Miri STEM Playground expects to draw over 7,000 visitors


Awangku Merali (seated fifth right) and the organising committee in a photo call after the press conference.

MIRI: More than 7,000 visitors are expected at the Miri Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Playground, which will take place on Aug 3 and 4.

The event is organised by the Sarawak government through Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas) and supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research and also Sarawak Multimedia Authority, in collaboration with Curtin University Malaysia.

Tegas chief operating officer Awangku Merali Pengiran Mohamed said the event will take place in three venues, namely Pustaka Miri, Miri City Fan and Miri Civic Centre.

“This event is being held conjunction with Curtin’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Science and Technology Exhibition 2019. Last year’s inaugural event managed to attract over 6,000 visitors.

“For this year, the people can expect more excitement and we hope to attract some 7,000 to 8,000 visitors,” he told a press conference here yesterday, adding Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin will be officiating at the event on Aug 3.

Awangku Merali said this year’s theme of ‘Discover, Create, Innovate’ is aimed at cultivating interest in STEM among students as young as five.

“The objectives of the event are to strengthen current STEM and information communication technology education in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions; to mitigate the declining trend of enrolment in science stream in Sarawak; to promote STEM education as easy and interesting as well as to provide innovative and creative teaching support system outside the classroom.”

He added that venues will be divided into Kids Zone, Innovative Science Zone, Technology and Robotic Zone, Humanitarian Zone, Sport and Science Zone, as well as H2O and Food Science Zone.

There will also be more than 20 interactive and family-friendly exhibits by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Teknologi Mara Sarawak, Pustaka Miri, Kinabalu Coder, Miri District Education Office, DreamCatcher, Chumbaka, Petrosains, Creative Robotic Borneo and Planetarium Sultan Iskandar.

“Apart from the exhibits, visitors can also participate in various STEM-related competitions such as STEM Challenge Open Category, STEM Challenge Tech Track, STEM Challenge Science Track, IEEE Science and Technology Innovation Championship, Young Innovators Challenge and the inaugural Junior Innovate Competition.

“There will also be science shows conducted by Petrosains titled ‘Cool Chemistry’, ‘Pressure Show’ and ‘Combustion Show’ which introduce the underlying science concept and principle in an exciting and fun way,” Awangku Merali said.

To make the event more meaningful, Tegas will be conducting a ‘micro:bit Workshop:Training of Trainer’ programme.

“It is a programme dedicated for schools where each school will be represented by a teacher and a student.

“During the workshop, we will teach the teachers and students how to use micro-controller board for innovative projects in their schools.

“It is also a programme to upskill teachers with new knowledge on technology,” he added.

The event runs from 10am to 5pm on each day. Admission is free.