Sarawak-level Nasa International Space Apps Challenge a success

Date:

KUCHING: The Nasa International Space Apps Challenge, a 48-hour global hackathon between Oct 2 and 3, received 87 entries for its Sarawak-level event.

Organised here by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research in partnership with Realfun Learning Centre, the participants worked on solving 20 challenges provided by Nasa, ranging from space debris, space landing and understanding of the sun.

Thirty submissions were for the Junior Category (ages 13 to 17) while the remaining 57 submissions were for the Senior Category (above 18).

Ministry permanent secretary Kameri Affandi said the event gave local talents a stage to solve global challenges impacting the lives of people through science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“It is a challenge that requires a multitude of skill sets ranging from technical to non-technical.

“It is not just about technology, coding and science, but also encourages collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and most importantly, communication.”

He also said that the ministry was looking into organising a bigger event next year, targeting more participants with attractive programmes and prizes.

Realfun Learning Centre founder Teo Yuang Teck said 28,286 participants from 323 locations around the world had joined the event.

“Sarawak is proud to be a part of the largest space apps virtual event in the history of the challenge.”

In the Junior Category, all top three prizes were bagged by students of SMK Bintulu – Team Change Maker (champion), Team Beyond Infinity (runners-up) and Team E410 (third).

They received RM3,000, RM1,500 and RM1,000 respectively. Two consolation prizes were won by Team A.D.L.M of SMK Sacred Heart, Sibu and Team Magellanic Cloud of SMK Serian, each receiving RM500.

Team A.D.L.M also won the special award sponsored by Microsoft for the Best Use of Azure Platform.

In the Senior Category, an all-teacher team from SMK Pujut, Miri – Team SMK Pujut Educators – won first place and took home RM5,000.

Undergraduates from Monash University Malaysia based in Miri, Team Crocodile, were runners-up, walking away with RM3,000.

Third place went to Team ROCKSPACE, made up of undergraduates of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, who picked up RM2,000.

The consolation prizes were won by Team A Tech from Riam Institute of Technology and Team Dirty Bits from Unimas, with each getting RM1,000.

Seven teams from Space Apps Sarawak will be nominated for the global judging, competing with 356 teams from around the globe for 10 different awards.

The global winner will get a fully sponsored trip to watch a spacecraft launch in the US, if travelling is permitted.

For more information and to watch a replay of the competition broadcast, go to https://www.facebook.com/SpaceAppsSarawak

Team SMK Pujut Educators, an all-teacher team from SMK Pujut, Miri, are the champions in the Senior Category.

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