Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Dean of the Faculty of Science Prof Dr Mohd Basyaruddin Abdul Rahman said that studies show students perceive science as difficult and boring. Add to that the lack of family support, no wonder the percentage of students who are interested to enrol in the science stream had declined.
To address this, UPM organised a science carnival to stimulate and cultivate the interest of society in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This has the capacity to guarantee the future of the young generation as well as the country’s economy.
According to the report made by UPM, “Science is Our Future” managed to attract more than 60 primary and secondary schools from across the country. It received an overwhelming response of more than 6,000 visitors.
Prof Dr Mohd Basyaruddin Abdul Rahman believed that the carnival was the best platform for academicians and students to meet with the community in order to enjoy science. The event can stimulate younger generation to be literate in science and innovation and can potentially produce new ideas.
He added that it was necessary to organise the science carnival to further nurture the interest in STEM. More importantly, the role of the parents, in inspiring their children to explore science activities, should be emphasised. The parents are responsible for triggering the interest of their children and driving them to opt for the science stream.
The carnival was the perfect opportunity to impart knowledge and new enrichment activities. It was able to showcase the latest pedagogical techniques in science, for the teachers, so that they can use a more interactive and exciting way of teaching the subject.
UPM Senior Lecturer Dr Yap Wing Fen shared that aside from the exhibition and activities happening in the hall, there were also outdoor challenges, video competitions, communications, Olympiads and interactive activities that featured science.
He added that this activity will open the eyes of the students and help them become more aware of their responsibility towards the community.
UPM Faculty of Science Students Association Head Mr Mohd Anaz Syazreil shared that volunteering for this activity is a good way of contributing to the community because he was able to transfer his knowledge to them.
He was grateful for being given the opportunity to share what he had learned in UPM to the visitors, hoping that he was able to inculcate in them the interest in the subject.
The science carnival was made possible through the combined initiative of the UPM Faculty of Science, the National Professors Council, UPM STEM, Petrosains, Zoo Negara, Young Scientist Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia (YSN-ASM) and the Malaysia Nature Society (MNS).
Dr Yap Wing Fen and Mr Mohd Anaz Syazreil have also contributed in making this science carnival a reality.