Samsung partners with UM to boost STEM education

Wang Yang holding a sign posing for the camera: Datuk Roh Jae Yeol.

© Provided by New Straits Times
Datuk Roh Jae Yeol.

SAMSUNG, in its effort to help promote the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country, has partnered with Universiti Malaya (UM) for the Solve for Tomorrow competition.

The initiative is aimed at fostering innovative thinking, creative problem-solving and teamwork, and it is carried out in partnership with UM’s STEM Centre.

The competition is open to Form 1 and Form 2 students from participating secondary schools that Universiti Malaya STEM Centre regularly engages with to provide various STEM activities, helping them enhance their learning experience.

The Solve for Tomorrow competition kicks off today (Oct 9, 2020) and ends on Dec 8, 2020 with the announcement of winners.

According to Samsung Malaysia Electronics’ president, Yoonsoo Kim, it is important for the next generations to come to be equipped with the fundamental skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to adapt to the technological change and benefit from the new opportunities technology creates.

“We believe in their potential to reach new heights of innovation, and to develop society-changing solutions. And Samsung is committed to helping them achieve this through the educational programmes we run like Solve for Tomorrow,” he said.

Meanwhile, UM’s STEM Centre’s head Ir Dr Mas Sahidayana Mohktar, said… “We have to enhance Science and Technology knowledge among our youngsters to solve unseen future problems. They can only paint a better picture if they are equipped with the correct tools, and the best way to ensure the mechanism is accurate is through Science and Technology education.”

Samsung’s director of corporate affairs Datuk Roh Jae Yeol, said the competition will require participants to apply skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. “Throughout the competition, starting today, the participants will go through stages where they are required to submit written essays, Powerpoint presentation, video presentation and do a final presentation where they will showcase their innovative ideas to a panel of judges,” he said.

University Malaya’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Dr Noorsaadah Abd Rahman, said the UM STEM learning space was designed not only to provide innovative and interactive learning platform for STEM activities, but also to inspire the involvement of educators, researchers, students, industries and local communities to engage in STEM education.

“This competition is a good platform to encourage students from schools of Kelab Sahabat Universiti Malaya to take more proactive approach to address challenges faced in our community,” she said.

Participants of the competition are required to identify an issue faced by the community and develop a solution based on STEM technology. They can choose to propose the ideas focusing on any of the four themes, namely health, education, environmental and social issues. A team of three students will be required to send in a submission in a form of essays depicting the problem to be solved and how STEM can be a creative solution. At the second round, 10 teams that are shortlisted will be required to refine their ideas and showcase it through a PowerPoint presentation.

Three teams will be selected at the third round. They will be required to enhance their presentation with an option to create a prototype. Each team will need to submit a video recording of the presentation and the functions of the prototype. At the final stage, the three teams will battle it out to win the top prize worth up to a total of RM37,900 by impressing the judges with their innovative STEM solutions.

Winners of the competition will walk away with Samsung products for their respective schools and for themselves too.

The first prize winning team will receive Samsung products worth up to RM16,900 that will be presented to the school while each student will receive up to RM7,000 worth of Samsung products. For the second prize, the team will receive products worth up to RM13,500 for their school while the students will each walk away with products worth up to RM6,000. The third prize winning team will receive products worth up to RM10,000 for their school while the students will win products worth up to RM5,400 each.

The winners will be judged based on the relevance of issues, creativity, feasibility of ideas, application of STEM and presentation of innovative solutions.

Samsung’s Solve For Tomorrow’s 2015 winner Lee Yan Fong advised participants to not be afraid of failure and never give up when faced with problems and challenges. “Most importantly, be passionate about what you are doing,” he said.

“We believe the Solve for Tomorrow competition is an ideal platform for students to be exposed to science and technology; and harness their full potential through the use of technology. It is also an opportunity to engage and encourage students’ curiosity in STEM while making a difference in the society,” said Kim.

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