Mighty Minds Challenge 2011

Aw man. Not again?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the obligatory Mighty Minds blogpost of the year brought to you by none other than yours sincerely.

And so it comes the time when I am roped in for this mentally-torturing yet incredibly thrilling challenge again, and I even had my previous team members from last year with me again: Ome and Razan. Upper secondary Asma Team 2 consisted of Aifa, Eel and Eah whereas Lye May, Intan Sophia and Lina Hosni were in the lower secondary Asma Team. I was the last one to arrive at Alor Setar Mall as opposed to the last two years.

So basically what we did was wander around the mall because we had to wait an hour more after the lower secondary MCQ round is over to register. A huge blow was delivered to my gut as I realised that a) I’ve already surpassed the Teenage (Level 1) stage which also means b) I am currently on Teenage (Level 2) which brings me to c) worse, nerve-wrecking, mind-twisting questions for the first MCQ round. Soon, it was already our turn and we entered the slaughter, I mean, challenge arena with palpitating hearts ready to jump out of our ribcage.

As soon as the first question appeared on the screen, we knew we were dead and gone. It had something to do with meiosis which has something to do with Biology Form 4 Chapter 5 apparently which we haven’t learned in class yet. And since there weren’t any Form 5 seniors with us in our team, we “hentam-ed” the first question…and got it wrong. No matter, it’s just the first question. More to come. Optimism optimism optimism! The second question appeared and once again our hearts dropped when we were asked for the normal of a circle. It’s probably something in the syllabus we have yet to learn or probably not, but either way we took another guess…and got it wrong again.

The next few questions were really tough and out of the 20 questions, we only really, truly, genuinely answered 6 or 7 questions, and the remaining were just guesses, tosses of the coin, and miraculously enough, we got about 4 or 5 questions correct out of lucky guesses. This time, despite the fact that we were dubious with some of our answers, we still keyed in our answer before the 10-second countdown, after the incident last year when we very, very nearly did not make it to the Top 15 because we were too slow.

After the 20th question, we were prepared to pack our stuff and go home, having little faith in ourselves and no expectations at all, but surprisingly we bagged the 12th place in the scoreboard! Celebration! Fireworks! We were in the Top 15! Caleb “Calebous” Lee and his team made the Top 15 as well, bagging the fifth spot (right?). Unfortunately, Aifa’s group didn’t make it. Right after the marks were announced, we were whipped to one side of the stage, given a briefing on Round 2: the hands-on challenge, and set to work at our respective tables immediately.

This time, we expected nothing but literal slaughter for our hands-on challenge. And ding ding ding ding! We were right.

We had to construct a shoe closet that can hold a large amount of shoes but occupy little space, complete with a manually-operated conveyor.

As usual, we were given a bag of materials (this is starting to remind me of the Barney Bag):

  • 3 metal wires
  • 2 bunches (approximately 30) wooden tongue depressors
  • A bunch of chopsticks
  • A bunch of satay sticks
  • Some rolls of manila cards
  • Some rolls of coloured paper
  • 3 polystyrene boards
  • 2 cardboard rollers
  • 2 light bulbs
  • A connecting wire
  • A switch
  • 2 batteries

That’s about all I can remember.

We completed out model with 5 minutes remaining which we spent by clearing our table very slowly, so you can more or less guess how “well” our model turned out.

We didn’t wait long for the results. I wasn’t wholly surprised when one of the judges said all of our models this year were disappointing, because that’s what I thought as well. For upper secondary, some of the teams that got into the Top 5 were SMJK Keat Hwa, SMJK Keat Hwa II, SM Sains Sultan Mohamad Jiwa and I couldn’t remember the rest. Sorry. Sasha turned up as well and we had lunch at KFC before she dropped me home.

I guess I should thank the peeps from Mighty Minds for mentioning that you guys “found someone from Kedah blogging about Mighty Minds”. So, here’s to hoping  that you guys notice this blogpost again?

One last year next year!

Related links (to make this sound like a professional blog):


Saturday July 31, 2010

Hard work earns happy results

TRAINING under the watchful eyes of their seniors for several weeks helped the SMJK Keat Hwa lower secondary team clinch this year’s RHB-The Star Mighty Minds Challenge 2010 in Kedah.

The seniors in the school’s upper secondary team were the state champions and the national first runners-up last year.

Present team members Yeo Mi Xia, Chew Khai Yi and Tai Wei Wen, all in Form Three, trained with the seniors in preparation for the challenge.

“We studied last year’s questions and searched the Internet for more information as we did not know what kind of questions would come up during the challenge this year,” said Yeo.

Yeo admitted that the most challenging part was the hands-on challenge since they had limited time to prepare the model.

In the Kedah stage, 15 lower secondary teams had to construct a model of a blender with a rotating blade operated by motor complete with a control switch.

“We were afraid that our model would not function properly but in the end, it turned out fine,” said Chew.

This year’s Kedah upper secondary team winner SMJK Keat Hwa II said they were surprised to be named the winner as the team was formed only a couple of weeks before the challenge.

Team members Choy Wang Lynn, Ooi Ting Qian and Ng Yu-Yang, all 17, however believed that their cool and collective attitudes had helped them to face all the challenges.

“All of us worked together by allocating certain subjects that each of us must tackle so that we could help each other during the challenge,” said Choy.

She said the team did more research on general knowledge through the Internet as part of the their preparation for the final that would be held in Klang Valley in October.

The other winners in the lower secondary category were SMK Agama Yan (2nd place), SMK Sultan Badlishah (3rd place), SMK Pendang (4th place) and SMJK Keat Hwa II (5th place).

In the upper secondary category, the second place was won by SM Sains Sultan Mohd Jiwa, SMJK Sin Min (3rd place), SMK Bakar Arang (4th place) and SMJK Keat Hwa (5th place).

The winning teams in both categories took home RM3,000, RM2,000, RM1,000, RM500 and RM300 respectively while the schools of the first, second and third placed winners received RM2,000, RM1,000 and RM750 respectively.

The competition is jointly organised by Star Publications (M) Bhd and RHB Banking Group, while the food and beverage sponsor is McDonald’s Malaysia.

RHB Bank Berhad Kedah/Perlis Area manager Hasmah Jusoh, RHB Bank Kedah/Perlis business support manager Roha Fauzi and Star Publications (M) Bhd Northern Circulation Manager Oun Sui Leng gave away the prizes to the Kedah winners.

The challenge is divided into two categories: lower secondary (Forms One to Three) and upper secondary (Forms Four and Five). The next stage of the challenge will be held in Penang (Aug 1) and Selangor (Aug 7 and 8). The national finals will be held in Klang Valley in October.

But hey, congrats, Mi Xia. If anyone deserved first place at all, it was definitely you and your team.