STEM Playground goes virtual for the first time

Len (third left) speaking to reporters during the press conference on STEM Playground Virtual Fair 2020 today (Sept 14) while the others look on.

KUCHING, Sept 14: The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Playground for this year will be held on a digital platform for the first time so as to reach as many as students throughout the state as possible.

The programme, which is one of the initiatives by the Sarawak government through Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (Tegas), will be held from Sept 28 until Oct 4, 2020.

It will be held in collaboration with with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC), Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research (MESTR) and Sarawak State Education Department (JPNS).

According to Tegas chairman Datu Len Talif Salleh, the high-impact STEM playground programme was organised in 2016 and for this year under the new normal environment, Tegas has turned to the digital platform for the delivery of the programme content.

“This is the first time that STEM Playground is being organised virtually and digitally since its first edition in 2016. The programme will roll out non-stop for 24-7 via the website.

“As of now, the STEM Playground Virtual Fair 2020  is considered to be the first and the biggest STEM virtual fair of its kind not only in Sarawak but in Malaysia,” he said during the press conference on STEM Playground Virtual Fair 2020, held at Menara Grand, here today.

Len Talif, who is also Assistant Minister for Urban Development and Resources, noted that with the theme ‘Discover, Create, Innovate’, STEM Playground Virtual Fair aims to cultivate interest in STEM among students.

“In the context of Sarawak, I always included (an extra letter) E, as English, to be as important as well. For that reason, the state government through the MESTR has put aside a substantial amount of money to teach English in schools throughout the state.

“So in our context STEM should be Science, Technology, Engineering, English and Mathematic,” he said.

He also pointed out the aim of STEM Playground among others are to strengthen current STEM and the information and communication technology (ICT) education in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions (Action 35, Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy).

“Including to mitigate the declining trend of enrollment for science stream in Sarawak, to promote STEM education as an easy and interesting subject to learn, and to provide innovative and creative teaching support systems outside the classroom.

“Previously organised in Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Kapit, the programme managed to reach out to around 40,000 students. But through the STEM Playground Virtual Fair, Tegas is targeting to reach out to 150,000 or more students in Sarawak,” he added.

For more information on the programme, visit Tegas Facebook page or contact Tegas secretariat Fredick Kevin Buseli (013-8227569) or Syukri Arabi (014-6873069). –DayakDaily.