Valuable insight to be gained from School of Tomorrow meet

Tuesday November 20, 2012

PETALING JAYA: Educators involved in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 are set to gain some insight from the School of Tomorrow conference.

Beaconhouse Group chief executive officer Kasim Kasuri said the two-day conference starting today would feature over 30 local and international panellists.

“I believe the Blueprint will spark an interesting debate between local and international experts at the conference,” said Kasim.

He added that the Education Ministry would send a team and hoped the discussions and debates would help the Government in formulating policies.

Themed “Empowering Lifelong Learners”, the conference in its fourth edition seeks to explore new ways of teaching and learning that empowers students to become learners, he said.

Besides finding innovative methods of teaching, the conference will also touch on early childhood education as well as leadership strategies.

Kasim said the organisers hoped all participants would adopt some of the ideas from the School of Tomorrow vision.

The conference will take place at Sunway Lagoon Hotel and Spa Resort here.

Muhyiddin seru kenal pasti minat, kecenderungan anak

20 November 2012, Selasa

KUALA LUMPUR 19 Nov. – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin menyeru ibu bapa serta guru mengenal pasti minat dan kecenderungan anak-anak di sekolah dari awal melalui kegiatan kokurikulum serta sukan bagi memastikan bakat mereka tidak terbantut.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri berkata, peranan serta dorongan ibu bapa dan guru merupakan cara terbaik mengembangkan bakat kanak-kanak kerana penglibatan dalam kokurikulum serta sukan dapat melengkapkan dimensi pendidikan seseorang pelajar secara holistik.

“Namun jika minat dan kecenderungan ini tidak diperkukuh melalui sokongan dan dorongan sewajarnya, bakat mereka akan terbantut dan terhenti setakat itu sahaja.

“Oleh itu, saya menyeru guru-guru serta ibu bapa lebih komited dan berusaha ke arah memperkembangkan lagi keupayaan dan kreativiti pelajar serta mengasah pemikiran mereka supaya lebih positif dan progresif melalui apa jua aktiviti kokurikulum yang diceburi,” katanya.

Muhyiddin yang juga Menteri Pelajaran berucap sempena Majlis Makan Tengah Hari Meraikan Kejayaan Kontinjen Malaysia di Pertandingan Robot Olimpiad Dunia Kuala Lumpur (KL WRO 2012) di Dewan Bankuet Parlimen hari ini.

Majlis berkenaan bagi menghargai kejayaan cemerlang negara muncul juara keseluruhan pertandingan yang julung kali dianjurkan Malaysia dari 9 hingga 11 November lalu dengan memungut dua pingat emas, dua perak dan lapan gangsa.

Jumlah terkumpul berkenaan merupakan 50 peratus daripada 24 pingat yang dipertandingkan.

Berhubung kejayaan itu, Muhyiddin berkata, kemenangan tersebut merupakan kejuaraan ketiga Malaysia dalam WRO dan sepanjang sembilan tahun penganjurannya, belum ada pasukan yang berjaya memungut lebih daripada dua pingat emas.

Dalam masa sama, beliau turut berbangga dengan kejayaan Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Penang Free dan Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor yang memenangi Anugerah Tajaan dan Pemasaran, Anugerah Paling Disukai (Most Liked) serta Anugerah Kajian Terbaik dan Pembangunan dalam pertandingan ‘F1 In Schools’ di Abu Dhabi, baru-baru ini.

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Of ideas and creations

Sunday November 11, 2012



Hard at work: Teams were required to use rubber bands, paper clips or anything from their immediate surroundings to build their inventions.Hard at work: Teams were required to use rubber bands, paper clips or anything from their immediate surroundings to build their inventions.

FROM tickling bored friends to exercising your dog while you fish, the recently concluded “Dengan Inovasi, Yo!” workshop was all about innovation.

Held at SMK (P) Sri Aman, the workshop was the brainchild of Kakiseni and funded by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry in conjunction with its Year of Science and National Innovation Movement 2012.

Aimed at introducing innovation to students as something that can be practised in everyday life and not just for scientists, the workshop was attended by 87 Form Three students.

