Taking the lead in creating young digital makers
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.