The Curtin Croc Chal­lenge is back

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Higher Education -

CURTIN Univer­sity, Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) is or­gan­is­ing its sec­ond “Curtin Croc Chal­lenge” on Oct 14.

The in­au­gu­ral com­pe­ti­tion last year, held in con­junc­tion with the cam­pus open day, saw teams from 14 sec­ondary schools in the Miri di­vi­sion vy­ing for cash prizes worth RM3,500. This year, the com­pe­ti­tion will again be held on its open day and cash prizes amount­ing to over RM5,500 will be of­fered in two cat­e­gories – a Schools Cat­e­gory for stu­dents in Forms 3 to 6 and an Open Cat­e­gory for the pub­lic.

The Curtin Croc Chal­lenge is aimed at pro­mot­ing crit­i­cal think­ing through ex­po­sure to and the prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of elec­tron­ics and ba­sic pro­gram­ming to solve a real-life prob­lem – croc­o­dile sight­ings and at­tacks along Sarawak’s rivers in an ed­u­ca­tional and fun way.

The com­pe­ti­tion is or­gan­ised by the Elec­tri­cal and Com­puter En­gi­neer­ing Depart­ment of Curtin Malaysia’s Fac­ulty of En­gi­neer­ing and Science with sup­port from the univer­sity’s Of­fice of Re­search and De­vel­op­ment and the Board of En­gi­neers Malaysia (BEM).

Par­tic­i­pants will be re­quired to de­sign sim­ple elec­tronic sig­nalling sys­tems to alert river­ine com­mu­ni­ties when­ever croc­o­diles are de­tected in nearby rivers. They will demon­strate their con­cepts and de­signs us­ing Ar­duino elec­tronic kits and ba­sic pro­gram­ming, as well as posters and other vis­ual aids.

Curtin Malaysia will pro­vide the elec­tronic kits and tech­ni­cal ad­vice and sup­port, in­clud­ing as­sign­ing a tech­nol­ogy men­tor from the univer­sity to each team and or­gan­is­ing a ba­sic pro­gram­ming work­shop at its cam­pus. Those un­able to at­tend will be tu­tored via in­struc­tional videos, phone con­sul­ta­tion, e-mail or other means.

Ac­cord­ing to or­gan­is­ing chair­man Dr Wong Wei Kitt, many in­no­va­tive con­cepts for croc­o­dile de­tec­tion sys­tems were de­signed and demon­strated in last year’s com­pe­ti­tion and it was con­cluded that an elec­tronic imag­ing sys­tem could be a fea­si­ble method of de­tect­ing croc­o­diles.

“In this sec­ond edi­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion, we are tak­ing the chal­lenge one step fur­ther, fo­cus­ing on the de­sign of alarm sys­tems to alert vil­lagers as soon as an imag­ing sys­tem de­tects the pres­ence of croc­o­diles,” said Dr Wong.

He added that the com­pe­ti­tion would be an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for stu­dents and “tech whizzes” in the pub­lic to demon­strate their knowl­edge and skills in elec­tron­ics and ba­sic pro­gram­ming.

The Schools Cat­e­gory is open to team­sof­fives­tu­dentsan­da­su­per­vis­ing teacher from sec­ondary schools in Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei. They can field any num­ber of teams but the cat­e­gory is lim­ited to 30 teams on a first-come-first­served ba­sis. The Open Cat­e­gory mean­while, is lim­ited to 10 teams of five per­sons each. Par­tic­i­pa­tion is free of charge.

Those in­ter­ested can con­tact Steven­son Tan at 019-885 6076 or e-mail steven­son.tan@curtin.edu. my for in­for­ma­tion and reg­is­tra­tion forms. In­for­ma­tion is also avail­able at www.open­day.curtin. edu.my/croc-chal­lenge/.

Stu­dents from in­vited schools can en­quire with their school coun­sel­lors. The dead­line for reg­is­tra­tion is July 31. A short pro­mo­tional video of the com­pe­ti­tion can be viewed at http://youtu.be/huaGPmFaL98.

As the com­pe­ti­tion will be held in con­junc­tion with Curtin Malaysia Open Day 2017, par­tic­i­pants and their sup­port­ers will also have the op­por­tu­nity to take part in the ac­tiv­i­ties and get a taste of the univer­sity’s dy­namic cam­pus life. The open day, now into its 11th year, is geared to of­fer vis­i­tors a fun, hands-on learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in a fes­ti­val-like at­mos­phere.

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

The Curtin Croc Chal­lenge is aimed at pro­mot­ing crit­i­cal think­ing through ex­po­sure to and the prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of elec­tron­ics and ba­sic pro­gram­ming to solve a real-life prob­lem – croc­o­dile sight­ings and at­tacks along Sarawak’s rivers in an ed­u­ca­tional and fun way.

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