Two Limbang students to represent state in science competition

Tuesday July 10, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/10/sarawak/11631284&sec=sarawak

In the name of science: A volunteer getting drenched with water when Brandon Chieng (right) and Raymond Wong performed their final experiment in the Petrosains National Science Competition in Kuching. They were attempting to show the concept of atmospheric pressure but it did not go as planned when the water spilled from the cup. Nevertheless, the boys from SMK Kubong, Limbang, won the state-level competition. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star

KUCHING: A “magician” and a “plumber” teamed up to present a science show which was entertaining and informative at the same time.

The characters were Form Five students Brandon Chieng and Raymond Wong from SMK Kubong, Limbang, who were taking part in the Sarawak zone final of the Petrosains National Science Show competition at Batu Lintang Teachers Education Institute here yesterday.

They demonstrated the concept of atmospheric pressure through a series of experiments, such as how two plungers pressed together cannot be pulled apart easily and how to stop water from flowing out of a tiny hole in the side of a bottle by using a finger to plug another hole in the bottle’s cap.

Their final experiment did not go according to plan, with a volunteer getting splashed with water from an overturned cup.

However, Brandon and Raymond’s creative show was enough for them to emerge as Sarawak champions, beating nine other teams who qualified for the state final.

They will go on to represent the state in the national finals to be held in Kuala Lumpur in September.

“We’re very happy to win. We didn’t expect it at all. In fact, we were a little worried because something went wrong during our show and the last experiment didn’t work,” Brandon said, adding that they spent about two weeks preparing for the competition.

Their accompanying teacher Yii Tien Lee said this was the first time SMK Kubong had entered the competition.

“This is a new experience for the students, to be able to dress up in costumes and enjoy themselves while demonstrating scientific principles.

“We will try to improve the show after hearing the judges’ comments, which were very helpful,” he said.

Scientifically creative: A student from SMK Jalan Arang showing the results of a chemical reaction between hydrogen peroxide and manganese dioxide at Petrosains National Science Show competition in Kuching yesterday.

SMK Jalan Arang Team One took second place while SMK Lake was third.

Consolation prizes went to two other teams from SMK Jalan Arang, two teams from SMK Agama Igan, two teams from SMK Lutong and a team from SMK Sibu Jaya.

Introduced in 2009, the national science show competition is organised by Petrosains Sdn Bhd, which manages Petrosains the Discovery Centre at Suria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur, to promote stimulating and effective learning methods for secondary school students.

Teams are required to present science concepts in an innovative and entertaining way. Marks are given for science content, science show, language and presentation, script and props and special effects.

Petrosains chief executive Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim said the competition was 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 use various techniques in interacting with their students, adding more fun to the learning experience.

“At Petrosains, we encourage out-of-the-box learning and this competition is a clear representation of that,” she said.

This year, the competition attracted 736 entries nationwide, which were whittled down by a panel of judges to 60 teams in six zones.

The champions from each zone, plus two special teams to be chosen by the judges, will compete in the national finals.