Presenting what you learn is a crucial phase in the cycle of learning. It’s not the easiest nor the most pleasurable for anyone. To be vulnerable and open to feedback and comments makes it even more difficult. However, the key takeaways and learnings are very enriching.
In Arus, all our students have to present their learnings in the form of projects they created. As a result, Arus organises an Exhibition Day towards the end of our long term programmes to provide students with the opportunity to share.
It was nerve-racking leading up to the ultimate day. The week was full of programmes and events. The teachers were busy preparing the students for our annual Exhibition Day. Our alumni students were ready to help from setting up space to finalising their roles on that day. The students were proactive and volunteered themselves to be the emcees, programme manager, usherers and the media team. The teachers were pretty much supporting the alumni students in running the show.
On the morning of the Exhibition Day, as early as 7 am, Sir Wei Young helped fetch some of the students from around the neighbourhood. Our intern, Chun Sing ready with the camera to capture and document footage as people started coming in. Teacher Nabihah was there to welcome her GEMS girls whom some are coming for the first time to Arus. (GEMS this year is conducted in 2 schools, SK Macang Bubok & SK Kampung Baru)
We had parents of students, even their school teachers and members of the public attending this exhibition. We’re happy to see familiar faces making their presence felt on that Day. We had Mr Ooi Peng Ee and Elisa from Penang Science Cluster and Dr Chew YS from Chumbaka. We would like to thank them for making time to visit us on this occasion given their tight schedule. We truly appreciate it!
The students exhibited their learnings through the projects that they have created. All Arus student projects are towards solving a problem in their communities. For GEMS, students attempted to solve problems or challenges faced by people in their respective schools. They may be their teachers or friends. For Maker Academy, students explored through their projects how they could transform BM town towards SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. The targets were to improve the mobility of people, preserve cultural heritage, and enable more people to enjoy public green spaces. The students spoke to a variety of guests in the exhibition. We also had a team from our YES (Young Engineers for Society) programme exhibiting their project.
They then had the opportunity to pitch their projects to a seated audience. Our emcees of the day, Khai Boon and Sai Tatt introduced each group to pitch their projects. We would like to congratulate the Best Project for Maker Academy which is Cool Bus Stop. Cool Bus Stop is developed by Chia Jia Ying, Munenthar, and Puggal Raj. The project aims to encourage more people to choose public transport over cars in their travels by improving existing bus stops to be more comfortable in our hot, sticky Malaysian climate. With an abundance of sunlight in this country, their project incorporated a solar panel to power the electronics that control fans that cool the bus stop when commuters are waiting for the bus. Other than that, the most creative idea for GEMS was a project to help security guards in schools. It is a project done by Nurin Qistina, Hani Maisarah, & Siti Nor Umi Humaira. They interviewed the security guard in their school and found out that she struggled to control the traffic flow outside the school when school ends. The girls designed a robot that can assist by detecting if students are queueing to cross the road. The robot will move onto the road to stop traffic.
These are real challenges and problems that our students strive to solve armed with the knowledge and skills gained throughout the programme. Learning new things have become important and relevant when it is needed. Our students gained valuable experience by presenting their ideas and listening to feedback. This forms a complete cycle in their learning process, enabling them to further develop their ideas.
Nearing the end of the exhibition, students from Maker Academy, class of 2019 were initiated into our growing group of alumni students. This is the next step of the Maker journey. This year’s Exhibition Day is the first time where alumni students played a more central role in managing the event and also being recognised for their growth. We introduced the Alumni Awards to recognise alumni students in various ways. They comprise of Leadership Award, Maker Award, Catalyst Award, and Determination Award. The Leadership Award went to Hong Khai Boon for being a leader to himself and others, leading a side project to set up an aquaponics system as well as facilitating in Arus classes. He shared that “If you want to change something, change yourself first”. Maker Award went to Thivedraan Jambu Kumaran for his constant tinkering and project-making. He’s been involved in numerous projects and never afraid of exploring. He likes to say, “Try only lah!”. Catalyst Award went to Yeong Ke Xin for developing into a person that can bring people together. She is a natural connector to all students, new or old with her enthusiasm. Determination Award went to Ainaa Athirah. She has shown tremendous perseverance in the face of challenges and hardship in developing the team’s project for the Young Innovators Challenge. Her strong will to press on is truly admirable. These awards were awarded after their peers and teachers have nominated them. Their friends and teachers cited a time when the nominee demonstrated those attributes. All nominated students are recognised as each of them were presented with a gift that featured stories of themselves from their friends’ nomination.
We also would like to congratulate all our students and alumni students for their involvement in this Exhibition Day. For every one of them, it was a meaningful learning experience either exhibiting or in managing the event itself. Looking forward to a growing community of inventors and innovators through our students!