It has been an exhilarating two (2) years at Sri Bestari Private School Kuala Lumpur (SBPSKL) since the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program was introduced in the school. Two (2) teams from SBPSKL had participated in the Top International Robotic Tournament (TIRT) involving 80 teams from nine (9) countries and managed to secure a third place Bronze Award and the Best Work Award in the Teenager Category which is an enormous achievement bearing this was a rookie STEM competition for all the students.

The TIRT was the first intelligent mechanical anti-epidemic robot international competition in light of the pandemic sweeping the world and was organized by various Taiwan universities and technological establishments in Taiwan such as Kainan University, Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, Vanung University, the Department of Economic Bureau of Taoyuan City, Sha Yang Ye Industrial Co. LTD and Sha Yang Ye Charity Foundation. 

The massive organization of the TIRT also involved the Taiwan Embedded Microcontroller Development Institute, RealPlus Technology Ltd., and Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology whilst the adviser to the whole TIRT competition included the Taiwan SME Ministry of Economic Affairs as well as the Industrial Development Economic Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Taoyuan City Government and City Council. The competition venue was at Xiangyi Robot Dream Works Grand, Taoyuan. 

Participating countries in the TIRT competition came from Japan, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Macau, and Thailand which was from July to November 2020. Sri Bestari Private School Kuala Lumpur was the sole representative from Malaysia and had submitted two (2) separate intelligent mechanical anti-epidemic robots which was ‘The Automated Door’ and ‘The Automated Food Serving Cart’. Our SBPSKL participants consisted of 13 to 15-year-old students who participated under the Teenager Category which was open to 12-18 years old.

Therefore, the third place Bronze Award and the Best Work Award for our 13-15 years old is indeed a remarkable achievement bearing in mind the keen competition by the more senior students from around the world under that category. According to Rosnah Sulaiman the SBPSKL STEM Coordinator, “As there were 23 submissions in total for the Teenager Category and SBPSKL managing a top three (3) finish ranks the team in the top 15% of all participating teams and this augurs well for the future of STEM in the school”.  The TIRT also had the Elementary Category for 6-12 years old and College Category for 18 years old and above. 

Incidentally the STEM program was spearheaded by the school in late 2018 to address the growing trend towards the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and how Sri Bestari Private School Kuala Lumpur is able to provide a fertile platform for her students to gain the necessary knowledge and skills-sets of this imminent revolutionary change.

SBPSKL through a collaboration with SMLab @ Infonique Sdn Bhd drew up a STEM program and its curriculum based on the Mitsubishi Electric (Nagoya) Industrial Robot Syllabus and is supported by Mitsubishi Electric Singapore and together we rolled out the program to the secondary students and is seeing a growing interest as students and parents begin to see the importance of a STEM program right here in the school.

SBPSKL had also launched the Robotic program in collaboration with IR Robotic Sdn Bhd for pre-school right up to secondary and have since seen overwhelming response. For the Academic Year 2021, SBPSKL is planning to introduce STEM education as part of the Computer Science modules currently in place to ensure all students are exposed to the basic concepts of STEM and Robotics principles which of course involves elements of coding, machine learning, data analysis and artificial intelligence.

Ms Michelle Ooi, the Sales and Marketing Manager at SMLab who was with the team throughout their TIRT journey stated that, “I wish all that the SBPSKL STEM students are able to transform their passion in STEM thus far into a profession as I am very impressed and proud of the students’ performance and technical achievement displayed in this TIRT competition.”