UMP awarded prestigious Motorola Solutions Foundation grant
Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) was recently awarded the prestigious Motorola Solutions Foundation grant for its “MySTEM Project: A STEM Outreach Program” at a ceremony in Penang on March 1, 2019.
Motorola Solutions Foundation – the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions Inc founded in 1953 – awards annual grants to various organizations that support and enhance public safety programmes as well as technology and engineering education initiatives.
Funded by the Foundation and established back in 2017, UMP STEM Lab stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education. Its long-term goal is to ensure that teachers are provided with the appropriate additional training courses to enable them to sustain and drive STEM education in schools.
Now with the RM82,000.00 grant, the UMP STEM Lab can continue to hold activities, such as after-school computer programming classes and programmes like the Pahang National Hackathon and Pahang National Foxhunting, to nurture students’ interests in science and engineering.
“The Motorola Solutions Foundation is honoured and privileged to support such project and programmes at UMP,” said executive director Matt Blakely.
“We’re proud to be a part of organizations which continue to embrace and foster innovations, build partnerships and drive change; thus, making positive impact on communities,” he added.
Concurring, UMP Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Sri Dr. Daing Nasir Ibrahim said the university strongly believed that by encouraging the youngsters to see, think and explore for themselves, they would marvel at the many possibilities of their future.
“The overall aim of having this lab is to facilitate and boost the awareness in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education, and the important role it plays in life, generally,” he said, adding that STEM is also significant in creating job opportunities and nation-building.
According to the Director of Department of Industry Community Network (ICON), Ir. Dr. Nurul Hazlina Nordin, courses taught at the UMP STEM Lab include Open Source programming, such as mBlock, Arduino.cc, MIT App Inventor Programming as well as basic robotic programming.
“The lab also covers topics like radio wave propagation, trans-receivers and antenna designs. Using the trans-receivers designed in the lab, for example, students can locate beacons (fox) which transmit Morse codes signals.
“Survey on interest in such subject matters, conducted at the end of 2018, showed that 94 percent of the participants would consider pursuing studies in STEM-related fields.
“For 2019, we are looking forward to boost the number of engagements, especially in after-school programming classes and our signature programmes Pahang National Hackathon and Pahang National Foxhunting. New programs, such as Internet Security Awareness and Arduino Robotics, are also lined up for this year,” she said.
Last year, UMP STEM Lab managed to attract a total of 350 participants, although initial targeted number was only 250. These participants attended the after-school programming classes, “Career in STEM” talks and the signature programmes Pahang National Hackathon and Pahang National Foxhunting.
For 2019, Motorola Solutions Foundation grants will support programmes to help more than three million students, teachers, first responders and community members around the globe.
There is also a specific focus on providing grants to programmes that impact under-represented populations, including females, minorities, people with disabilities, veterans and others.
By: IR. DR. NURUL HAZLINA NORDIN, DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY COMMUNITY