Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL State 2010

May 7th, 2010 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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NOTE: Photos are at Picasa.

For last two years, I missed out on the Science Fair program organised by Tamil Foundation. This year, I was in danger of missing out again due to lack of time. So, I decided to help out as volunteer on the event day itself. It felt weird being a volunteer after being in organizing  capacity in recent years for various events. Anyway, being a volunteer is about following orders, so hopefully I did OK. I was handed an awkward task of monitoring booths 11 to 20 on that day. Awkward in the sense that booths 11 to 16 were on one end, while booths 17 to 20 were on the opposite end of adjacent rows. In the end, it turned out OK because the participants handled most of the problems themselves, barring the odd requests for extra tables, problem with power supply, and problem with exhibit materials falling down 🙂  Oh yeah, I also took the liberty to go around snapping pictures (more than 200 shots!) 🙂

OK, enough of me talking about me. let’s move to the event.

From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010

Science Fair started in 2007 on a smaller scale. It is now in its fourth year, and is organised at both state and national levels. The one I attended is Selangor and KL state (combined). It was held at TNB Hall in Bangsar (Jalan Bukit Pantai). The event is open to all Tamil schools in Selangor and KL. I think there are about 97 schools in Selangor and 15 in KL. But a total of 72 schools confirmed to take part this, and eventually 70 turned up. The schools were given topics to choose and they were then expected to come out with experiments that showcase the particular topic. There were few recurring topics during the event. Actually, Tamil Foundation sends facilitators to each school to guide and monitor the progress of the participating teams. The students have to prepare a log book of their activities as well. So, its quite an elaborate and time consuming program (hats off to the organizers and  facilitators!)

From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010

The event began around 7.30am (but I was uncharacteristically late!). I arrived around 8.10am at the hall, and most of participants were busy setting up their booths. A team consists of 5 students and two teachers, but I saw many booths having more than two teacher, while some even imported “help” from outsider (advice, setting up etc.). Talked to two of my friends who were there in the capacity as free “consultants” for their respective schools. I was simply amazed at the effort put in by teachers and students in most of the booths. Some really looked expensive and professionally done. Even the students were smartly dressed in some instances.

From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010

After about 1.5 hours (9.10am) ,the judging began. At this point, only students were allowed to be present at the booths. The rest of the “supporters” were seated around the hall. Judges, in teams of three, went around evaluating between 5 to 6 booths each. I noticed some familiar faces like Ponnusamy, Logeswaran, Kamalendran, Kannan, Karthe, and Velavan among the panel of judges. It was interesting to watch the students trying their best to do their presentation and also answer questions from the judges. Their command of English was quite good as well! Maybe the chosen students were among the best students in their respective schools.

From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010

The evaluation ended around 12pm, after which the judges retired to their judges room to reconcile marks. The hall was now open to public, and boy, the public just swarmed the place! Teachers, parents, students..all flocked to view their booths. Proud parents stood beaming as they watched their kids explain to visitors about their experiments. Teachers were busy adjusting things and exchanging notes among themselves. It was hectic, and yet at the same time, there was an air of accomplishment. I just felt proud seeing these kids.

From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010
From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010

The fair ended around 3pm, and it was time for closing ceremony. At this point there were some confusing on seating arrangements, which I think should have not occurred in the first place. After some sorting out, and apologies to the audience, the closing ceremony started. There were 6 speeches – program coordinator, program director, Tamil Foundation president, chief judge (I was  amazed to see my ex-school teacher, Mr VKS Shanmugam up on stage!) , VIP – director of National Science Center Associate Professor Dr Irmawati, and VIP Selangor State EXCO Dr Xavier Jayakumar. Maybe should reduce the speeches to just 3 in future. But I appreciate the speakers who kept their speech to minimal.

From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010

After the speeches, it was prize giving time. Even though the event is a expo, but there’s an element of competition to spur the students. Thus various awards were given out. Unfortunately, the description or purpose of the awards were not mentioned, and this kind of defeats the purpose of giving awards in the first place. The movement of students on stage and also arrangement for photography on stage was also not planned properly, resulting in impromptu arrangements. Something to be improved in the next edition, I guess.  Perhaps the organisers need to do a simple rehearsal next year to avoid such hiccups.

Finally, the proper winners were announced. The initial prize included cash amount of RM500, RM300, and RM200 respectively for top three winners. But EWRF president agreed to top up RM500 for each of the top three winners for both states. (So, its RM1000, RM800 and RM700 respectively). For KL state, top three schools were chosen while five schools were chosen in Selangor. I didn’t have time to jot down all the winners since was controlling students on one end of the stage. Among the winners which I remember are:

Selangor:

1st: SJKT Methodist Kapar

2nd: SJKT Taman Permata

3rd: SJKT Teluk Merbau

4th: SJKT Kajang

5th: SJKT Batu Ampat

KL:

1st: SJKT San Peng

2nd: SJKT Segambut

3rd: SJKT Edinburgh

From Science Fair for Young Children Selangor and KL 2010

I was touched to see tears of joy from some of the students and even teachers. It goes to show how much they appreciate getting some award or recognition from others. This kind of program can spur students and teachers alike to perform better, not only in education, but in their daily life.

The program ended around 5.30pm. We helped to clean the hall, but I had to leave by 8pm due to other commitments. Not sure what time the rest of them went home.

In summary, it was a good program, an eye-opener for some sections of the community. Its an event that should be given more prominence and support. As for improvements, I think it needs more publicity and funding. Secondly, schools and parents should be encouraged to send their students to attend the fair, apart from just sending few students to take part. As for the organising part, a rehearsal or two will tie up the loose ends.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the organisers, facilitators, judges, volunteers, schools, teachers, parents and students for a job well done.

I hope to contribute again in the National level event later this year.

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4 comments

  1. rathi says:

    the fifth place in selangor state is SJK( t ) Batu Ampat and the second palce in KL state is SJK ( T ) Segambut

  2. rathi says:

    thank you sir.

  3. MOGANAPRIYA says:

    METHODIST KAPAR BOLEH!I LOVE MY METHODIST KAPAR SCHOOL.