Tournament official Zairustina Putit (top, right) interacts with a couple of Sarawak participants during the semi-final round.

KUCHING: Fifteen teams from Sarawak have qualified for the finals of the national-level Junior Innovate 2020, set to be staged virtually this Jan 31.

The competition, which kicked off late October, involved the participation of 1,130 pupils and over 500 teachers from 274 primary schools from all over Malaysia.

The list of Junior Innovate 2020’s top 30 teams was recently released by the organiser Chumbaka Sdn Bhd – a social enterprise that aims to develop children’s life skills by inspiring them to create using technology.

Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) and Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (Tegas) are the national hosts for the competition.

The Sarawak teams that have made the cut are those from SJKC Chung Hua Miri, SK St Francis Xavier in Kanowit, SJKC Yee Ting (Kanowit) , SJKC Thai Kwang (Sibu), SJKC Sacred Heart (Sibu), SJKC Hock Lam (Kapit), SJKC Chung Hua No 3 (Kuching), SJKC Chung Hua No 4 (Kuching), SJKC Chung Hua No 5 (Kuching), SK Trusan (Lawas), SJKC Sungai Jaong (Marudi) and SJKC Chung Hua Sambir (Samarahan).

Junior Innovate is an annual competition meant to inspire a digital creator mindset among primary school pupils.

The theme for the 2020 edition is ‘A Game for Change – A Clean and Happy Earth’, where each participant is tasked with designing a game to promote positive changes for Mother Nature, with the use of open-source coding and micro-controllers.

“Physical classes may be out, but learning does not have to stop – this was proven right when over 300 primary school teams submitted their projects for Junior Innovate 2020.

“Despite the multiple disruptions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the competition still garnered an overwhelming number of submissions,” said Chumbaka in a press statement.

All finalists would be pitching their work before the judges live via video conferencing tool, Zoom, this Jan 31.

The entire competition will be streamed in real-time via FacebookLive (https://www.facebook.com/chumbaka.asia/) on same day.

The broadcast will commence at 10am.