SPEECH BY THE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT PENANG INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FAIR 2019
2 NOVEMBER 2019
I am very happy to be here today to officially launch the Penang International Science Fair 2019.
The Penang International Science Fair (PISF) is a collaboration between the Penang State Government and the industry that form the backbone of the Penang Science Cluster (PSC). It is organised as part of the mission by PSC of “Inspiring Innovation”, with a focus on sparking interest in STEM education and creating innovative mindsets in our young students through unique and stimulating hands-on activities.
I appreciate the warm reception and support from the industry as we have many high-tech companies participating today to showcase their technologically advanced products and to explain the science and technology behind them so that our students can comprehend the connection of what they are learning in school to the innovations happening in the real world which is none other than the industry itself.
This year, we have 10 secondary and 6 primary schools setting up their own booths and empowering their own students to run workshops for visitors to PISF. This was a big hit last year when it was first introduced, and I can’t wait to see the students in action later.
For this year’s Science Fair, we have the largest number of hands-on STEM activities over 2 days, totaling 25,000 activity slots of more than 50 different varieties for students to gain practical experience and also to have fun while learning.
We have an interesting MakerFest event partnering with MDEC featuring 12 exciting competitions in robotics, mobile apps, software coding and many others including the Coolest Project competition held for the first time in Asia.
And to top it off, the PISF organising committee is made up of volunteers!
I would like to congratulate Penang Science Cluster which, in partnership with the state government, industry and community, has once again successfully organised the Penang International Science Fair, the 8th since the first one held in 2011.
I, moreover, appreciate the contributions by the Pillar companies of Penang Science Cluster namely; B. Braun, Intel, Keysight, Motorola, Agilent, Hewlett Packard, National Instruments, DreamCatcher, Exabytes, Mini-Circuits, ViTrox, as well as companies like Bosch, AMD, First Solar, QDOS, Smart Modular, Sony, and valued partner, MDEC, which have come together year after year to make Penang International Science Fair a roaring success. I also extend my welcome to industry players - Boston Scientific, Infineon and Plexus as the first time exhibitors at the Penang International Science Fair.
Together with the many other institutions, organisations and schools, all of you have, once again, come together and put on a great show to educate our next generation and build a pipeline of world-class talents needed for the continued growth of Penang. Having this in mind, it is vitally important that we advance the readiness of the local manufacturing industries for the digital age and the green economy in order to upgrade the economy to raise household incomes as envisaged in the Penang2030 vision.
One of the most important roles of any government is to create a bright future for our young and to prepare them for the future. The Penang State Government is doing exactly that by promoting Penang as a centre of excellence for STEM education and creating the talent pool to meet the needs of Industry 4.0.
This is the reason why the Penang State Government initiated the Penang Science Council with the industry back in 2009. Since then, Penang Science Cluster has forged ahead and today, I am happy to note that it has an impact on 125,000 students this year, the highest number since its formation 10 years ago. This is a remarkable achievement and all of us in Penang – the state government, the industry and the community - should be proud of what we have achieved together.
The state government and Penang Science Cluster are not resting on our laurels. Apart from the annual RM2 million allocation to enable 100,000 primary and secondary school students in Penang to learn coding, the state government through our yearly allocation to schools, will enable the establishment of MakerLabs in at least 50 schools in Penang by 2020. The MakerLab initiative of Penang Science Cluster will allow our future talents in schools to learn 21st century digital skills so critical to succeed in the future.
In closing, I would like to congratulate Penang Science Cluster, the industry and all exhibitors here today for another successful Penang International Science Fair!