I saw it in the news

Teens show off their prowess and have fun in challenge

ALOR SETAR: Excited shrieks filled the air as supporters and shoppers cheered, and jubilant teenagers made no bones about it – they were showing off their prowess in Maths, Science and General Knowledge and having pure, unadulterated fun in the process.

Such was the scene at the Alor Setar Mall here yesterday when

the nationwide RHB-The Star Mighty Minds challenge swept into Kedah, bringing with it high drama, excitement and the promise of fame,

great prizes and the chance to represent their state in the national finals.

In the upper secondary category, SMK Keat Hwa had twice the reason to celebrate when its two teams emerged champion and second runner-up.

“This is the first time that we’re taking part in such a challenge, so imagine our delight when the results were announced. We’re representing our state in the national finals!” whooped Yeap Jher Hau.

Yeap, 17, said the hardest part of the challenge was the hands-on task because it required teammates to combine knowledge and skills to construct the model.

Daniel Wern, from the winning lower secondary team from SMK Putra, Baling, said his team would be burying their noses in books and surfing the Internet to prepare for the national finals to be held in the Klang Valley in August.

On their RM3,000 cash prize, he said: “We never anticipated winning! We can only make plans (on how to use it) when our win sinks in.” The runner-up for the F123 category was the team from Kolej Sultan Abdul Hamid while third prize went to SMK Sultan Badlishah, Kulim.

SMK Sin Min, Sungai Petani, emerged first runner-up in the F4F5 category. The winners received their prizes from RHB Banking Group Kedah/Perlis area manager Ng Lek Keah and The Star office manager Chin Yoon Foo.

The 345 students had to answer 20 quiz questions using interactive keypads during the first round.

While most of the students had their Science and Maths facts at their fingertips, the lower secondary students had some serious brain-racking to do when it came to the General Knowledge section.

A question that read “What is the official language for East Timor?” saw many teams baffled. The well-read and lucky ones who had keyed in “Portuguese” as the answer whooped in excitement.

The top 30 teams from each category who qualified for the second round then took up the hands-on challenge. The lower secondary participants had to construct a paper ball ejector while the upper secondary ones had to assemble a compression weighing machine.

The champions took home RM3,000 in cash prize and a desktop computer for their school. The runners-up won RM2,000 and a digital camera for their school while the third prize was RM1,000 and a printer for the school.

The nationwide RHB-The Star Mighty Minds Challenge is jointly organised by RHB Banking Group and Star Publications (M) Bhd while breakfast was sponsored by McDonald’s.

The next state contest will be held at the Seremban Parade on April 25.

For details and the schedule of the preliminary rounds, log on to thestar.com.my/mightyminds/ or call 03-7967-1777 for enquiries on subscriptions to The Star’s F123 and F4F5 Science and Maths guides, which contain tips for the competition.

SMK Putra, Baling? What a surprise. And you don’t have to remind me about the East Timor language part. *is embarrassed* And the fact that we lack general knowledge. TT

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Author: Michelle Teoh

23-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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