Regional Science Olympiad Test Students’ Skills

THE FIRST SEAMEO SCIENCE OLYMPIAD (SEASO) was recently held from 5 to 8 March 2019 at RECSAM, Penang Malaysia. Aimed at bringing science to life and developing teamwork and project-based learning (PBL) among students, about 118 next generation young student scientists and teachers across the Southeast Asia region participated in this event.

In the student category, the students went through four levels that comprised of paper and pencil test as well as hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) challenge. Each level tested the students’ understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The competition required every team to complete four levels of problem-solving science related activities namely; Paper and pencil test (Level 1), Egg Drop Challenge (Level 2), Impromptu Presentation (Level 3) and Water Rocket Challenge (Level 4).

Twenty eight teams participated in the event, with the team from Philippines finally emerging as the overall champion, followed by the Malaysian team in second place and the Thailand team in third. They took home a gold medal, a challenge trophy, an individual trophy, certificate of achievement and RM1000 cash prize. Both teams from Malaysia and Thailand also picked up medals, trophies, certificates of achievement and RM700 and RM500 each respectively.

This year, students Kyle Nathan G. Naranjo, representing the Philippines and Elmeeza Bazillah binti Abdullah Muhammad Yasrinal Eddy Abdullah from Brunei Darussalam garnered the Science Ambassador. For their efforts, both students received certificates of achievement, trophies and cash prize of RM200 each. Competing against 92 student contestants from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, students Kyle Nathan and Elmeeza Bazillah topped the Level 1 individual category with the highest accumulated points by answering 100 questions, which were a mix of multiple choice and subjective questions.

In the teacher category, there were two levels. Level 1 involved recording, editing and creating a video/static presentation based on the students’ activity in Levels 2 and 4. While in Level 2, teachers were required to answer 100 questions in up to 60 minutes using an answer sheet.

Under the teacher’s category, teacher Marjorie A. Nariz and Ayra Patricia from the Philippines emerged as Champion followed by followed by Thailand (Phanbupha Jinawong & Temsiri Sirisombat) as 1st runner-up and Malaysia (Muazam Mokhtar) as 2nd runner-up. The teacher’s category team from the Philippines won a gold medal, RM800 cash prize and certificates of achievement. Meantime, the teams from Thailand and Malaysia secured the silver and bronze medals, RM600 and RM400 cash prizes and certificates of achievement respectively.

The panel of judges for the STEM Challenge and teachers’ category competition were Ms. Mary Jane O'Callaghan (Curtin College, Australia), Mr. Yuji Otsuka (Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Senior Volunteer), Mr. Lee Shok Mee (Consultant, SEAMEO RECSAM) and Mr. Gan Teck Hock (Education Specialist, SEAMEO RECSAM).

All well-deserved winners were given recognition and received their awards on 8 March 2019 from the Guest of Honour, Dr. Gatot Hari Priowirjanto, the Director of SEAMEO Secretariat based in Bangkok, Thailand.

The SEAMEO Science Olympiad is a unique platform of inspiration and scientific knowledge simulation of future scientists and science academicians all over Southeast Asia and beyond. SEASO is also a venue for sharing and dissemination of information on all fields of science studies, namely physical science, life science, social science, formal science and applied science. The programme plays a strong role in encouraging and involving young learners in pursuing science knowledge as well as to increase the awareness of young learners about the relationship between various science fields in daily lives.