Tak­ing the lead in cre­at­ing young dig­i­tal mak­ers

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Higher Education -

CURTIN Uni­ver­sity, Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) has col­lab­o­rated with Malaysia Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Cor­po­ra­tion (MDeC) to launch the My Dig­i­tal Maker Move­ment (#my­dig­i­tal­maker) in Sarawak.

The joint pub­lic-pri­vate-academia ini­tia­tive aimed at trans­form­ing youth from mere dig­i­tal users to mak­ers in the dig­i­tal econ­omy, which also in­volves es­tab­lish­ing a #my­dig­i­tal­maker hub at Curtin Malaysia, was launched in con­junc­tion with the two-day IEEE (In­sti­tute of Elec­tri­cal and Elec­tronic En­gi­neers) Dig­i­tal Maker Expo held at the Curtin Malaysia campus re­cently.

Rep­re­sent­ing the uni­ver­sity at the launch was pro-vice-chan­cel­lor, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive Prof Jim Miencza­kowski while Youth Divi­sion di­rec­tor Su­mi­tra Nair rep­re­sented MDeC. Also present were Curtin Malaysia Fac­ulty of En­gi­neer­ing and Sci­ence dean Prof Ir Lau Hieng Ho and the fac­ulty’s Depart­ment of Elec­tri­cal and Com­puter En­gi­neer­ing head Dr Lenin Gopal.

#my­dig­i­tal­maker was of­fi­cially launched by Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Tun Razak last year in an ini­tia­tive to teach cod­ing as part of the na­tional school cur­ricu­lum.

As part of this, com­pu­ta­tional think­ing and com­puter sci­ence is in­cluded in the pri­mary and se­condary school cur­ric­ula as of this year. The move­ment is spear­headed by the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry with the sup­port of MDeC and will ben­e­fit over 1.2 mil­lion stu­dents from over 10,000 pri­mary and se­condary schools na­tion­wide.

MDeC is also work­ing with the pri­vate sec­tor and academia to set up dig­i­tal maker cen­tres in uni­ver­si­ties, schools and com­mu­ni­ties.

At these cen­tres, stu­dents who have demon­strated keen in­ter­est and tal­ent in com­puter sci­ence can take ad­van­tage of tools such as pro­gram­ming kits, Ar­duino elec­tronic boards and 3D printing ma­chines.

In his speech, Prof Miencza­kowski re­marked that Curtin Malaysia, as Curtin Uni­ver­sity’s re­gional hub for ed­u­ca­tion and re­search, was very proud to be part of the ini­tia­tive to cre­ate an ac­tive move­ment and ded­i­cated maker spa­ces to en­cour­age youths to be­come dig­i­tal mak­ers of the fu­ture.

He said the #my­dig­i­tal­maker hub housed in its new RM20mil Fac­ulty of En­gi­neer­ing and Sci­ence build­ing is a multi-pur­pose re­source room well equipped with dig­i­tal-mak­ing tools to en­cour­age and fa­cil­i­tate in­no­va­tive tech-driven projects.

The hub will also sup­port the an­nual Young In­no­va­tors Chal­lenge Miri pro­gramme cham­pi­oned by Curtin Malaysia and in­volv­ing trained Curtin Malaysia en­gi­neer­ing and sci­ence stu­dents men­tor­ing se­condary school teams in crafting so­lu­tions to real-life chal­lenges us­ing Ar­duino pro­gram­ming kits. Win­ners of the chal­lenge go on to rep­re­sent Sarawak in the na­tional-level com­pe­ti­tion.

In ad­di­tion to MDeC and Curtin Malaysia, the #my­dig­i­tal­maker hub at Curtin Malaysia is sup­ported by Sarawak En­ergy Ber­had, All Aboard Young Lead­ers Cen­ter (AAYLC), IM4U, Chum­baka and IEEE.

Curtin Malaysia of­fers world-ranked Curtin cour­ses in busi­ness, hu­man­i­ties, en­gi­neer­ing and re­lated sciences at foun­da­tion, un­der­grad­u­ate and post­grad­u­ate lev­els. The cour­ses are iden­ti­cal in all re­spects to those de­liv­ered at the Curtin cam­puses in Perth and Sin­ga­pore and de­grees earned at the Malaysian campus are con­ferred di­rectly by Curtin Uni­ver­sity.

Curtin Malaysia’s July/Au­gust in­take is now in progress. Stu­dents with out­stand­ing re­sults in the SPM, STPM, O-Level, A-Level and UEC ex­am­i­na­tions are ad­vised to take ad­van­tage of the Curtin Malaysia Merit Scholarships of­fer­ing sig­nif­i­cant tu­ition fee waivers.

More de­tails can be ob­tained at scholarships.curtin.edu.my.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion on Curtin Malaysia, visit www.curtin.edu.my, its Face­book page (Curt­inMalaysia), Twit­ter pro­file (curt­inmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), In­sta­gram (curt­inmalaysia )or YouTube chan­nel (Curtin Malaysia).

The joint pub­lic-pri­vate-academia ini­tia­tive is aimed at trans­form­ing youth from mere dig­i­tal users to mak­ers in the dig­i­tal econ­omy.

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