Written by Nurul Nadwa Zulkifli & Fatin Aliah Phang
Centre for Engineering Education (CEE), University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) continues to raise awareness of low carbon society by organising the 3rd Problem Based Learning (PBL) for Low Carbon Society (LCS) program in collaboration with Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Johor (JPNJ) and Kyoto Environmental Activities Association (KEAA), supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Majlis Bandaraya Iskandar Puteri (MBIP).
A total of 356 Form 2 students and 54 STEM teachers from 12 secondary schools in Johor involved in the program conducted in October 2018. The schools were SMK Seri Kota Puteri 2, SMK Sultanah Engku Tun Aminah, SM Islam Hidayah, SMK Seri Pulai Perdana, SMK Dato Jaafar, SMK Taman Johor Jaya 2, SMK Kota Masai 2, SMK Dato Penggawa Barat, SMK Sultan Ismail, SMK Kelapa Sawit, SMK Telok Kerang and SM Islam As-siddiq.
The program started in 2016 with only 2 pilot schools and expanded to 6 schools in 2017. It was a one year educational program among Form 2 students, which required them to learn about LCS themselves using PBL and then to propose a solution for low carbon problems in groups. All the teachers were trained and mentored both on LCS and PBL at CEE ranging from Environmental awareness, Active Learning, Cooperative Learning and PBL. After the training, the teachers crafted suitable real world problems related to LCS issue for the students to learn and solve. CEE team visited schools to provide clinical supervisions for the teachers. At the end of the program, the students presented their reports. From 90 reports submitted, 36 were selected for the semi-final competition as an incentive for them. And from there, 6 were selected for the final competition.
This year, the semi-final and final competitions were held at the MBIP Hall, Skudai during the Iskandar Malaysia towards Low Carbon Society 2018 Seminar. In this competition, 36 groups out of 90 groups made it to the semi-finals and they needed to present and convinced their proposed solutions positively to the judges. Excitingly, six groups from SMK Seri Kota Puteri 2, SMK Sultanah Engku Tun Aminah, SM Islam Hidayah, SMK Seri Pulai Perdana, SMK Dato Jaafar and SMK Dato Penggawa Barat made it to the final. The LCS issues included waste management, energy, water and transportation.
The judges for the final competition were Prof. Dr. Khairiyah Mohd Yusof, Director of CEE UTM who is also an expert in PBL, Ms. Satomi Tomita from KEAA, Mr. Amiruddin Abd Manaf from JPNJ, Ms. Daisy Harry from Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) and Ms. Chew Lee Tin from MBIP. The winner of the PBL for LCS 2018 was a group of two students (The Nature Knight group) from SMK Seri Kota Puteri 2 with the project entitled The Hidropower. The first runner up (Chryscoral group) and second runner up (Crytalation) were from SMK Sultanah Engku Tun Aminah and SM Islam Hidayah respectively. The champion won a study trip to Kyoto City funded by JICA in collaboration with KEAA and the Kyoto City.
The program not only raised awareness about LCS among students, teachers and parents, it also instilled interest in STEM among the students as well as developing 21st century skills in them such as communication skills, critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration and life-long learning. Through this program, 54 teachers were trained to organize their classes using PBL and hopefully they would be able to use this teaching method to make their students become independent learners. UTM will continuously mentor the teachers in implementing PBL to create awareness in LCS in the future which in line with the STEM education and 21st century learning.