Sarawak teams clinch top prizes | Digital Asia

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A PROTOTYPE to prevent death of infants after being left in vehicles clinched the prize at the Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge (SDYIC) 2018 National Championship.

The prototype was developed by Team “Smart e-Saver” comprising Joseph Chung, 16, and Thomas Brabbs, 15, from Tunku Putra School, Kuching, .

This is Chung’s second win at the SDYIC National Championship. He won the SDYIC 2016 National Championship with the Robin Food app idea. It is now a full-fledged app that connects supermarkets and restaurants to food banks which distribute excess food to the needy.

Smart e-Saver’s invention beat 14 other prototypes created by from schools across seven states to win the top spot.

The finale was held at #MyDigitalMaker Fair in Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur . It was attended by Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) acting chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin.

Wan Mohd Zahid said the innovation challenge provided a platform for students from all over Malaysia to sharpen their thought processes relevant to innovation and empower them to develop innovative solutions for real-world problems.

He commended the strong support by 44 secondary schools in Sabah and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to participate in the state-level competition towards competing in SDYIC 2018.

He said that out of the 820 participating teams in the state-level Young Innovators Challenge (YIC) 2018 competitions held all over Malaysia, 150 teams were from schools all over Sabah, supported by UMS.

“The students came from as far as Semporna to participate in the Sabah state-level competition in Kota Kinabalu and some raised their own funds to cover their travelling expenses.

“I am impressed by their passion and this shows the extent of Sabah leadership in education, which has created a culture of earnest determination in wanting to achieve the highest standards in education development, especially towards innovation and problem-solving,” he said.

Team Smart e-Saver designed the prototype after reading articles on babies dying in vehicles after being left by their parents. The invention uses a sensor that detects babies left in vehicles and sends a signal to the caretaker’s smartphone, alerting them that the baby is left in the car.

The winning team won a YSD innovation grant of up to RM50,000 to develop and upscale the prototype to a viable business solution.

Team “The Saviours” from SMK Lutong in Miri, Sarawak won second place with its prototype that notifies students when their parents are nearby to pick them up from school, with the aim to prevent traffic build-up.

Third-place winner, Team “D Bois” from Lodge International School in Kuching, developed a prototype to clear rubbish from clogged drains to prevent flash floods.

The Saviours won a YSD innovation grant worth RM10,000 while D Bois won a YSD innovation grant worth RM5,000 to enable further development of their prototypes.

The winners were part of 15 teams that qualified for the SDYIC 2018 National Camp which took place from Sept 25 to 28. Two teams received the SDYIC 2018 Inspiration Award – Pipitz from SMK Bingkor, Keningau, Sabah, and Valiant Esercito from SM Sains Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah from Kuantan, Pahang – for developing prototypes to address the plight of needy communities in Malaysia.

Pipitz designed an automated mechanism to chase away sparrows from damaging paddy crops while Valiant Esercito designed a prototype that enables fishermen to dry fish during rainy days.

The innovation challenge is co-organised by YSD, social business startup Chumbaka Sdn Bhd in collaboration with the Education Ministry, Malaysia Economy Corporation (MDEC) and supporting partners for the YIC hosting state-level competitions such as Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak, Education Ministry, Science and Technological Research Sarawak, Hap Seng Group in Sabah, Yayasan Hasanah in Perlis, Maybank Labuan in Labuan and Cyberview for schools in Cyberjaya, partnering universities as well as Teach for Malaysia.

Chumbaka Sdn Bhd principal consultant Dr Chew Yen Seng said the winning team’s idea was a feasible solution that could easily be implemented.

“The students’ simple ideas address serious problems in the real world,” he said.

A total of 2,200 students from 267 secondary schools participated in the SDYIC 2018 programme. With 13 universities involved this year, 242 university students served as mentors to participants from the schools. Two hundred teachers from 235 secondary schools were also trained to use the Arduino software.

Participants met industry experts, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics professionals and other innovative technology enthusiasts who provided knowledge, solutions, information on market validation and entrepreneurial skills.

The SDYIC 2018 is part of MDEC’s #mydigitalmaker movement, a joint public-private-academia initiative to transform Malaysian youth from digital users to producers in the digital economy.

This includes skills such as coding, app development, 3D printing, robotics, embedded programming and data analytics; all of which will ultimately help to strengthen problem solving and creativity amongst our future generation.

MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said: “It’s wonderful to see the spirit shown by all the teams in this challenge.

“Our youths are demonstrating the qualities we want to inspire through the #mydigitalmaker Movement – the spirit of collaboration, coupled with creativity and problem-solving skills – to drive innovation for Malaysia’s digital economy.”

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