“Innovation is about being observant regarding your surroundings, understanding people’s needs or wants, and then coming up with an idea to fulfil that need,” said workshop facilitator Sharizan Borhan.

Marvellous minds: A team showing off their simple but unique bird perch.Marvellous minds: A team showing off their simple but unique bird perch.

“Every time you think of and try out a possibly better way to study, you are being innovative,” he added.

Among the activities held during the workshop were script experiments where students were exposed to innovative practices.

They were required to read scripts with punctuation marks positioned at unusual places to show how punctuation could change the entire tone and feel of a scene or sentence.

Music experiments conducted had the students in groups, clapping hands and stamping feet amongst other things, in an attempt to turn a monotonous piece of music into a masterpiece.

Wan Farra Ayesha Wan Muhaimin, 15, took part in both experiments and proclaimed them eye-openers.

“I didn’t really think that you could be innovative with punctuation,” she said.

Counselling teacher and workshop coordinator Sofiah Abu Bakar said the workshop was unique in the way it presented innovation.

“The exercises emphasise that innovation is not just present in science. It’s about creativity in all aspects of life. It is perfect for these students who have just sat for their Penilaian Menengah Rendah examination and will soon be thinking of the next step in their lives,” said Sofiah.

Speaking on behalf of Kakiseni, 26-year-old Chong Wei Yung said the organisation wanted to do something that included art and culture elements but was also in line with the science and innovation theme.

“We wanted to work with school students and this initiative by the ministry has provided a great opportunity for us to do so.”

He added that the workshop was a means to highlight to students how innovation can drive volunteerism as well.

The workshop ended with a Spontaneous Innovation Championship where participants in groups of 10 or 11, had to come up with an idea or invention using straws, rubber bands, paper clips and anything else from their immediate surroundings.

Judging from the various inventions presented, including a dog leash-cum-fishing rod and a device that tickles the person tickling as well, the spirit of innovation was certainly alive.

The winning team came up with an invention that was to solve a frequent complaint at school.

“Teachers here are always telling us that we dirty the school toilets with our muddy shoes. So our invention not only keeps the mud off our shoes but gives the wearer better grip on slippery toilet floors,” said Nur Syafiqah Adam Malik.

Her team had invented “Inovasi Mudpoof”, a protective slip-on for shoes fashioned from a plastic folder, rubber bands and straws.

DPM: Real life skills add to students’ experience

Saturday November 10, 2012 MYT 2:17:00 PM

PETALING JAYA: Learning outside the classroom can help students to enrich their experience and learn about real life, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said such learning thinking skills, problem solving, self-study and the skill to work as a team were important for life in the 21st century.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said this when opening the World Robotic Olympiad (WRO) on Saturday, which saw host Malaysia sending the largest contingent with the participation of 56 teams competing in various categories.

“Learning through activities such as designing, constructing and robot handling will help the students to master knowledge and skills in the fields of computer engineering, electrical and high technology mechanical engineering which have a high demand in industry,” he said.

He noted that the organising of the WRO in Kuala Lumpur was also appropriate with the declaration of 2012 as the Year of Science and National Innovations Movement (SGI 2012) aimed at mobilising the national development agenda through the enculturation of science and innovation among Malaysians.

Muhyiddin said that just like in the other developing countries, the field of science and technology played an important role in Malaysia’s development, particularly in efforts towards becoming a developed nation with a high income. – Bernama

Our pupils take top honours in robot competition

Monday November 12, 2012

Talents unearthed: (From left) Team SCB9 mentor Tan Cher Chor, Yong Jie, Kai Young and Chi Bin rejoicing after bagging their prize after the competition.Talents unearthed: (From left) Team SCB9 mentor Tan Cher Chor, Yong Jie, Kai Young and Chi Bin rejoicing after bagging their prize after the competition.

KUALA LUMPUR: Six of our primary schoolchildren proved they had scientific creativity when they won top honours in the World Robot Olympiad 2012 (WRO) competition.

Team SCB9 from SJK (C) Batu 9 Cheras, comprising 12-year-old pupils Yeo Yong Jie, Tah Chi Bin and Liew Kai Young, won the gold medal in the Elementary School Regular Category.

