GOOGLE, UEM LOOK FOR PROGRAMMERS
Collaboration aims to encourage digital innovation among Malaysian students aged between 13 and 17
ENGINEERING-BASED infrastructure and services conglomerate UEM Group Bhd, with the support of Google Malaysia, is encouraging digital innovation among Malaysian students by drawing students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in a competitive yet informal setting.
The collaboration will see both parties organising coding, circuitry and robotics makerthons for students aged between 13 and 17.
Known as project share, think, ask, respond (STAR), UEM Group said the project which was rolled out in 2015 with teaching provider, Chumbaka, is an education and community-focused initiative involving lower band schools located in and around Klang Valley.
“Teams from project STAR will be given an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges after which chosen groups will participate in Google’s code-in, an annual global contest that introduces pre-university students to open source software development,” it said.
Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris said project STAR is designed to nurture innovation and creativity among Malaysia’s youth.
“Our collaboration with Google is in line with our aspiration to play a role in creating a knowledgeable and technically-advanced Malaysia.
“Technology and computers are very much the core of the global economy going forward. For Malaysian students not to be left behind and to prepare them for the demands of the 21st century, it is essential that they learn basic computer programming skills.
“I believe that the ability to code and understand the power of computing is crucial to success in today and tomorrow’s hyperconnected world,” he said.
“The uniqueness of project STAR is the participation of our employees who act as mentors where they guide, assist as well encourage the students to complete their respective project and compete in competition.”
Since 2010, over 3,200 students from 99 countries took part in the contest.
Project STAR’s past notable achievements include five of its students winning a spot to visit Silicon Valley via Malaysia Digital Economy Corp’s digital maker global exchange programme.
They also won top prizes in various competitions including International Invention and Innovation Exhibition 2016, KL Engineering Science Fair and Young Innovate Competition.
Google managing director for Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and new emerging markets Sajith Sivanandan said Google was always eager to help whenever it led to more local students embracing STEM education along with opportunities that celebrate innovation in the classroom.
UEM Group has invested some RM50 million between 2013 and last year in community engagement and charitable activities with education being its core focus.
UEM Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris and Google managing director for Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and new emerging markets Sajith Sivanandan at the launch community initiative in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.