Of ideas and creations

Sunday November 11, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2012/11/11/education/12194614&sec=education

By COLLEEN THOR SIT YEE
educate@thestar.com.my

 

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.