Maxis eKelas’ inaugural nationwide STEM contest challenges over 2,700 students to explore space

·3-min read
Maxis eKelas kicks off a nationwide STEM contest to foster critical thinking among students. — Picture courtesy of Maxis
Maxis eKelas kicks off a nationwide STEM contest to foster critical thinking among students. — Picture courtesy of Maxis

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Over 2,700 young students from all over the country have embarked on a space exploration mission as part of Maxis eKelas’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition.

The competition, dubbed Misi Jelajah Digital, aims to foster critical thinking among students and encourage them to innovate through coding, creative and design thinking skills which are increasingly becoming new commodities in the digital future.

Maxi eKelas is the telco company’s flagship community outreach programme which brings learning enrichment in a fun and vibrant way and provides access to quality education content, in line with the Malaysian school syllabus.

The initiative was recently launched with a kick-off webinar hosted by Malaysia’s first astrophysicist Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mazlan Othman.

She shared about the importance of space exploration in the pursuit of scientific advancements and the growing importance of STEM skills for the future.

Mazlan said space is often considered the pinnacle of humankind’s achievement in science, and it has always been her vision and hope for young Malaysians to endeavour to reach for the stars.

“What I like about Misi Jelajah Digital is that it teaches STEM in a fun and exciting manner while encouraging creativity and exploring the mysteries of space.

“More importantly, as the competition is open to students all over the nation, it helps to close the STEM gap between those in the urban and rural areas.”

Speaking about the initiative, Maxis chief corporate affairs officer Mariam Bevi Batcha said the eKelas programme is driven by their passion for education and aims to encourage students to look forward to the digital future by offering fun and vibrant learning content.

“We are excited to be providing this platform to further broaden the minds of our eKelas students.

Misi Jelajah Digital also represents our desire to expand our eKelas offerings into STEM-related content in the future with more integrated learning.”

The competition is organised in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) #mydigitalmaker and Lenovo Technology Sdn Bhd (Lenovo).

It is also approved and supported by the Educational Resources and Technology Division under the Education Ministry, and is conducted in accordance with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards.

The contest is divided into two pillars of Misi Bumi and Misi Marikh.

For Misi Bumi, students will navigate through an obstacle course within a purpose-built Maxis eKelas Roblox world and discover hidden rewards.

Upon completion of the course, they may learn how to code and build their own world by joining a Roblox Game Development series in the eKelas portal.

The Misi Marikh pillar will take the students on space travel by submitting an original spacecraft design and a human colony plan.

They can choose to either complete the tasks by hand-drawing their design, or by coding with Scratch, a visual programming language.

The competition runs for two months until October 31 and is open to students aged 10 to 17 years old (Year 4 to Form 5).

Those who sign up will also receive Physical Activity, Sports and Co-curriculum Assessment credits while standing a chance to win attractive prizes, including laptops, mobile devices, and online vouchers.

In the coming weeks, challengers will continue to have access to explainer videos, notes and modules from which they can learn coding and design basics.

There will also be talks covering key STEM topics and live tutorial workshops where they can get tips on how to complete the challenges and explore game walkthroughs.

Form 5 challengers are also invited to a special sharing session by Maxis, MDEC and Lenovo representatives on October 23 about careers in STEM.

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