MALAYSIA’s unpredictable weather makes it hard to exercise outdoors.
So how go you get those who hit the gym to exercise in the great outdoors?
As part of the RHB-The Star Mighty Minds National Challenge 2015, the Selangor students in the lower secondary category had to figure out what model they could build in the Hands-On Challenge.
The team and first time champions from SMK Bandar Utama Damansara 3 came up with the idea of creating an indoor facility complete with trees and bushes with climate control to “maintain the nice weather.”
Team members Lim Qing Ren, 14, Ethan Khoo Teng Ee, 14, and Tan Li Xuan, 13, said the most difficult part was not coming up with the concept but actually presenting it to the judges at the competition held in mid May.
Sekolah Sri Tenby Setia Eco Park took the second place while SMK (P) Sri Aman was third in the lower secondary category.
The Upper Secondary Category contestants had to come up with a socially responsible waste management system for Selangor’s iconic hawker stalls.
SMK Seksyen 9 Shah Alam who emerged as champions, came up with a hands-on model called Thrift which utilises waste from the hawker stalls to create fuel and fertiliser.
The leftover oil and organic rubbish can be put to better use, with the correct know-how, said Anis Idros, 17, from the team.
“Waste is still useful. We can use it for something else instead of just filling up the landfills,” she added.
Fellow team member Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, 17, said he used to watch a lot of documentaries on waste and organic matter management, which proved to be the source of inspiration for their model.
Second prize went to Sekolah Sri Kuala Lumpur with Sekolah Sri UCSI in third in the upper secondary category.
Fourth former Albert Jonathan from Sekolah Sri Acmar said he had taken part in the competition several times but with different team members.
This time the school placed fifth in the upper secondary category.
“My team members and I felt that the multiple choice questions were quite tough but we managed to get some correct based on pure luck,” he said.
Albert said the team’s hands-on model was called the Biogas Reactor which turns food waste from hawker stalls into biogas with the aid of Anaerobic Bacteria. He summed up the whole experience as truly memorable.
RHB Bank Bhd Section 14 branch manager Mohd Zaharuddin Zakaria said the students’ fluency during their presentations showed their confidence with the hands-on model.
“It was obvious they came prepared to win,” he said.
“I’m glad that we won. We had lots of experience as we have taken part before, and this helped us,” said Li Yen.
Ahmad Syauqi and Sin Gee said they planned to buy books or laptops.
Their schoolmates Lezad Haziq Zamily, Tan Yun Huey and Rafeeq Zickry Arief Mohd Fadzli also beat Imtiaz by mere points to win the first spot.
“We worked hard for our school and for our teachers who guided us,” said Yun Huey.
Yun Huey, Rafeeq and Lezad plan to give their teachers and families a treat next week.
SMK Imtiaz placed second in the lower and upper secondary secondary categories followed by SMK Chung Hwa Weisin in third. SMK Sultan Ismail 2 placed third in the upper secondary.
RHB East Coast Region business support manager Wan Maznah Wan Yusof and The Stars Events Assistant Manager Leong Yoon Loong presented the prizes to the winners.
Champion teams for each category took home RM5,000 per team, followed by RM2,000 for second, RM1,000 for third, RM500 for fourth and RM300 for fifth placing.
Top three schools per category also brought home a projector, an air purifier and a 32” LED television.
After the 14 state challenges are completed, all champions will make their way to the Klang Valley for the National Finals.
The competition is jointly organised by Star Media Group Berhad (formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad and RHB Banking Group.
“This competition tests both the students’ knowledge and showcases their presentation skills at the same time,” said The Star Education editor Karen Chapman.
Jaya Shopping Centre was the venue sponsor for the Selangor competition.
In the Terengganu chapter held last Saturday, SMK Sultan Sulaiman created a record of sorts when they swept both the Upper and Lower secondary categories in the RHB-The Star Mighty Minds National Challenge 2015.
The students who are in Form Four and Form Two managed to fend off Imtiaz School of Excellence students who emerged as runners-up in both categories in the closely fought event. SMK Sultan Sulaiman was also the defending champion in the lower secondary category in last year’s competition.
Sixteen-year-olds Tan Li Yen, Lam Sin Gee and Ahmad Syauqi Mohamed Ridwan took top spot in all the preliminary events with Imtiaz students hot on their heels.
One for the album: Mohd Zaharuddin and Chapman (back row, left and second from right) pose with the Selangor upper secondary champions SMK Sekyen 9 Shah Alam (back row) and lower category winner SMK Bandar Utama Damasara 3 (front row).
Upper secondary champs: (from left) Emir, Abdul Rahim and Anis from SMK Seksyen 9 Shah Alam working on their hands-on model which utilises waste from the hawker stalls to create fuel and fertiliser.