With the theme ‘POWERING MINDS OF THE FUTURE’, Shell Malaysia’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiative is back for the second consecutive year at the #mydigitalmaker Fair 2019 through the company’s collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
This year, Shell Malaysia’s STEM focused initiatives in education featured showcases on #MyGeekMovement and Shell NXplorers, the Shell Eco-Marathon fuel/energy efficiency prototype vehicle, the grand finale of the #ShellSelamatSampai Varsity Challenge (#SSS Varsity Challenge) and for the first time, the Shell Salt Water-powered Supercar.
The #MyGeekMovement and Shell NXplorers showcased Shell Malaysia’s STEM initiative where students completed their ‘sustainable living systems’ prototype invention using embedded Arduino and android mobile applications. Additionally, the Shell Eco-Marathon fuel/energy efficiency prototype vehicle showcased two categories of futuristic streamline vehicles that were designed to maximise efficiency in energy.
“Our young generation today are very much inclined towards technology; as such, we need to play our role in nurturing their interest in STEM through creative methods. Shell’s #MyGeekMovement aims to increase students’ critical and innovative thinking towards creating sustainable inventions for the future, while creating a pathway that will encourage them to become future engineers and innovators by providing them with the required skills and mentorship, “shared Shairan Huzani Husain, the Managing Director of Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd.
Also, for the first time, Shell featured its Salt Water-powered Supercar at the fair. This is an alternative to biofuel, where salt-water is used to power the Shell Salt Water Supercars. The cars were displayed at the fair and visitors tested the salt water-powered supercars by taking them to race at the designated mini track.
The highlight of Shell Malaysia’s showcase at the fair was the grand finale of the #SSS Varsity Challenge, which is an inter-varsity road safety innovation competition which kick started in 2017. This initiative aims to challenge students from all public and private universities in Malaysia to develop technical prototypes or devices for safety intervention that can help reduce road accidents.
“The number of fatalities in our country is very high, with more than 70% of them involving motorcyclists. We aim to share the Shell safety culture with the society and contribute towards reducing road accidents in the country by empowering our youth to leverage on technology and innovation to design interventions that will contribute towards achieving zero road related accidents among youth and motorcyclists,” explained Shairan.
20 teams were selected across public and private universities based on their project proposals and each participating team was given a RM 1,000 start-up fund to embark on an eight-week project implementation. At the end of the implementation, the participating teams submitted their final report and the best five teams were shortlisted as finalists.
This year, the top five teams that competed in the grand finals were all from public universities comprising Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka. These teams competed with each other by presenting their innovative road safety intervention prototype to a panel of judges.
The grand champion was Team Firecracker from Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM). This team invented a Change Lane Alert Assist (CLASs), which is an innovative solution to alert vehicle drivers against
potential head-on collisions.
“Winning this competition of high calibre means a lot to us and is an encouragement for us to further enhance our invention and to ensure it gets implemented not just in our university but also in all communities across our nation, as we believe that what we have created can help reduce road accidents in our country. We are also happy that Shell has the NXplorers initiative, which introduced us to new thinking tools and problem-solving methodologies, that played an important role in the implementation of our project, said Aiman Afeeq Saliman Yurid, 23, who is part of the Firecracker team from Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM).
The #SSS Varsity Challenge winner received a certificate, coveted trophy and a cash prize of RM10,000. Dr. Ahmad Azad Rashid, Senior Researcher, Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS); Erina Ismail, Principal Assistant Director, Higher Education Department; and Shazmi Ali, Human Resource Director, Shell Malaysia were the judges of the #SSS Varsity Challenge.