Team Afa Arduino wins Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge 2017

Teenage trio from Sekolah Agama Menengah Jeram, Kuala Selangor designed a prototype for an affordable and portable microscope. 

The top three winning teams of the Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge 2017 (bottom row) with (seventh from left) Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato' Othman, Governing Council Member of Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD), Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh, President and Group Chief Executive of Sime Darby , Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin, Governing Council Member of YSD, Yatela Zainal Abidin, Chief Executive Officer of YSD, Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman, Chairman of Sime Darby Berhad. The three winning teams are; in first place, Team Afa Arduino, second place, Team Komoku Card and in third place, Team Life Saviours.

Puchong, 8 August 2017 – A prototype of an affordable and portable microscope clinched the top prize at the Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge 2017 National Championship.

  The winning teams were announced today during a finale event at iM4u Sentral in Puchong, Selangor, which was attended by Sime Darby Berhad Chairman Tan Sri Ghani Othman. 

The prototype, developed by Team Afa Arduino from Sekolah Agama Menengah (SAM) Jeram from Kuala Selangor, beat 14 other prototypes created by teams from schools across 8 states to win the coveted top spot at the National Championship. 

Afa Arduino consists of 17 year olds Nur Asikin Zulkefli and Nur Anis Suratiman and 16 year old Ainurania Azzahra Zulkifli. 

They developed the microscope out of frustration of constantly having to compete with other students to use their school’s microscope. 

Each member of the winning team won a technology and innovation educational trip to Singapore, a one-day trip to Universal Studios Singapore as well as an Ultimate 2.0 robot kit worth RM20,000 in total. 

During his speech, Tan Sri Ghani said the innovation challenge provides a platform for students to sharpen their thought processes relevant to innovation and empower them to develop innovative solutions for real-world problems, a much needed skill in Malaysia. 

“Today, we are here to celebrate the 15 qualifying teams with their school teachers and mentors, who have been working hard for the past 7 days, enhancing their prototypes and attending various lessons including design thinking, market validation, entrepreneurship, prototyping and pitching skills. 

“I am proud to say that Sime Darby is empowering youths to seize opportunities and gain knowledge that will help put them on the path to success,” he said. 

Team Komoku Card from Sekolah Menengah Islam Hira’ Jeram, Kuala Selangor, which developed a prototype to help guide disabled passengers on public transportation to their seats, placed second while Team Life Saviours from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Lembah Bidong, Terengganu which developed an automatic fire detection system that could be attached to windows or doors to help residents escape during fires won third place. 

Each member of the runner up team won an Ultimate 2.0 robot kit worth RM7,000 in total while each member from the second runner up team won an mBot Ranger Transformable STEM Educational Robot Kit as well as an mBot Ranger Add-On Pack Laser Sword/Lightsaber worth RM3,000 in total. 

A joint collaboration between Yayasan Sime Darby, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), social business start-up Chumbaka, training provider Tandemic and youth volunteer community iM4U, the innovation challenge is a nationwide event bringing together universities, the community and members of the technology industry to celebrate the creativity and inventiveness of secondary school students in Malaysia. 

Endorsed by the Ministry of Education, the initiative seeks to develop students’ life skills especially in problem-solving, tenacity and collaboration in solving real-life problems with innovative technology. 

iM4U Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Azlan Rudy Malik said the Young Innovators Challenge is a great example of a concerted effort by all institutions to develop, drive change and impact the youths in the country. 

“We are truly grateful to be given the opportunity to work with such established brands in their efforts to develop ideators among the future generation. The youth are our future and as a growing community we need to do our part to foster leaders and to create a sustainable future for all generations to come,” he said. 

With a total of 17 universities involved this year, university students served as mentors to participants from the 318 schools. 

Out of 1,000 teams which participated in the state-level Young Innovate Competitions held from 20 May 2017 to 22 July 2017, 15 teams qualified for the SDYIC 2017 National Accelerator Camp which took place from 2 to 8 August 2017. 

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 provided knowledge, solutions, information on market validation and entrepreneurial skills to the students. 

The list included Iflix Malaysia CEO Azran Osman Rani, Google for Education Asia Pacific Programme Coordinator Amir Amha, Saora Industries CEO Ganesh Murren and Earth Heir CEO Sasibai Kimis. 

The teams were also taken on field trips to engage with subject matter experts such as farming social enterprise Eats, Shoots and Roots and Sime Darby Plantation Research and Development (R&D) to refine their prototypes, gain information on various aspects related to user experience and knowledge to solve problems related to their designs. 

Chumbaka Business Development Manager Eunice Ooi said the past one week has been a positive, intense learning experience for all 15 teams. 

“We're so proud of all of them for making it this far. A huge congratulations to the winning team.” 

“We hope that this journey of learning will enable them to do greater things in the near future,” she said. 

For more details on the SDYIC, follow their Facebook page here or check out their website here.  

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Last Updated:
03 Jan 2018
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