21 April 2010

Sunway A-Level Math & Logic Challenge 2010

The Sunway University College yearly A-Level Math & Logic Challenge which started in 2006 aims to increase the level of math proficiency among students in Malaysian secondary schools and to promote math as a challenging and interesting subject. It is open to Form 3, 4 and 5 secondary school students.

This year the competition attracted 96 schools from Peninsula Malaysia to the recent competition at Sunway. Some of the schools came from as far as Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak and Penang. In total there were 192 teams with 384 students and scores were awarded based on individual MCQs in Round 1 and teamwork challenges in Round 2.

The champion team that emerged was Chong Hwa Independent High School made up of Too Sheng Tack and Loo Han Rong. This is the second time the school has become the champion in the competition. The First Runner-Up was Hin Hua High School, Klang and the Second Runner-Up was SMJK Katholik, Petaling Jaya.

The Champions (Left to right), Mr Ong Lim Chuan, math teacher; Loo Han Rong and Too Sheng Tack with Elizabeth Lee, Executive Director, Sunway University College

The prizes for the Top 3 teams included trophies and bursaries valued at RM15,000, RM12,000 and RM8,000 respectively for the Champion, First Runner-Up and Second Runner-Up team members, applicable for the A-Level Pre-U programme at Sunway. The champion school also received a Challenge Trophy and the schools whose teams won the Top 3 prizes were given cash of RM500, RM300 and RM200 respectively. The top 10 highest individual scorers of Round 1 received bursaries for the A-Level programme valued at RM6,000 and the 11th to 50th received bursaries valued at RM5,000.

The champion schools of the past were Foon Yew Independent High School, Johor Baru in 2006, SMJK Katholik, Kuala Lumpur in 2007, Chong Hwa Independent High School, Kuala Lumpur in 2008 and SMJK Katholik, Petaling Jaya (for the second time) in 2009.

The questions, which were created just for the competition, were devised by the experienced team of 9 Sunway A–Level math teachers headed by Dr Wong Yoke Chen, Director of the A-Level programme at Sunway.

The University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) sponsored 10 Amazon Book Vouchers valued at £10 each to the Top 10 individual scorers of Round 1. The value in prizes for the competition totaled RM154,000.

20 April 2010

Oxbridge Public Speaking Competition 2010 (Preliminary & Semi-Final)

The preliminary and semi-final stages of the Sunway University College Public Speaking Competition, an exciting annual event of English oratory excellence, was held on April 17, 2010, at the Bandar Sunway campus. This competition was opened to secondary school students from Form 4 and 5, and this year, it attracted about 100 participants from 52 schools all over Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh.

In the initial round, students were given the chance to impress the judges with a 4-minute prepared speech on the open-ended topic, What is always on my mind. Following a short break, they then faced the true test of their public speaking mettle, the 3-minute impromptu elocution. Students had to think on their feet, articulating opinions spontaneously on topics drawn randomly from an envelope.

During the preliminary rounds, some students managed to charm the judges with suave eloquence while some with their sheer determination and sincerity. A few multi-talented ones even showed off their singing skills.

After some deliberations by the judges, Margaret Hall, the Organising Chairperson representing the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia, announced the 12 semi-finalists who then went on to dazzle the audience with their wits in another round of 3-minute impromptu speeches each on the topic, Family matters. A few of the speakers even had the judges in stitches which is always a good sign.

In order of appearance, the semi-finalists were:
Vishnu Arvindran (SMK Taman Jasmin 2)
Nicholas Lim (SMJK Katholik, Petaling Jaya)
Afeeq Shaswan Bin Zambre (SM Alam Shah, Putrajaya)
Loo Han Rong (Chong Hwa Independent School, Kuala Lumpur)
Daniel Ong Ying Yao (SMK Damansara Jaya)
Prasant Nambiar (SMK LaSalle, Petaling Jaya)
Roshni George (SMK Seafield, Subang Jaya)
Joash Nicholas Ong (SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, Petaling Jaya)
Daniel Rajasingam (SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, Petaling Jaya)
Kailash A/L Kalaiarasu (SMK St. John, Kuala Lumpur)
Goh Chin Ying (SMK (P) Methodist, Klang)
Marissa Law Jun Yi (SMK USJ 4, Subang Jaya)

The judges for the semi-final were Simon Marshall and Darina Yusof representing the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia, Jeanette Lim and Leonard Chin for Sunway University College, with Dr. Stephen Hall, head of the Language and Compulsory Subjects Centre of Sunway University College, presiding as Chief Judge.

All 12 semi-finalists were awarded Certificates of Commendation and six were selected to compete in the Final scheduled on June 26, 2010. In no particular order, the finalists are:

Vishnu Arvindran (SMK Taman Jasmin 2)
Nicholas Lim (SMJK Katholik, Petaling Jaya)
Loo Han Rong (Chong Hwa Independent School, Kuala Lumpur)
Daniel Ong Ying Yao (SMK Damansara Jaya)
Nicholas Ong (SMK Sultan Abdul Samad, Petaling Jaya)
Kailash A/L Kalaiarasu (SMK St. John, Kuala Lumpur)

The winner of the Sunway University College Public Speaking Competition 2010 stands a chance to win an Oxbridge and Sunway University College Bursary for full tuition fee waiver (Pre-university programmes/American Degree Transfer Program/diploma programmes), an individual trophy and an individual cash prize worth RM600.00.

The Sunway University College Public Speaking Competition is jointly organised by Sunway University College, and the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia.

15 April 2010

“Be Drug Free” Campaign powered by Peer Influence

The 4-day “Be Drug Free” campaign, organised by Sunway University College held recently, had the admirable objective of educating students on the causes and risks of drug abuse for prevention purposes.

According to the Agensi Anti Dadah Kebangsaan (AADK), unofficially in 2008, 69.67% of drug users in Malaysia were between 19 and 39 years old. The biggest push factor for this group was peer group pressure as 55.5% of them began taking drugs because of peer influence.

Through this campaign Sunway has identified and equipped around 60 students as volunteers. Sunway’s counselling unit will provide the volunteers with basic knowledge while guiding and encouraging positive peer influence among students. This drug prevention peer programme will empower students and be the social mechanism that will prevent the risk of drug abuse on Sunway’s campus.

Students saying the Pledge to say “No” to drugs

During the campaign, Sunway also initiated the students’ public pledge to say “no” to drugs. Sunway hoped that through this involving step, students felt proud for contributing to their improved quality of life on campus. The pledge was a commitment which hopefully will stay with the students for the rest of their lives. The Campaign theme song is “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. Campaign volunteers performed this theme song during the opening ceremony.

Stephanie Fernandez, a Canadian International Matriculation Programme student at Sunway said “This is an excellent campaign and is something all of us can relate too”.

The Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony was YB Teresa Kok, Senior Executive Councillor of Selangor. There was also talk by DSB Zaiton Binti Hussein, Pegawai Turus Pengundangan dan Nasihat, Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Narkotik IPK Selangor on “Consequences of Drugs Abuse, Related Law and Symptoms of Drug Addiction”.

Students supporting the campaign

Other participants of the campaign included the Narcotic Department Selangor and Agensi Anti Dadah Kebangsaan. NGOs such as Drug Rehabilitation Centres    Home of Victory and Lifezone as well as Malaysian Care had exhibition booths educating students about drugs. A Royal Malaysian Police K9 unit demonstration will also staged a dog tracking demonstration at the Sunway University College foyer. Canon Malaysia sponsored the prizes in the Photography Contest themed, A Drug-Free Lifestyle. Talks, games, quizzes and group activities were also available for students during the Be Drug Free campaign.