KUCHING: Malaysian Institute of Chemistry (IKM) Sarawak will be organising a Chemistry Festival in March next year to connect students, teachers, universities and industries.
IKM Sarawak chairman Dr John Chan explained that this would entail pairing of organisations with selected schools to form teams with students and teachers.
He said, “These teams will learn what these organisations do, then students will prepare and present a seminar to their peers on what they have learned.
“In conjunction with that, we will also organise an exhibition at a local shopping centre so that members of the public and more students can come and see what they have learned,” he said.
Chan was speaking at the IKM Sarawak Chemistry Night 2019 and 33rd anniversary dinner at the Chemsain Building here on Saturday.
He hoped that the Chemistry Festival would be a long-term project.
He said that IKM Sarawak wanted to engage teachers as they were the ones who would be able to encourage students to take up Science.
“The number of students taking up Science in Sarawak and Malaysia as a whole is very low,” he pointed out, adding that Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) produced about 200 chemists every year but IKM Sarawak only had a membership of 300.
“That means a lot of chemists out there are not registered,” he said, encouraging them to do so in order to develop their profession further and have the opportunity of meeting other chemists as well.
Meanwhile, IKM president Datuk Dr Soon Ting Kueh revealed that the institute had won bids to host two large-scale scientific events ― one in Kuala Lumpur in 2025 and the other in Kuching in 2026.
He said that the 2025 event in Kuala Lumpur will be the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (Iupac) general assembly and World Chemistry Congress.
“We are expecting 3,000 to 3,500 participants from all over the world,” he said in his speech.
He stated that IKM had also managed to win the bid to host the World Polymer Congress 2026 (Macro 2026) in Kuching, which is expected to be held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK).
“Macro is a very big polymer event and we are expecting about 1,000 polymer scientists to be here,” said Soon.
He said that the bids were won during the Iupac general assembly and the World Chemistry Congress in Paris this year.
“IKM has grown to become a very strong professional body which is recognised by our fellow associates in Science, Technology, and Engineering,” he stated.
Also present were Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong and past IKM Sarawak chairman Prof Dr Lau Seng.