Team leader Yong Jie said the win was unexpected.

“I like this competition because it allows me to be creative,” he added.

Team Friendship Builders from SJK (C) Jalan Davidson, meanwhile, won the first prize in the Elementary School Open Category.

Leader Natasha Wong, 12, said their secret to success was “to work very hard”.

“We had been working since March to ensure victory,” she said. “We even worked on our robot during the weekends and public holidays.”

Natasha also said her team’s victory was due to the close friendship between her and teammates Phileas Mah and Ooi Zi Xuan, both 12 years old.

The top honours in the high school categories were dominated by foreign teams.

Sarikei students to represent M’sia at World Robot Olympiad

Posted on November 7, 2012, Wednesday

DO US PROUD: Abdul Mu’in (third left) presents a Jalur Gemilang to the students.

SARIKEI: Three SMK Sungai Paoh students will represent Malaysia at the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2012 in Sunway Resort, Kuala Lumpur from Nov 9-12.

Jonathan Peter Giman, Fahmi Haziq Alwi and Spencer Balo invented a robot capable of checking blood pressure and body temperature, which won a silver medal at the national-level robotic competition in Johor Bahru last September.

They paid a courtesy call on Sarikei district education officer Abdul Mu’in Abdul Kassim on Monday together with principal Law How Ting as well as teachers in charge Leong Siew Choon and Wong Chin Chin.

“This is indeed a great achievement, which proves that with great determination students in a rural setting are
able to overcome all odds to produce a high class piece of work, which qualifies to be entered at an international-level competition,” said Abdul Mu’in.

The trio left for Kuala Lumpur yesterday to prepare for the competition themed ‘Robots Connecting People’.

A total of 405 teams from 30 countries including Australia, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Germany and Bahrain will take part in the four-day competition.

School wins water award

07 November 2012 | last updated at 11:30PM

By OLIVIA MIWIL | 0 comments

TOP PRIZE: Maintaining 21 tanks reduces monthly bill from RM3,000 to RM1,000

.Marie Yong Pik Hua (right) and Datuk Philip Lasimbang (centre) unveil a signboard signifying the school’s partnership with the Malaysian Nature Society yesterday.

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PENAMPANG: SEKOLAH Menengah St Michael has yet another feather in its cap now that they have won another water tank at the national-level Water Vision Award, here, yesterday.

Since 2009, the school has maintained 21 water tanks to harvest rainwater, helping to reduce its tri-monthly water bill from RM3,000 to RM1,000.

Its principal, Marie Yong Pik Hua, said the harvested water was used for toilets, cleaning and watering plants at the school.

“In the future, we are looking into recycling used rainwater for other purposes.

“But for now, our school’s main concern is to educate students about conserving water at school and applying the knowledge at home,” she said after receiving the prize.

Political secretary to Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Philip Lasimbang, after officiating at the conference, said the average Malaysian used 200 litres of water a day, while Singaporeans only utilised half of that.

“I am not asking consumers not to use the commodity at all, but we should minimise the usage.

“By doing so, we can also save costs in treating water.”

The school was among 17 schools in state actively involved in the Malaysian Nature Society’s Water Vision project this year. The project started in 2009 and is aimed at encouraging and inculcating water stewardship practices among young Malaysians.

UNIMAS menang 16 anugerah reka cipta

7 November 2012, Rabu

KUCHING 6 Nov. – Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) sekali lagi mengharumkan nama Malaysia di peringkat antarabangsa apabila meraih 11 pingat emas dan lima anugerah khas pada Pameran Reka Cipta Britain (BIS) 2012.

Dalam kenyataan di sini hari ini, UNIMAS berkata, kejayaan ini memberi perangsang dan motivasi kepada para penyelidiknya untuk terus maju dalam bidang penyelidikan.

“UNIMAS berharap hasil reka cipta ini akan membuka ruang kepada kemungkinan ia dikomersialkan untuk menjana pendapatan bagi universiti ini dan meletakkan UNIMAS pada kedudukan lebih tinggi dalam kalangan institusi pengajian tinggi di Malaysia,” kata kenyataan itu.

