Posted on July 10, 2012, Tuesday
by Georgette Tan, email@example.com.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: The top three teams for the Sarawak Zone pose with their teachers and Rafidah (left). — Photos by Mohammad Rais Sanusi.
KUCHING: Playing the line between magic and science proved to be a winning formula for the team from SMK Kubong from Limbang when they were named champions for the Petrosains Science Show Competition for Sarawak zone yesterday.
Form Five student Brandon Chieng dressed up as a magician, who then went one on one with fellow student Raymond Wong, the plumber who came to fix a blocked toilet. Together, the duo one-upped each other with ‘magic tricks’ while explaining the characteristics of atmospheric pressure to their audience.
After the competition was over, their advisor and accompanying teacher Yii Tiew Lee told reporters that they were not even expecting to be among the final 10 for the state zone.
“When I received the letter informing us that we have been selected, I started laughing. It was so unexpected and we are lucky,” he revealed.
The competition had the potential to add a whole new experience for the students, which was why they entered, Yii said.
“Since we have a chance at the national level competition, we will do our best,” he said, adding that they would work to improve their show based on the judges’ comments.
Meanwhile, Chieng the magician said they were very happy to win and that the victory over nine other teams from five other schools was unexpected. His plumber friend Wong said that they would likely present the same show, but with improvements.
The competition was held at Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce Auditorium in Batu Lintang Teachers’ Training Institute.
Second place was won by Team One from SMK Jalan Arang, while third place was taken by SMK Lake.
Other schools that entered the Sarawak zone finals were SMK Agama Igan, SMK Lutong and SMK Sibu Jaya. SMK Jalan Arang had three qualifying teams, while SMK Agama Igan and SMK Lutong had two teams each.
Present to hand over the prizes was Petrosains Marketing Department director Rafidah Ghazali.
Sarawak is the third leg of the Petrosains National Science Show Competition, organised by Petrosains Sdn Bhd which manages Petrosains, The Discovery Centre at Suria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur. The event is supported by the Ministry of Education.
The competition was first introduced in 2009 as an initiative to promote stimulating and effective learning methods for secondary school students. It requires students to present science concepts and content in an innovative and entertaining way.
Organisers received 736 entries from Form One to Six students nationwide, out of which 60 teams were selected to appear in the final rounds. These teams are competing in six zones, with one winner from each. Two special teams will also be selected from the pool of runner-ups nationwide to compete in the national finals in KL this September.
In a press statement, Petrosains CEO Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim said the competition was an avenue to encourage students to think out of the box.
“It serves as a platform for students to interpret and express their knowledge of science in an appealing and thought provoking manner. It is also an opportunity for teachers to utilise various techniques in interacting with their students, adding more fun to the learning experience.”
Last year the competition drew 614 teams, with Negeri Sembilan sending the highest number of teams at 97.