IET-USM OC has carried out the Faraday Challenge on the 20th of October 2018. Our theme for this year was – Coding the Future. The purpose of this event is to instil interest of STEM related fields among high school students in addition to their daily learning in schools. The event was endorsed by the Education Department of Penang State and had managed to attract 52 students, separated into 9 groups, from all over Penang.

The event was kicked off with welcoming remarks by Mr. Cheng Wei Han, President of IET-USM OC. In our version of Faraday Challenge, each team was given a BBC micro:bit to code for any real-time applications. In addition, we also provided every team with an equal number of virtual coins (Faraday Points) which could be used to exchange additional equipment or devices to develop their prototype. Hence, the participants had to be resourceful and strategize their “trade” to complete the challenge. This scenario mimicking a real-life engineering problem where the optimization of the trade-off between the cost and technicality superiority is very common.

Apart from hosting the event, the committee members from USM OC and volunteers from UNITEN OC also facilitated students in the challenge when the progress was halted. At the end of the day, every team were required to come up with a prototype and do a short pitching for around 8 minutes to win the heart of judges.

“It was definitely an eye-opening experience to see the future leaders of the country to come together and work as a team to realise the theme for this challenge,” said by one of the facilitators.

Despite of the limited time and resources, we are very much delighted to see all teams managed to complete the challenges. At the end of the day, Team PAC from Chung Ling Butterworth High School has been crowned as the winner with the best product design. They developed a portable attendance counter system for tracking the number and identities of passengers on board a bus.

“We are simply amazed with the creativity, enthusiasm and resiliency of the students in facing the challenge, despite their young age. We hope that they benefitted from the event by gaining new knowledge and, more importantly, having a new-found passion for STEM,” said Mr. Tan Earn Tzeh, one of the judges of the Faraday Challenge.

The event started at 9.00 am and ended at 4.30 pm after prize giving ceremony. The overwhelming success of the event was mainly due to the commitment from the OC volunteers and strong support given by Lydia, the IET OC Student Coordinator.

Results of the Faraday Challenge (Penang):

Team PAC (Chung Ling Butterworth High School) - Portable Attendance Counter

Runner Up:
Team Hass (Jit Sin High School) – Purifier

Extropose Watch (Jit Sin High School)
S-Entrance (Chung Ling Butterworth High School)


Reported by: Tan Earn Tzeh

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