BIS 2011 yang berlangsung di London dari 24 hingga 27 Oktober lalu, dianjurkan British Inventors Society (BIS) dan mempamerkan hasil ciptaan pereka cipta, pencipta pembaharuan, ahli akademik, institusi penyelidikan dan usahawan terkemuka dari seluruh dunia.

Delegasi UNIMAS ke BIS 2012, yang diketuai naib canselor Prof. Datuk Dr. Khairuddin Ab. Hamid, mempamerkan 11 ciptaan dan meraih lima anugerah khas, dengan satu daripadanya yang bertajuk Wearable Sleeping Bag, ciptaan kumpulan diketuai Norhayati Suleiman, memenangi satu Diamond Award, satu Double Gold dan Romania Diploma Certificate Award.

Dua lagi Double Gold Award dimenangi projek yang diketuai Dr. Edmund Ng Giap Weng dan Prof. Madya Dr. Nazlina Shaari melalui penyelidikan bertajuk Mobile ARUT Android Browser Version 1.0 dan Eco-Modarnt:Utilizing Sago Effluent for Natural Dye Process.

UNIMAS juga memenangi pingat emas melalui projek yang dihasilkan Prof. Dr. Khairul Aidil Azlin Abdul Rahman bertajuk Bio Bamboo Car Accessories and i-Bamboo Veneer; projek Prof. Madya Dr. Nazlina Shaari (Eco-Modarnt:Utiling Sago Effluent for Natural Dye Process) dan projek Prof. Madya Dr. Zainab Ngaini (Fire Resist Sound Absorbing Sago Panel and Silcat:Biocatalyst for Biodiesel).

Pingat emas lain dimenangi melalui projek Dr. Edmund Ng Giap Weng (Mobile Augmented Reality Solat System and Mobile ARUT Android Browser Version 1.0); projek Prof. Madya Dr. Lo May Chiun (TourScape: An Integrated Systematic Approach to Manage Tourism Destinations); projek Dr. Azham Zulkharnain (Just add Water-Chemical Assay Kit); projek Norhayati Suleiman (Wearable Sleeping Bag) dan projek Mohd. Razali Othman (ENAICMS-Counselling Management System). – BERNAMA

UNIMAS hasil gula daripada kanji sagu

Posted on October 30, 2012, Tuesday

INOVASI: Gula sagu dalam bentuk kristal dan glukosa.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Kum-pulan penyelidik diketuai Profesor Dr Kopli Bujang daripada Fakulti Sains dan Teknologi Sumber Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) berjaya menghasilkan gula daripada kanji sagu.

Dr Kopli yang ditemui semalam memberitahu, hasil daripada penyelidikan yang dilakukan sejak 1999, pasukannya berjaya menghasilkan gula sagu dalam bentuk kristal yang tahap kemanisannya menyamai gula biasa tetapi 50 peratus rendah kalori.

Beliau berkata idea asal untuk menghasilkan gula sagu ber-mula daripada usaha menghasilkan etanol sebagai bahan utama mengeluarkan biofuel tetapi di-sebabkan harga kanji sagu sa-ngat mahal dan tidak ekonomik pihaknya mengambil keputusan menghasilkan gula.

“Tambahan adalah tidak beretika untuk menghasilkan biofuel daripada makanan, jadi kami mengambil keputusan daripada menghasilkan etanol, kenapa tidak kita hanya mengeluarkan gula kerana ia komo-diti lebik baik untuk komuniti dan negeri Sarawak,” katanya kepada pemberita.

Terdahulu beliau mengha-diri Simposium Sagu ASEAN 2012 di Dewan Delima DeTar Putra UNIMAS.

Majlis perasmian simposium itu disempurnakan oleh Ketua Menteri Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Kopli memberitahu ketika ini pasukannya telah mengeluarkan 50 kilogram gula sagu sehari dengan proses penghasilan dilakukan di makmal fakulti berkenaan dan bakal menge-luarkan satu tan metrik gula sagu sebelum hujung tahun ini di loji perintisnya di UNIMAS.

