Promoting innovation in schools
ON the first day of school, Form One students of SM Imtiaz Kuala Terengganu are told to think of a product which can expose them to research methodology, and exploration.
The chosen product will become a co-curricular activity until they complete their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination.
SM Imtiaz Kuala Terengganu, which has adopted the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), aims to promote both challenging and enjoyable highend learning across the school to develop talents, and create a professional learning culture.
The school made SEM a subject for Form One students where a module focusing on research and creativity was introduced.
“With the implementation of SEM we were able to find effective ways to cover the three-year syllabus,” said school principal Mohd Yusoff Othman.
Yusoff said projects were based on the student’s interest and were carried out in groups and coordinated by teachers.
“In the enrichment clusters, teachers serve as guides on research methodology, exploring the development of products and finally its production.”
The students also receive the support from their parents who believe SEM will set a strong foundation for the holistic development of their children.
The school and its students have achieved numerous awards at state, national and international level competitions and are now waiting for intellectual property rights approval for at least two products.
At the 8th European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation (EuroInvent 2016) in Iasi, Romania, two of the environment friendly products namely Nifty Cleaner Kit and Dr Duster with Green Cleaner were awarded one gold medal, one silver medal and three special awards.
The students, who have to make presentations and answer questions from the jury, defeated 40 other entries from nations more developed than Malaysia, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Korea and Taiwan.
Project supervisor Saripah Embong said all Imtiaz students could recite the Quran by heart and this served as the foundation for their academic excellence.
“In 2009, the students, who were divided into groups of five carried out 12 projects and in 2011, students and teachers undertook 61 projects. Last year they came up with 50 products and we chose three of the best to represent the school at state, national and international levels.
“Two inventions, namely Dr Duster and Nifty Cleaner Kit which have won international awards are being patented,” she said.
She said the student’s inventions would normally come to fruition after three years and in the fourth and fifth year they should finalise their products and make a presentation to the teachers before being shortlisted to represent the school at competitions.
Azrol Azam Zunaini, a fifth former who headed the research on the Dr Duster product, said to cut costs, the group recycled plastic containers and surfed the Internet to identify the chemicals used in marker pens.
“We finally found out that we can remove permanent ink using aloe vera-based gel in a sprayer while for the duster we used sugarcane fibre. It worked and even surprised some teachers.
“We used recycled materials because we want our product to be eco-friendly. We are doing our bit to save the world.”
He explained that the letter ‘D’ stands for double (eco-friendly and convenient product) and ‘R’ means reuse, reduce, recycle (the ingredients of the product).
Azrol Azam said although the research to production process took a long time, the learning experience was invaluable. The reward, he said, was winning the Gold Medal from WIIPA (World Invention Intellectual Property Associations) at the Kaohsiung International Invention & Design Expo in Taiwan in December 2015.
The environment-friendly product again won the Gold Medal at the 8th European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation (EuroInvent 2016) in Iasi, Romania.
Meanwhile, SMK Chukai‘s track record in its academic and co-curricular activities have earned the school the title as an excellent cluster school in Terengganu.
It is known for producing the best mathematics students and silat exponents in the country.
On Jan 21 this year, Form Three student Mohamad Shafiq Akram Shafee won the third prize at the 8th Asian Finals of the World Mathematical Olympiad and Asian Science and Mathematics Olympiad in Selangor.
Form Five student Muhammad Shahmiel Ashraf Zulkhairi beat the others at the Karnival Tempur Bela- diri Besut 2017, an international silat tournament, from Jan 27 to 31.
School principal Roeaidah Yusuff attributed the success of the students to their high level of discipline.
She said the school subscribed to the principles of upholding unity and teamwork.
“As our strengths are producing excellent maths students, we are collaborating with Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin in Terengganu to nurture more talent in the field. We even set up a maths room for this purpose.
“For silat, we are working closely with Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Perak to develop more experts. Our school has even set up a silat room in 2014 with Ahmad Nesfu Jusoh as the coach,” she said.
In an interview, Mohammad Shafiq Akram said he started to like Maths since he was in Year Three and he owed it to a dedicated teacher. He always scored A in Modern Maths in secondary school.
“I had never gone for private tuition. I learnt a lot from the compulsory night revision from 8pm to 10pm daily,” he said, adding that he wanted to be a pharmacist.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Shahmiel said he hoped to participate in more international silat tournaments.
“I started learning silat since Form One. I was influenced very much by my father. Our silat coach has instilled in us a high level of discipline too. We go for training from 5pm to 6.30pm three times a week, and the training intensifies before a tournament,” he said.
Ahmad Nesfu, who has been a silat coach for the past 13 years, said there are about 80 members at present and the school will send students for four tournaments a year.
SMK Imtiaz students with their award-winning inventions.
SMK Chukai’s track record in its academic and co-curricular activities have earned the school the title as an excellent cluster school in Terengganu.