KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 -- All those sleepless nights and hard work finally paid off for students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Riam Miri, Sarawak after their idea of creating a device that helps to unplug electricity at the fingertips won them first prize in the Sentuhan Harapan–All About Youth (AAY) 2019 Chairman’s Circle Award held by Yayasan Petronas, today.
The device called Riam Xplug, alerts users to unplug their electrical appliances through a smartphone application and automatically shuts off electricity.
Shedding their tears when they were crowned winners, the group of five students successfully brought home RM30,000 grand prize and the opportunity to commercialise their project with a social enterprise.
“Our innovation can be used in our daily lives, in future we hope we can come out with the third generation of the device which is a complete one and can be put out there in the market.
“We want to reduce carbon emission by reducing electrical usage, hence, instead of unplugging your plug, you can use your smartphone, which has been downloaded with the Riam Xplug application to control,” said team leader, Magdalena Suling Jalong, 16, to Bernama.
Her school was one of the five finalists that were judged on innovation, relevance, sustainable impact and commercial viability of the projects, based on the AAY2019 theme on ‘Reducing Carbon Emissions for a Better Future.’
Meanwhile, Muhammad Amir Hariz Mashuri, 16, from SMK Tun Habab, Johor who is passionate in electronics, won himself the Best Youth Award and brought home RM3,000.
"One day, I would like to have my own company that can develop ideas for innovation and this is not the end of the journey, as I will bring my team's idea in future to improve and upgrade it,” he said adding that his team's idea, PELTZ, an alternative air conditioner that does not rely on chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), will benefit the environment in future.
This year, 50 schools with 1,000 students participated in AAY2019 in search for environmental solutions and the event was supported by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change.
Also present during the event were Yayasan Petronas chairman Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh and Yayasan Petronas chief executive officer Lita Osman.