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Sabahan Trio wins Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge 2019
Teenage trio from Sabah crowned champion after designing a prototype for school bus safety system
Kuala Lumpur, 20 November 2019 – A prototype of ‘Wing-ed School Bus’ clinched the top prize at the Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge (SDYIC) 2019 National Championship.

The prototype, developed by Team MVN from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Kemabong, Tenom, Sabah, defeated 14 other prototypes created by teams from secondary schools across 10 states to win the coveted top spot at the National Championship.

The winning trio from the interior of Sabah — Mark Greatingan M. Shapi, Niea Suelea Peturus, and Valerie Estelle Nicolas — developed the school bus safety system to ensure students’ safety when crossing roads after they disembark from buses. It also aims to educate other road users about pedestrian safety at locations where school buses make stops, to reduce accidents and fatalities involving school children who disembark from buses.

The team won a Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) innovation grant up to RM50,000 to develop and upscale their prototype to a viable solution for the community, and prizes worth up to RM4,000.

The winning teams were announced during a finale event at Sime Darby Convention Centre (SDCC) in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. YSD Governing Council member Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman, YSD CEO Dr. Hjh Yatela Zainal Abidin, Sime Darby Motors Head of Corporate Affairs Datuk Aishah Shaikh Ahmad and Co-founder of Yayasan Chow Kit Dr. Hartini Zainudin were present to hand over the prizes.

In conjunction with World Children’s Day, the children of Yayasan Chow Kit delivered special performances that highlighted the plight of refugees and undocumented children, as well as environmental issues. More than 80 school children and school teachers were invited to the prize-giving ceremony to commemorate the special day, and inspire them to innovate and create solutions for their communities.

Dr. Yatela said, the participating teams of SDYIC were required to produce workable prototypes that will address issues faced by our communities’ unsung heroes through the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technology such as sensors, software and electronics to initiate the exchange and collection of data and to create smart connected devices or solutions.

“This year, we put the spotlight on our everyday heroes — the school bus and commercial lorry drivers, fishermen, nurses and security guards, among others — and focus on bringing them solutions to make their demanding jobs a little easier.,” she said.

“To shine a light on their significant roles, the fourth edition of the SDYIC aims to create empathy-driven innovations which would solve some of their challenges. We believe that in solving their everyday challenges, we shall be solving the basic issues of the communities, towards solving national-level issues,” she added.

This year, 785 teams comprising a total of 2,283 students from 300 schools participated in the state-level Young Innovators Challenge competitions nationwide. This year’s SDYIC had also involved the training of 250 school teachers, and 200 undergraduate students from 14 universities as mentors to the participants.

Team Summer Paradise from SMK Merbau, Miri, Sarawak which developed a system to ensure parking spots for drivers with disability, placed second. Meanwhile, Team EC1 from Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, Johor Bahru, Johor which developed a prototype called Techno IV sensor to help nurses prevent medical complications in patient wards, won third place.

The runner-up team took home a YSD innovation grant worth RM10,000 and prizes worth up to RM2,950, while the second runner-up team bagged a YSD innovation grant worth RM5,000 and prizes worth up to RM2,000.

The innovation challenge, co-organised by YSD and social business start-up Chumbaka Sdn Bhd in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and partnering universities, brought together universities, the community and members of the technology industry to promote the cultivation of an innovative mindset, leadership as well as entrepreneurial skills among youth aged 13 to 17.

Throughout SDYIC 2019, participants had the opportunity to meet industry experts, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals and other enthusiasts in the field of innovative technology who shared insights on market validation and entrepreneurial skills to the students.

The teams also had the chance to engage with subject-matter experts to refine their prototypes, learn about various aspects of user experience as well as solutions to design-related problems.

Since its inception in 2016, the YSD flagship programme has reached 8,213 secondary students nationwide; and trained 784 undergraduate students, 608 school teachers and 7 Sime Darby employees as innovation mentors.
(left to right) Team MVN members Mark Greatingan M. Shapi, Niea Suelea Peturus, Valerie Estelle Nicolas and their teacher Hafizi Fazli Bakar with their prizes.
Top three winners with their teachers in a group photo with YSD Chief Executive Officer Dr. Hjh. Yatela Zainal Abidin, YSD Governing Council Member Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman, Sime Darby Motors Head of Corporate Affairs Datuk Aishah Shaikh Ahmad and Co-founder of Yayasan Chow Kit Dr. Hartini Zainudin.
One of the 15 competing teams from SMK Bandar Puncak Jalil presenting their prototype during the preliminary judging session.
Team MVN from SMK Kemabong presenting their prototype on stage during the final round.
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Last Updated:
28 Nov 2019
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