These Talented Malaysian Schoolkids Are So Brilliant, They Deserve To Be Datuks
1. Faye Jong Sow Fei, 17, became the 1st Malaysian to have an asteroid named after her in recognition of her achievements at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for her environmental management project
The Lincoln Observatory Near-Earth Object Team (LINEAR) named an asteroid 31460 Jongsowfei (1999 CV19) after the student from SMK Batu Lintang in Kuching, Sarawak in honour of her success at last year's ISEF.
Faye's 'Biowaste Materials as Eco-Friendly Mordant in Fabric Dye Process' project, which exhibits the use of environmentally-friendly natural colourants to set dyes on cotton fabrics and took her 3 years of research, earned her top awards at ISEF including the ‘Environmental Management for Best of Category’ and ‘Grand Awards’.
2. Admon Lee Wen Xuan, 16, was named champion of the PowerPoint 2010 challenge at the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship held in Dallas, Texas in August 2015
Admon, a Form 4 student at Wesley Methodist School Kuala Lumpur, was one of the 145 contestants from 47 countries across the world who had made it to the final stage. Some 60,000 candidates took part in the early stages of the competition held in their respective countries.thestar.com.my
The competition, also known as the Microsoft Office Olympics, was incepted in 2002 with the aim to identify the best practitioners of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel through a series of tests. The competition is held in tandem with the Adobe Certified Associate World Championship, which are meant to establish the best users of PhotoShop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
In the concluding round, competitors participated in unique project-based tests to demonstrate their ability to create presentations in PowerPoint.nst.com.my
3. Wong Fu Kang, 16, became the first Malaysian to clinch not just one, but TWO gold medals in the Commonwealth Youth Games which was held in the Pacific nation of Samoa in September this year
Wong, a Year 11 student in the British International School in Phuket (BISP), raced to Malaysia's 1st gold medal in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Men's 100m Breaststroke on 8 September.
On 9 September, he added to his medal tally with a gold in the 50m Breaststroke, and swam to take silver in the 200m Breaststroke the next day.
Wong had previously broken the 15-year-old national record in the 100m Breaststroke at the Malaysian Open Swimming Championship in March, beating Sabahan Elvin Chia’s record to earn himself a spot in the 2015 SEA Games squad.
4. Not only was the Kuching-based St. Joseph's School marching band the 1st and only non-US band to be invited to the US Band Association's Yamaha Cup, they also emerged as champions in their category and earned the highest score out of 57 competing school bands
The Kuching band scored 90.1 points to emerge champions in the 3A class for middle-sized bands with up to 75 performing members.
Not only did they earn the highest score among the 56 bands which competed in 11 categories, they also swept all the awards in their class for best colour guard, music, overall effect, percussion and visual for their drill show based on Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
5. Melvin Gnai, 13, whose superb fingerstyle guitar-playing skills have cemented his prodigious reputation overseas, having won a number of competitions and performed on international stages
In an interview with Cilisos, Melvyn's mother revealed that he only started playing the guitar 2 and a half years ago. In fact, Melvyn actually started playing the piano at age 4 and the violin at age 6 before moving on to the guitar when he turned 11.
Besides participating and winning in competitions such as the American Protege Music Talent Competition (where he placed 1st in the guitar category in 2014 and 2nd on the ukulele category in 2015), Melvyn has also performed in Amsterdam and New York.
Some of Melvyn's performances are available on YouTube, but the one video you should definitely see is this audition video that went viral in August:
6. Child music prodigy Tengku Ahmad Irfan Tengku Ahmad Shahrizal, 16, got accepted to the world-famous Juilliard School in New York when he was merely 13 years old! He is currently pursuing a double major in piano and composition, as well as an elective in composing.
The 16-year-old Malaysian pianist has been making regular appearances with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra since he was 11 and has also played with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
When he was 14, the New York Philharmonic premiered one of his compositions and he has also played under the baton of esteemed conductors such as Neeme Jarvi and Claus Peter Flor.
Watch him play with a fellow pianist during a Juilliard Composer's Concert in 2014:
7. Lim Hui Xin, 12, has been participating (and winning) in drawing competitions both local and international since she was 8. So far, she has received more than 200 trophies for her achievements!
Hui Xin, a Year 6 student in SRJK (C) Sum Sun in Penang, has received a slew of accolades in both local and international drawing and colouring competitions with her delicate brushwork and dynamic paintings. Among the awards she has received are 3rd place in the Hong Kong International Painting Competition (International Category), Grand Prix winner in The Small Montmartre of Bitola 2015, as well as the 1st prize and Individual Excellence Award in the Portugal World Painting Contest.
Hui Xin, who also excels academically and dabbles in calligraphy and piano, has dreams of becoming an interior designer or a fashion designer.
8. Muhamad Danial Zohairen and Nur Anissa Yasmin Yasri, both 17, won the gold medal at an invention competition held in Geneva in April this year with their environmental-friendly Shereco tiles
The two 5th formers of Terendak MARA Junior Science College (MRSM) defeated 700 other contestants at the International Exhibition Inventions of Geneva 2015, which was held from 15 to 19 April.
Muhamad Danial said he hoped the invention of the tiles, using coconut husks, plastic bottles and cockle shells, would motivate other students and young inventors to create something based on innovation and technology.
Sharing their proudest achievement, Wan Rohila said the Shereco tile was an environmental-friendly product as it was produced using non-flammable waste materials.
"This product is solid and suitable to be used in construction. We have also discussed the possibility to patent it," she said, adding that several international companies had shown keen interest to purchase and commercialise the innovative product.
9. R. Prevena and V. Sushmeetha, both 11, and R. Rasyikash, 13, won the Double Gold Award at the 2014 British Invention Show (2014) in London with their energy-saving drinks dispensing machine
SJK(T) Kulim’s R. Prevena and V. Sushmeetha, supported by former student R. Rasyikash, came up with the idea for the machine after reading an article online in March. Rasyikash, who is now in Form One at SMJK Chio Min in Kulim, said the three of them tested different types of rock on a kettle to find out which maintained heat longer.
“We also used sugarcane bagasse (the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed for juice extraction) to try to retain heat in the kettle. We found out that basalt rock was the most suitable to retain heat for a longer time and the sugarcane bagasse acted as an insulator.
“So, for our invention, we glued the bagasse directly onto the kettle and placed the basalt rocks under it, so heat could be maintained for a few hours even after the electricity was cut off,” explained Rasyikash.
Sushmeetha said they also used paint and aluminium foil to complete the project, adding that, “We just did not expect to win as there were more than 100 participants from 10 countries with their inventions.”
10. Durgashini Srijayan, Kumurthashri Ponniah, and Sugheson Ganeson from SJK (T) Ramakrishna beat 300 contestants from all over the world to win the top prize at the 35th Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition (BYSCC) with their invention of a eco-friendly thermo container
The trio were also the youngest contestants in the BYSCC which saw over 1 million students participate while only 300 were selected to compete in the Beijing finals, which was held from 25 to 30 March 2015.
The BYSCC, held annually, is a scientific and technological innovation competition for youths and among the biggest and most sophisticated science competitions for primary and secondary students.
According to SJKT Ramakrishna headmaster K. Puraneswari, their invention had also won the gold medal at the Malaysian Young Inventors Competition and Asian Young Inventors Exhibition (AYIE) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre last year.