The Young Inventors Challenge is a team-based invention competition open to secondary school students aged 13 to 17 in teams of four to five students each. It is organized by ASTI or Association of Science, Technology and Innovation; a non-governmental organization that works towards empowering young children through various projects such as the Science Fair for Young Children, Creative & Critical Thinking Camp and of course, the Young Inventors Challenge.
On 15th October 2016, two teams from R.E.A.L Schools, Shah Alam Campus participated in the YIC which was held at Sunway University. Attracting a total of 260 proposal submissions, only 80 teams were shortlisted and invited to participate in the meet. For this reason, it was indeed a proud moment for the two R.E.A.L Schools teams – dubbed ‘The Cahayan Brainiacs’ and ‘The Cahayans’. The Cahayan Braniacs consisted of Pravin Periasamy, Ewan Tan, Bryan Foo and James Mathews George while ‘The Cahayans’ team was made up of Wong Tik Wing, Najmi Niery, Benedict Lim, Yap Z-Yie and Ann Qi.
Another point worth noting is that the two Shah Alam Campus teams had the youngest candidates in a competition dominated by 17-year-old talents. The R.E.A.L students however, more than held their own as The Cahayans invented a brilliant contraption that changes sound energy to electricity while The Cahayan Braniacs created a liquid solution to replace industrial wax used on items such as fruits for preservation. Both teams displayed and demonstrated their inventions to the judges and the visiting public at their designated booths.
Overall, it was a daunting but priceless experience for the budding R.E.A.L inventors to compete against 78 of the best school teams from across Southeast Asia in this prestigious meeting of young minds. For their innovative idea, The Cahayan Braniacs team was awarded a highly commendable 3rd place. The Bronze Award came with a trophy for each member and a cheque worth RM700. To express their gratitude and appreciation, the team decided to donate part of their winnings to charity.
All in all, it was rewarding outing in more ways than one. Besides proving that simple ideas can go a long way, the R.E.A.L students had the invaluable opportunity to express and channel their creativity on a big stage as well as practice critical thinking. They were also able to test their communication skills when presenting their inventions to the judges. Apart from needing to ‘sell’ their idea; the students had to confidently, competently and convincingly answer all questions posed to them by the judging panel. All the preparation, effort and teamwork paid off in the end as they left a ‘R.E.A.L’ mark on the competition.