By promoting technological convergence, Tech Dome Penang has become the first science center in Malaysia to offer workshops in the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to primary and secondary school students.
Its managing director, Khoo Boo Wooi, said the center had worked with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) on a program called “Ahli Teknologi Muda AI”, to benefit students in the region. North.
“We are also working with a Chinese company on a module based on drone technology for students, which we introduced last year.
“In addition, we will launch three exhibitions in the third quarter of the year, which will include electric vehicles (EVs), drone simulators and aquaponics,” he said of the projects at come from Tech Dome Penang.
Khoo was speaking at the sixth anniversary celebration of the center located in Komtar’s geodesic dome.
Since its launch in 2016, the center has welcomed more than 500,000 visitors and organized around 1,850 workshops and activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for the benefit of some 360,000 students in the country.
Khoo said Tech Dome’s digital STEM content has benefited more than 120,000 people through numerous school science shows and tours.
“With the rapid growth of the electronics and manufacturing sectors, we need more technologists and engineers.
“We need a strong foundation in STEM at the early education stage that can extend to youth careers.
“Tech Dome Penang offers a three-pronged STEM learning method, starting with our exhibits which provide a ‘wow’ factor.
“Second, we spark interest and curiosity in STEM by providing students with opportunities through boot camps, challenges and competitions such as our annual Robomania, Women in Science and Grand STEM Challenge projects.
“Finally, we offer a structured program so that students continue to learn.
“We have courses like AI, robotics and digital. This will help students gain a stronger knowledge of STEM before entering higher education,” he said.
Khoo advised parents to encourage their children to pursue STEM education.
“Besides our own program ‘Path to Success – The STEM Way’, other centers under the Penang STEM umbrella such as Penang Skills Development Center (PSDC), Penang Math Platform (PMP) and Penang Science Cluster (PSC) are working to bring awareness to parents about STEM education,” he said.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Tech Dome Penang not only moved its business online but also introduced more digital programs for students.
“Last year, we launched Penang’s first-ever digital literacy camp for primary and secondary school students, involving over 1,700 participants.
“Following this, we organized the Mobile App Challenge and the Web Development Challenge during the first half of this year.
“Next up is our game development challenge, which is part of the Tech Fest program, in conjunction with the World Information Technology Congress 2022,” Khoo added.
Penang Deputy Chief Minister II and Chairman of the Board of Penang Tech Center Dr. P. Ramasamy said he was impressed with the new ideas generated by the center to create interesting programs through workshops, events and competitions.
He said that during the pandemic, Tech Dome had to change its marketing strategies and develop more innovative ideas.
“Our flagship Glo-Walk fundraising event, which was held virtually last year, will return as a hybrid (physical and virtual) event this year.
“We are expecting some 3,000 attendees for the event at Penang City Park on July 30,” he added.
Ramasamy called on businesses to continue supporting STEM-based education initiated by Tech Dome Penang.
The event saw the unveiling of the centre’s robot mascot, known as TD-Bot, which was designed by 30-year-old Teh Yong Tatt.
Some 130 students from SK Kuala Perai, SJK (T) Ladang Mayfield and SJK (C) Chong Teik, sponsored by Mr. Satees, MP for Bagan Dalam, also participated in a science workshop at the event.