and RM500 cash from the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau at the 10th Sindex Awards Night on Saturday.

The team’s invention dubbed “Easy Tugal” (Easy Dibbler) won the hearts of the judges at the finals which entailed one-minute video presentation and two-minute oral presentation.

Another team from the same school bagged the Best Presentation prize (RM200 and trophy) for its Palm Fronds (PF) Multi-Product Invention, thus sweeping two of the top four prizes in the contest.

The Rotarians’ Choice Award (RM200 and trophy) went to Maktab Sabah with its “Soniceye” entry, an invention to facilitate the mobility of blind persons, while SM St Michael, Penampang walked away with the Best Exhibition prize (RM200 and trophy) for its “Colour Petals” invention whereby it is an eco-friendly water colour that is made from biological pigments extracted from flowers.

The four winning teams were among the top one to 10 gold medallists (shortlisted from 20 semi-finalists), the others being Kolej Vokesyenal Keningau (Tiles Installer), SMK Limbanak (Anti-Ant Gel), SM Tshung Tsin (Climaxcool), Kolej Vokesyenal Keningau (Grip Battery Charger), SM St Michael, Penampang (2 in 1 Pitcher) and SM St Michael, Penampang (2 in 1 Supply Companion).

The top 11 to 20 (who did not make it to the finals) were rated as silver medallists, namely KK High School (Multi Hook), SMK Tenghilan (D’mon 21), SM Tshung Tsin (Bambae), SM Tshung Tsin (Spectalistic), SM St Michael (Simple Slide Peg), SMK Tenghilan (Watering Bottle), SMK Kundasang (Multifunction Whiteboard Cleaner), SMK St John (Phone Speaker), SMK St John (Kind Heart Tag) and SM Sanzac (Brush Slippers).

Altogether 152 entries were received from various secondary schools, involving about 600 students, and shortlisted to 20 semi-finalists and then 10 finalists.

A three-member judging panel, comprising Chief Judge Prof Tam Hwa Yaw, a Sabahan inventor now based in Hong Kong, Frankie Fu (Past President of Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu) and Datuk Margaret Fung (Past President of Rotary Club of Tanjung Aru), was impressed with the entries submitted by the various schools.

The judges were looking at aspects of originality, creativity and practicability when carrying out their task.

“At their secondary school level, the standard is good. I also look at the process. Is there a need for the invention?

Are you inventing something for yourself or the benefit of the community at large? There are new ideas on how to help the community though some of these may not necessarily be the best ideas,” said Prof Tam who is Chair Professor of Photonics at the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Director of the Photonic Research Centre at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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