Beliau memberitahu, satu tan gula sagu yang bakal dihasilkan nanti sama ada akan dipasarkan sebagai kegunaan pengguna atau keperluan lain bergantung kepada permintaan.

“Sebelum Krismas ini, kami akan mengeluarkan gula sagu sebanyak satu tan metrik pada satu-satu masa di loji perintis kami,” katanya.

Menjelas lanjut mengenai proses penghasilan gula sagu, beliau memberitahu bahawa ia melibatkan proses mudah yang hanya mengambil masa empat hingga enam jam untuk menghasilkan gula sagu dalam bentuk kristal menerusi proses     hidrolisis.

“Untuk menghasilkan satu kilogram gula sagu kristal, satu kilogram kanji sagu diperlukan dan untuk satu kilogram hingga 50 kilogram empat hingga enam jam diperlukan.

“Proses ini melibatkan teknologi biasa yang boleh didapati di Internet tetapi UNIMAS telah memajukannya daripada 10 jam kepada empat hingga enam jam… kanji akan diletak-kan di dalam ketuhar pada suhu 60 darjah celsius,” jelasnya.

Gula sagu yang dalam bentuk kristal katanya akan dikisar selama tiga jam pada suhu 60 darjah celsius untuk menjadikannya dalam bentuk glukosa dan berwarna putih.

“Bagi tujuan pasaran, adalah lebih baik ia dikisar untuk menghasilkan glukosa, hampir 100 peratus glukosa tulen adalah semanis glukosa lain tetapi 50 peratus rendah kalori.

“Kita percaya gula sagu ini bagus untuk mereka yang sensitif kepada gula pasir atau gula tebu meskipun kajian farmaseutikal terperinci belum dilakukan lagi,” ujarnya.

Menurutnya penghasilan gula sagu lebih ekonomik berbanding gula tebu kerana satu tan metrik batang tebu hanya 100 kilogram gula pasir dapat diekstrak daripadanya iaitu hanya tujuh hingga 10 peratus hasilnya.

Manakala untuk menghasilkan satu tan metrik gula sagu, satu tan metrik kanji sagu diperlukan maknanya tiada pembaziran, jelasnya.

“Ini berita baik untuk Sara-wak khasnya dan negara amnya  kerana bukan sahaja kita boleh eksport kanji sagu tetapi boleh diproses menjadi gula jadi kita tidak akan terlalu bergantung kepada gula tebu.

“Buat masa ini Malaysia mengimport 90 peratus gula dari luar negara, ini berita baik kepada Sarawak dan saya berharap syarikat besar akan tampil membangunkan idea ini dalam skala komersial,” katanya.

USM shines in London

Tuesday October 30, 2012
Gold standard: The USM team showing off the medals they won in London at the Penang International Airport. Gold standard: The USM team showing off the medals they won in London at the Penang International Airport.

GEORGE TOWN: Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has won 10 gold medals at the British Invention Show (BIS) 2012 for its innovations in helping the handicapped and protecting the environment.

Prof Abdul Latif Ahmad, who led the delegation to London, said the medals came from all the four USM entries.

They were Easy Go, a tool designed to help the disabled move comfortably (two golds), Nanocaot, an inspired molecular solution for protection against indoor air pollutants (two golds), Fpga-Based Cervical Pre-Cancerous Diagnostic Kit, a device capable of detecting cervical cancer cells (three golds, two platinum awards), and Biodegradable and Natural Coagulant-Floculland from biomass waste material for oily waste water treatment (three golds and a special award).

“Our entries were judged based on categories in leisure, consumerism, nature, industrial and commercial potential,” said Prof Abdul Latif upon arrival at the Penang International Airport yesterday.

The seven-member team was given a warm welcome by about 20 USM staffers and students.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Omar Osman also greeted them at the airport.

USM was among the nine teams from Malaysia.

Prof Abdul Latif said the Malaysian teams pitched in 52 products.

“This competition is a way to promote USM and Malaysia. The Malaysian teams displayed a very high standard in design, innovation and scientific values,” he said.

The BIS, which was held in London from Oct 24-27, was participated by about 20 countries.