Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education plays a significant part in accommodating technological progress and innovation in developed countries as well as their developing counterparts. Nonetheless, a recent trend shows lack of interest among students to pursue career in STEM-related fields. Exposing students as early as possible to the potential career pathways in STEM-related fields remains a real obstacle. However, studies show educating students when they are still in schools and providing them with someone to idolize as role models, could ameliorate the situation.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia as the forefront university in technology and engineering has taken a step forward in addressing this issue. On 12 August of 2018, UTM XCITE in collaboration with Embassy of the United States of America had organised a one day event called STEM Engagement @SMK Bandar Uda Utama to promote STEM among students and inspire them to pursue career in STEM-related fields. A group of seven US TechWomen entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley was brought to SMK Bandar Uda Utama to engage and experience how STEM culture being nurtured in the school. SMK Bandar Uda Utama was chosen as it is the adopted school under UTM XCITE. Among the delegates was Madam Rekha Pai Kamath who is an entrepreneur and mentor from Fast Forward, a startup accelerator which provides support, mentorship and access to financial capital for emerging companies.
Twenty-first century mode of teaching and learning was demonstrated by a teacher from SMK Bandar Uda Utama. Apart from that, the school has also organised STEM-related games; students were given tools and materials to develop their inventions. Later in the evening, students from SMK Bandar Uda Utama and a few from SMK Sultan Ismail were given opportunities to share their creative inventions to the visitors. Innovative inventions such as smart brick, automated warning system, key apps finder, parking lots detector and many more have attracted the interest of the visitors. The guests expressed their gratitude towards the warm welcome they had received from the organiser and the students. The event, which started at 2.00 p.m., ended at 5.00 p.m.
UTM XCITE would like to thank Madam Hajah Rosliza and Mr. Herriyan and several other teachers from SMK Bandar Uda Utama as well as representatives from SMK Sultan Ismail who have helped us in making this event a success. UTM XCITE would also like to thank Malaysia’s Embassy of the United States of America and US TechWomen for their support.
Reported by: Mohamad Norisham Mohamad Rosdi
Location: SMK Bandar Uda Utama