SUBANG JAYA, 16 January 2017 - Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) together with Petrosains, The Discovery Centre (Petrosains) are introducing a robotic programme tailored to provide secondary school students basic designing, coding and sensor training in robotic development. This programme will be opened to students from schools surrounding the Pusat Internet 1Malaysia (PI1M) centres which are managed by Digi, across the nation.
A pilot workshop was held end of last year at the PI1M in Semambu, Kuantan involving 18 form four students from three schools. The four-day workshop, which was divided into two sessions, saw the students designing, assembling and programming their own robots under the guidance of trainers who are experts in the robotic field.
Digi's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Eugene Teh said the robotic programme is to support Digi's ambition in diversifying the role of the PI1M centres to be a creative learning platform for the communities. "Together with Petrosains we are able to come up with a basic robotic programme with a hands-on approach that we hope will engage the students and create the interest among them to get involved with engineering, science and technology.
"Through the pilot workshop, we have seen how these students with almost no experience or background in robotic successfully tackled a project that requires a multi-skill approach. Not only do they need to be involved in many technical related decision making but they also have to learn on how to work as a team, to think critically as well as to manage their problem solving skills. We believe this programme will help to instill engineering skills, computer programming, innovation and creativity among these students, just like the way we envision the role of PI1M as a centre for knowledge learning."
Under this collaboration, Digi will be providing the training facilities in terms of space and workstations at the PI1M centres, while Petrosains will be contributing the robotic training programme, modules as well as trainers.
Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer of Petrosains said, "This partnership with Digi has seen us customising a holistic robotic program that encompasses modules covering basic, intermediate as well as expert levels, with a focus towards building knowledge on assembling robotic parts, coding programming and proximity sensors for schoolchildren. Our open-source robotics programme differs from others as it is made affordable with the sharing of robotic development tools in an open-source environment at the PI1M centres."
"We truly welcome and fully support this opportunity by Digi to work together in delivering educational development programme for the younger generation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) specifically in the field of robotics and coding in Malaysia. As the corporate social responsibility arm of PETRONAS in the pillar of education, programmes such as this in the PI1M centres is organised by Petrosains to spark and sustain the interest in science amongst students in the hope of inspiring students to take up career paths in science related fields including in the high-engineering, technological field of robotics. In the near future, literacy in robotics and coding will become an important requirement in our lives and critical for the progress of mankind. We hope that this partnership will continue in the long run as this will support the Government's efforts to develop human capital through an integrated education system which involves the support from different and varied corporate parties," adds Tengku Nasariah.
Pusat Internet 1Malaysia is a project initiated and funded by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commision ("SKMM") via the Universal Service Provision (USP) fund. To date, Digi has been provisioned to manage 104 Pi1Ms in Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor, Melaka Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Pulau Pinang, Kedah and Sarawak, and is committed to launch 30 more centres, which will also include in Perlis and Sabah, by end of this year.
Positive feedbacks were also received from the pilot workshop in Kuantan as below:
Asgharee Badru Duja Khan, a teacher at SMK Tanjong Lumpur, Kuantan
"I was pleased to see the deep commitment that my students demonstrated in this programme, and was excited to see them apply the knowledge they have learned in the development of robotics to come up with innovations that are out of the box. As a teacher, I also hope to be able to help other students in my school to develop greater skills in robotic creations and programming."
Arman Mohamad Tojid, Assistant Director of Co-curriculum, Jabatan Pendidikan Pahang
"Following the pilot workshop, we discovered that this programme has opened doors for many students, who live nearby PI1Ms, to learn robotics which is not taught in schools. We believe that this programme has broadened the students' minds on robotic learning, and we hope that it will continue in the future on a bigger scale, with the addition of interesting and exciting competition."
Petrosains, The Discovery Centre, is an exciting science centre that features interactive exhibits and engaging scientific programmes. Petrosains is located in the PETRONAS Twin Towers at Level 4, Suria KLCC. This contemporary science centre was established by PETRONAS in its commitment to provide a rich and stimulating environment to the society at large in the learning of science. The interactive exhibits combined with hands-on activities and live science shows offer visitors a more engaging and immersive learning experience. To reach more people and spread its "Creating Wonder" essence in the nation, Petrosains has established many outreach programmes including mini science centres nationwide (Petrosains PlaySmarts in Johor Bharu, Kuantan and Kota Kinabalu), road safety travelling exhibition (PETRONAS StreetSmart), competition for students (Petrosains Science Show Competition), a community festival (Petrosains Science Festival) and many others.