Search is on for young scientists

Sunday, 29 May 2016

BY REBECCA RAJAENDRAM

Not to be outdone, her team mate Justina Cheam Chui Mun throws a jellybean inside a test tube and ignites its contents, causing a tiny explosion and a bright light that lasts a full minute.

You might be think the teens are in a science lab, but they’re not.

Instead, they are on stage at Petrosains, KLCC, demonstrating a couple of chemical and biological processes.

 Although the chemical reaction involves catalysts and the biological experiment explains cellular respiration, the students from SMK (P) Pudu, Kuala Lumpur are not spewing intimidating scientific jargon.

They came out tops at last year’s Petrosains Science Show Competition and were invited to “perform” for an audience during the launch of the competition. Firmly believing that superstars do not exist just in the arts but also in the sciences, Petrosains is once again embarking on a nationwide hunt in secondary schools for students to take part in this year’s competition.

Petrosains Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim said the competition is one of the ways to popularise Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“This competition combines performing arts and science, where participants have to bring to life scientific concepts and present them in a creative and innovative way,” she said during the recent launch of the competition .

Petrosains has come up with creative programmes and activities to spark and sustain the interest in science in the competition where secondary school students illustrate scientific concepts within a 15-minute stage performance.

Tengku Nasariah added that the eighth edition of the competition will be the first time Petrosains is sending the winning team to visit Perth’s SciTech Science Museum, with pocket money to boot.

The school with the highest number of entries will also win RM10,000 in cash.  Participation for this year’s competition was open to all secondary schools in Malaysia.

The top 10 shortlisted entries will compete in their respective states during the preliminary rounds. Winners from each state will then proceed to the semifinal round and the top eight teams will then battle it out for the grand prize in the final competition to be held in Kuala Lumpur in October 2016.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk P Kamalanathan said the ministry will continue to promote STEM despite the many challenges being faced.

He said initiatives such as the competition organised by Petrosains, and supported by Bank Islam and Petronas, go a long way in fostering the love of science.

He encouraged more corporations to conduct initiatives to help nurture and produce future scientists, mathematicians and technologists.

Sumber:  The Star online

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2016/05/29/search-is-on-for-young-scientists/