12 August, Samarahan – Around 400 students from 14 schools participated in the KLESF Mobile Workshop: Sarawak Chapter (KMWSC) held today at SMK Kota Samarahan. It is an extension of Kuala Lumpur Engineering and Science Fair (KLESF), an annual event held in the national capital since 2014 to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) amongst schoolchildren and youths. KLESF and its programmes come under the aegis of the national agenda – Science to Action (S2A), which was launched by YAB Prime Minister in 2013.
This event was jointly-organised by Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology Malaysia (MIGHT), Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) and Sarawak Department of Education (JPN Sarawak).
KMWSC was officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and the minister in charge of MIGHT, YB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri. Also in attendance were: the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister and Joint Chairman MIGHT, Professor Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid, President and Chief Executive Officer of MIGHT, Datuk Dr Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, Deputy Director General of Education, Ministry of Education Malaysia, Dato’ Sulaiman Wak, President of ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology (AAET) and Chairman KLESF, Ir Datuk Hong Lee Pee, Deputy Samarahan District Education Officer, En Abdul Latif bin Bujang and Principal of SMK Kota Samarahan, the host of KLESF Sarawak Chapter, En. Bujang Awang Jamain.
YB Dato’ Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri said in her officiation speech, “In tandem with the nation’s aspiration to become a developed country and the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP) to transform the education system, the responsibility to instill awareness on the importance of STEM has to be shouldered by not only the government, but also by the private sectors, parents and the community.”
She added further, “This is where KLESF programme plays a role in bringing together the government, industries, parents, young scientists and the community to work together to support the efforts in encouraging learning and career opportunites in STEM related fields amongst schoolchildren, while creating a network amongst all involved to share information and experiences in projects and extra-curricular activities involving STEM.”
KMWSC aim is in tandem with that of the KLESF’s – to inculcate interest and impress the importance of STEM in the target audience. Thus, it is with these objectives that the workshop programmes were designed to be STEM hands-on, so as to immersed the participants in the activities. Amongst the programmes listed were Fun Photo, Introduction to Arduino, Hello from Raspberry Pi, Paper Rockets and Lab Race.
Various STEM content providers which includes agencies and academic bodies were involved in KMWSC such as Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO), University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Management and Science University College (MSU), Malaysian Meteorological Department (Metmsia), Politeknik Kuching, Sunway University, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM).
In addition to the above, Professor Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid also conducted a special session – In conversation with the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister ‘Why I Choose to be a Scientist’; to share his wealth of experience with the schoolchildren.
Samarahan is envisioned to be Sarawak’s center of education and research. In line with its aspiration to be an education hub, several universities, learning institutes, and other educational spots are already located within the vicinity as it moves towards becoming the focal point of education excellence. It is thus that Samarahan has been chosen as the venue for this third episode of KMW.
2 KMW was previously held in Teluk Intan, Perak and Sungai Besar, Selangor, involving 19 schools and over 1300 students.