Sibu to host Saintex 2.0, STEM Playground on July 26-28

Wong (third left) presenting the mock cheque to Khairuddin. Also seen are (from right) Mohd Zainal, Ramli and Awangku Merali.

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by Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 10: The Sarawak Innovation and Technology Exhibition 2.0 (Saintex 2.0) and STEM Playground is coming back for a second year with programmes to inspire creativity and invention, taking place from July 26 to 28 at the University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) in Sibu.

Saintex 2.0 and STEM Playground, which feature an exhibition and competitions, aim to encourage creative thinking and increase innovation among students, youths, educators and professionals in Sarawak and Malaysia.

UCTS vice-chancellor and president Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Hamid expressed hope to see the event expand its global reach next year.

“We will try to allow and bring in international participants. For a start, we are looking at inviting Indonesia and Brunei,” he told a press conference after receiving a grant of RM50,000 from the Ministry of International Trade and e-Commerce today.

Its minister, who is also Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh handed over the mock cheque for the grant to Khairuddin in a simple presentation ceremony at the ministry office in Bangunan Baitul Makmur here.

Wong emphasised that Saintex is organised to provide a platform to heighten awareness among young people in discovering talents by means of venturing into innovation and creativity.

“It has received overwhelming response not only from local institutions but also those from overseas,” he added.

For the competition events this year, Khairuddin disclosed that about 30 participants are expected to showcase their inventions and innovations.

“We want to encourage our youths in particular and professionals to be more hands-on and use their skills to create and invent instead of just focusing on studying theories,” he said.

The competition features three categories. The Product Category, which is open to all including international participants, will showcase products produced from research and development (R&D).

The Fundamental Research Category includes experimental, theoretical and/or simulation works that explain specific scientific theories.

The Design Concept Category is for architectural, engineering and service designs.

Both the Fundamental Research and Design Concept categories are only open to local inventors.

As for the STEM Playground, it features a science, technology, engineering and mathematics competition for schools.

A total of RM23,000 in prizes are up for grabs. The winner for the Product Category will take home RM5,000, while second place will receive RM3,500 and third place RM1,500.

The winner for the Fundamental Research and Design Concept categories will bag RM3,500 respectively, while second place will receive RM2,000 and third place RM1,000 respectively.

UCTS Centre for Continuing Education and Professional Development director Assoc Prof Dr Ramli Rashidi, its School of Business and Management Dean Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Zainal Munshid Harun and Tegas chief operating officer (COO) Awangku Merali Pengiran Mohamed were present. — DayakDaily