SMK St Bernadette’s Convent, Batu Gajah emerged champion in The Ideation Challenge: Beyond the Ordinary which was organised by Sunway College Ipoh (SCI) and held in Bulatan Amanjaya, Meru, recently. The competition, which was held in conjunction with the Perak Festival of Ideas (PFoI) drew a total of 123 students representing 41 secondary schools around Perak to compete to win attractive cash and bursary prizes.

A one of a kind event, each group of participants were given a mengkuang woven mat to be transformed and re-purposed into another product. The choice of the mengkuang woven mat was aptly chosen to symbolise one of Perak’s most treasured heritage. Participants were also provided with a mystery box containing random items to help with their creation. Only 10 schools with the most unique creation advanced into the final stage whereby participants were asked to design the packaging of the products they created in the first stage for commercialisation.

Prior to each competition, participants were privileged to join two workshops relevant to the competition which were delivered by SCI’s lecturers. The input received in the workshops not only helped them prepare for the competition but could also be carried throughout their lives.

Aside from the competition, participants were also given the opportunity to express their aspirations for a better Perak. They were asked to contribute ideas in four different categories, that is, family, technology, education and environment on pennants distributed to them during the event. These pennants were then submitted to the organiser of PFoI, Institut Darul Ridzuan (IDR) to be hung around the Bulatan Amanjaya.

This event marks the maiden collaboration between SCI and IDR which affirms the former’s effort in supporting the Perak Menteri Besar’s aspiration to be the ‘State of Knowledge’ where ideation becomes a culture.

Dato’ Dr Muhammad Amin bin Zakaria, the Perak State Exco for Education, Science and Green Technology graced the event. He expressed his fascination over the beautiful craftworks produced by participants. With limited resources and time, participants succeeded in producing excellent creations. He even recommended some of the products to be further refined and produced as souvenirs for the next series of the Pangkor Dialogue Event.

Overall, the event was a great success and achieved its aims to promote creative and entrepreneurial minds among Perak secondary school students. It also received overwhelming response from the participants displayed through their enthusiasm and excitement during the workshops as well as the competition. SCI’s culture in delivering the best service and hospitality were evident throughout the event.

The champion walked away with SCI’s bursary worth RM5000 for each participant, RM800 cash for school, a plaque, a hamper, certificates and entrance tickets to Lost World of Tambun. The 1st runner-up went to SMK Seri Intan, Ipoh. They each received SCI’s bursary worth RM3000 for each participant, RM500 cash for school, a plaque, a hamper, certificates and entrance tickets to Lost World of Tambun. The 2nd runner-up was SMK Tronoh winning SCI’s bursary worth RM1,000 for each participant, RM300 cash for school, a plaque, a hamper, certificates and entrance tickets to Lost World of Tambun respectively.

All prizes were presented to winners during the award giving ceremony by the Principal of SCI, Dr Tina Lim Swee Kim. Prizes were sponsored by the Perak State Exco for Education, Science and Green Technology, SCI and Lost World of Tambun.