|GAMBLERS aren’t the only ones who can win big in Macau.|
|Ahmad Adam Syahmie (right -my classmate @o@) and Harris Murad (left) from beloved SEPINTAR ( Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Rawang )|
Two of our very own Malaysian students recently took home gold medals from the 2012 Macau Communic and International Innovation and Invention Expo held at Macau’s Fisherman’s Wharf Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The eager pair, Ahmad Adam Syahmie Ahmad Shahril Akmar and Haris Murad Imran Nurginias who are in Form Five at Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Rawang (Sepintar), were giddy with excitement when they were asked to detail their invention.
“Basically what won us those fancy medals was a simple bug spray, one specifically designed for ants.
“We know there are a lot of bug sprays on the market but we wanted to come up with one that was environmentally-friendly and uses natural ingredients,” said Ahmad Adam.
He said they brainstormed with their supervising teacher Khairul Kamariah Aziz who teaches Biology at the school.
“She asked around for students who wanted to participate in the International Engineering Invention and Innovation Exhibition (I-Envex) and Malaysian International Young Inventors Olympiad (Miyio) earlier in April.
“Haris and I agreed to take part but we didn’t have a direction then. So, Cikgu Kamariah guided our ideas and helped us think of something we could work on,” said Ahmad Adam.
Khairul Kamariah stated that Ahmad Adam and Haris Murad’s invention was not the outcome of outside help or guidance.
“We decided to work on our project without outside help. I’ve had experience supervising student projects like this so I told them to keep it simple, think outside the box and just be different,” she said.
And different was exactly what they achieved by thinking of an insect repellant that used traditional Malay methods of keeping foodstuff safe from ants.
“We asked around, especially kampung folk, about what they did to keep ants at bay and were pleasantly surprised at some of the petua (old sayings or adages) they followed.
“Most of their methods were very simple yet effective. One of them required putting tamarinds and cloves in sugar containers to confuse the nature of its contents to ants.
“Even though the scent changes and it deters the ants, it doesn’t change the sweet taste of sugar. So we gathered all these ingredients, distilled and bottled them into a spray,” said Ahmad Adam.
He added that when they tested the solution on ants, the ants scattered almost immediately.
“That was all the proof we needed to know that it worked. So we named it Elilgiary Natural Spray and joined the I-Envex and Miyio competitions at Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP). We bagged a gold prize there.
“To our surprise, we were invited to join the expo in Macau a few months later. We won a gold medal from the organisers and another medal from a special award by the Korean-based Asia Invention Association,” said Haris Murad.
Sepintar principal Senaini Long said the victory celebrations were in full swing even before the team returned to Malaysia.
“When we received the text message from Khairul Kamariah in Macau telling us that we’ve won two different awards, we were ecstatic. We threw a special celebration at the school and assembled all the students to cheer for our boys in Macau. This is the first time our school has won any international award or competition and it makes us very proud of them,” she said. She elaborated that the victory meant even more for the school because it was self-funded.
“The parents of the two students as well as the teachers worked hard to send the two students and their supervising teacher to Macau.
“But the donation drive and contributions were totally worth it as Ahmad Adam and Haris Murad made the school proud by winning medals for their invention,” said Senaini.
The school’s senior assistant (Co-Curriculum), Hasimah Harun shared that the school gave their support to the students and their supervising teacher in many ways.
“There was moral support, financial support and hands-on help. In fact, the whole school played its part in pushing our two inventors to greater heights,” she said.
Haris Murad explained that he would like to be a researcher one day.
“We’ve already reached a milestone by bagging these awards so I would like to keep going down this avenue and pursue a career in it,” he said.
Ahmad Adam shared his enthusiasm but said he wanted to be a doctor instead. “As a doctor, I am bound to come across innovation and invention and I hope my experiences will serve me well. Perhaps I’ll take on medical research,” he said.