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By Han Shin Ni, Nor Hasniza Ibrahim, Johari Surif, Noorzana Khamis, Marlina Ali, Muhammad Ikram Zakaria, Norulhuda Ismail, Hanifah Jambari

Pengerang, 27th November 2023 – Hotel Amerald Pengerang witnessed a day of intellectual stimulation and innovation as 110 students from SMK Pengerang Utama, along with 7 lecturers and 20 facilitators from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), gathered for the STEM Explorance Camp. This program was kindly funded by Petronas and Pengerang Terminals Two, and aimed to promote a deeper understanding of STEM education through problem-based learning and increase student interest in STEM fields.

The day kicked off with a motivational speech by Assoc. Prof Dr. Johari Bin Surif, who passionately spoke about the importance of innovation. His words resonated with the young minds, encouraging them to delve into the world of creativity and explore the true meaning of innovation.

During the motivational talk by Dr. Johari, students were not only inspired by his words on innovation but also engaged in a friendly competition to build the tallest tower using only straws. This interactive activity added an extra layer of excitement and hands-on learning to the event.

Next, the students participated in a project based learning session led by Assoc. Prof Dr. Nor Hasniza Ibrahim. The students were divided into groups and given the task to construct a Hot Air Balloon using simple materials such as plastic, skewers, alcohol, cotton, a small aluminum bowl, and rope. The students not only built the balloon but also delved into the theory behind its functioning, fostering a hands-on approach to learning.

The highlight of the day was undeniably the Explorance STEM activity, a dynamic and collaborative experience that brought students together in groups to conquer challenges at five checkpoints.

Dr. Muhammad Ikram spearheaded the first checkpoint, introducing students to the “Human Spider Web” challenge, where students applied mathematical knowledge and skills to make informed decisions, solving challenges in diverse contexts. This hands-on experience emphasized the interconnected nature of mathematics, fostering a holistic understanding and showcasing its relevance in real-world problem-solving.

Dr. Noorzana Khamis guided students through the second checkpoint, which entailed the creation and testing of paper planes, offering a hands-on exploration of Bernoulli’s principle.

Dr. Norulhuda Ismail facilitated the third checkpoint, the clinometer, which students engaged in using trigonometric concepts to calculate the height of an object. This hands-on experience not only demonstrated the practical application of mathematical concepts in solving engineering problems but also provided students with active learning experiences outside the traditional classroom setting.

Moving on to checkpoint four, under the guidance of Madam Marlina Ali, students embarked on the exciting task of launching water rockets, which combines the physics principles.

Finally, checkpoint five, led by PM Dr. Hanifah, where students gained knowledge and shared skills in applying Arduino software to electronic hardware. This hands-on session empowered students to understand and implement the use of Arduino in electronic components, enabling the successful functioning and operation of a system.

These checkpoints demonstrated the scope of STEM subjects and emphasized the event’s goal to promote an all-encompassing knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The event ended with a closing ceremony and award ceremony. The students expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the organizers and facilitators for the opportunity to learn and have fun. The event was a success and achieved its goal of promoting STEM education among the students.

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