Sime Darby
Teenage Trio wins state-level Young Innovators Challenge with safety wheel sensor prototype

Design from three Sarawakian students can prevent road accidents

Kuala Lumpur, 22 June 2017 – Concerned with rising road accidents in Sarawak, three students from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Riam, Miri, Sarawak, decided to do something.

SMK Riam students Nur Syahirah Jefry, 16, Nathan Young Liso, 16, and Emelda Lahai Imang, 15 – or The Light Kite team – designed a safety wheel sensor prototype to prevent drivers releasing their hands from the steering wheel while driving.

Presenting their idea during the Sarawak state-level championship of the Young Innovators Challenge 2017 (YIC 2017), their project was to assist drowsy and sleepy drivers losing their grip on the steering wheel while driving. 

The team designed a safety wheel sensor to alert drivers with an alarm if their hands were not on the steering wheel. The prototype also ensures that both hands remain on the steering wheel as opposed to just one. 

Without any prior knowledge to coding, the task proved to be a challenge. Team lead Nur Syahirah admitted that this was not the only shortcoming they experienced. 

The team also had to contend with some parts of their prototype failing to function during the showcase. 

“Some of the most challenging factors during the development phase was the lack of time and resources as we were unable to meet up daily due to our busy schedules,” she said. 

Team Light Kite, however, was not left to struggle alone. Out of kindness and solidarity, other participating teams from SMK Riam (‘Lit Fam’, ‘Vision’ and ‘Trison’) helped Nur Syahirah and her teammates to improve their prototype, despite being disqualified in the early stages of the competition. 

“Throughout this whole process, we received continuous motivation and encouragement from our teachers, mentors and peers which allowed us to complete the project,” Nur Syahirah added. 

Regardless of their shortcomings, they were able to work together to produce the prototype, which won gold alongside two other teams in the same category and were awarded the ‘Outstanding Digital Makers Award’.  

This is just one of the many heartwarming stories from participants of the YIC 2017 Sarawak state-level championship. The two other prototypes that received gold were the ‘Cool Bike Lightning System’ and ‘Insta-Switch’ by teams from Sekolah Menengah Pei Min and SMK Merbau respectively. State-level championships all over the country will end on July 15. 

Winning teams from the state-level championships will converge for the seven-day Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge (SDYIC) from 2-8 August 2017 and will have the opportunity to meet industry experts, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals and other enthusiasts in the field of innovative technology. 

(From left) Light Kite team mentor Victor Wong, Light Kite team member Nathan Young Liso, SMK Riam teacher Forrina Lanity Rosini, Light Kite team member Emelda Lahai Imang and Light Kite team leader Nur Syahirah Jefry receiving the Outstanding Digital Makers Award. 

A joint collaboration between Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) and social business start-up, Chumbaka, the YIC 2017 is a nationwide event bringing together universities, the community and members of the technology industry to celebrate the creativity and inventiveness of secondary school students in Malaysia. 

The YIC 2017 seeks to develop students’ life skills especially in problem-solving, tenacity and collaboration in solving real-life problems with innovative technology. 

With a total of 15 universities and 300 schools involved this year, university students serve as mentors to high school students, enabling them to explore careers in STEM -related areas. 

The YIC is endorsed by the Ministry of Education, supported and sponsored by Malaysia Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC) and 1Malaysia for Youth (iM4u) and is part of the #mydigitalmaker movement. 

Under the Community & Health pillar, YSD to date has committed RM114 million towards community-based programmes, initiatives and research efforts targeted at increasing the well-being of disadvantaged people, reducing socio-economic disparities as well as enhancing the welfare of neglected children, senior citizens, vulnerable women, physically challenged individuals and other marginalised groups. 

About Yayasan Sime Darby 
Yayasan Sime Darby, or Sime Darby Foundation, was established in 1982 and is the primary driver of Sime Darby Berhad’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. 

The objectives of Yayasan Sime Darby are supported by its five pillars, namely: education; environment; community & health; youth & sports; arts & culture. While led by independent members of a Governing Council and managed by a dedicated team, Yayasan Sime Darby works closely with the Sime Darby Group, in areas of mutual interest. 

Since its inception, Yayasan Sime Darby has awarded scholarships worth RM253 million to 3,357 students both in and outside Malaysia. It is supporting long term research projects of significant scientific value like the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) project which is the world’s largest ecological project, and the Reforestation and Rehabilitation of Orang Utan Habitats in Northern Ulu Segama. 

Yayasan Sime Darby is also actively involved in the development and improvement of sports in Malaysia namely track cycling, cricket, sailing and golf. Under its community & health pillar, Yayasan Sime Darby supports initiatives to promote the well-being of disadvantaged people irrespective of race, culture, religion, creed or gender and works with established organisations to promote the development of arts & culture. 

For further information, please contact:

Meena Lakshana
Senior Executive, Public Relations
Yayasan Sime Darby 
Tel:  03-2691 4122 Ext 7614, 013-256 7160 (HP)