The American Chemical Society (ACS) Global Project SEED Program aims to nurture junior research mentees by working alongside mentor scientists at the selected research institutions. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) was chosen as one of the partner universities to host school students in its program conducted in December 2019.

The program was managed by ACS Malaysia Chapter in collaboration with Yayasan PETRONAS. Two students from Malay College Kuala Kangsar and Muar High School underwent research attachment at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, UTM for a month, starting from 1st December till 31st December 2019.

The students were given the chance to experience a guided research project, consisting of several areas such as analytical and electrochemistry, natural product chemistry, material chemistry, biochemistry, and forensic chemistry. During this month-long experience, the students embarked on exploratory learning via scientific experiments, observing the results, analysing the data, and preparing the scientific report.

The students were provided with a structured program, involving laboratory and chemical safety briefing, scientific instrumentation handling, laboratory accreditation procedure and attending research symposium. The overall SEED program was designed to build a strong foundation for a successful students’ future and paves a significant shift from the conventional way of learning science.

Based on the students’ feedback, having the opportunity to be mentored by UTM experts have sharpened their skills in planning and solving problems. Moreover, the students also gained generic and transferable skills that can be applied in their life through this program. This program has successfully assisted them in setting a clearer future direction for their next endeavor in education and ultimately, their career.

The SEED program is among the longstanding collaborative activities between ACS and UTM in empowering chemical sciences education and communicate chemistry values, especially in Malaysia. UTM will continue to support any collaborative initiatives, such as SEED program, to elevate our nation’s science agenda to greater heights.

 

Prepared by: Dr. Mohd Bakri Bakar and Dr. Sheela Chandren