The National Grand Finals of the Shell Malaysia’s STEM programme #MyGeekMovement took place at the end of July 2020. This year’s theme was to address a real-life food, water, energy challenge by incorporating Arduino Software and/or Android app design as well as product design with 3D Printing.
Stepping up to the challenge
#MyGeekMovement began in 2017, and the Shell Malaysia team incorporated the NXplorers programme in 2019. Earlier this year, the team had just finished delivering workshops and were about to organise the final event when the pandemic hit, so, the decision was made to move the final event online. The delivery team tasked students to present their pitches through a five-minute video, which was highly challenging for students. Malaysia was on a strict lockdown, so meeting up was challenging, and they had to learn a new set of skills to deliver a high-quality video in a short period of time. Luckily, these students had a set of supportive teachers and Shell mentors, the ‘GeekCoaches’, to guide and motivate the students throughout the process.
“As a team we have learned a lot this year, but the biggest learning has been about the concept of human agility. The whole delivery team faced numerous challenges and had to be extremely agile and adaptable, and the students really stepped up.”
Haslina Malek, Delivery Partner for NXplorers/#MyGeekMovement
Reimagining the future
Although this new virtual way of communicating and delivering the programme to students was effective, the NXplorers team still see a lot of value in the face-to-face experience. Going forwards, the team plan on integrating a combination of the two approaches: carry out coaching workshops face-to-face, enabling students to explore real-life problem solving, innovation and teamwork in a live environment; and, leverage this year's learnings, help the new NXplorers build their digital skills even further, as this year's video project enabled students to articulate their thoughts and ideas through new and effective ways.
“When we first started this programme, our end goal was to see at least 70% of our cadets move forward into STEM studies. We have actually had 100% of our students move into STEM-related studies, which is just so rewarding to see.”
Zulkifli Baba Noor, Shell Malaysia Social Investment Lead
The winners will be announced on 27th August 2020, so keep an eye out for the reveal later this month, and take a look at their innovative and creative video projects below:
“The whole video creation process was a bit of a struggle for me – from the scriptwriting all the way to fine-tuning the details. The more I watched the video, the more unsatisfied I became. I particularly struggled with communicating all information in just five minutes; while bearing in mind that there would be no Q&A (with the judges). Fortunately, all these challenges ended with an incredible learning process that I am grateful for.”
Anisha Praveen, 16 SMK Lutong, Sarawak
“My brother and I had meetings with our teammate and friend, Louis, through virtual calls - something we've never done before. We also learned new video editing skills, which I believe will be useful not only for this competition but other future situations... we managed to come up with creative ideas on how to present our invention in the video and were very thankful because the video turned out better than we could have imagined. I learned that no matter how far we were from each other, nothing could stop breakthroughs as long as our teamwork and strong bond remained the foundations of our team.”
Dennis Chong Ming Jian, 16 SMK Aminuddin Baki, Kuala Lumpur