Mah Sing Foundation recently launched the inaugural Mah Sing Young Nation Builders Challenge (Mah Sing YNBC), officiated by Malaysia Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Steven Sim Chee Keong. He was accompanied by Mah Sing Foundation Chairman Dato’ Indera Syed Norulzaman bin Syed Kamarulzaman and EdSpace Co-Founder Andrew Yong. The event took place at the Selangor Information Technology and Ecommerce Council (SITEC), i-City, Shah Alam.
Mah Sing YNBC is a first-of-its-kind competition to engage high school children aged from 13 to 17 years old to improve their communities, with the aim of cultivating the next generation of nation builders from our schools’ classrooms. 10 teams consisting of 50 students from Klang Valley schools were shortlisted from the 1st phase of the programme, where they had to submit a preliminary idea based on the Challenge’s themes.
“The Mah Sing YNBC is Mah Sing Foundation’s inaugural and flagship social innovation programme, which is in line with the Foundation’s belief. We have been planning for this challenge since last year and I’m very happy that this programme has now been realised. We strongly believe that investment in a better tomorrow can be achieved when every child is provided with the opportunity to thrive and fulfil their potential,” said Indera.
Imparting knowledge as a nation builder
Mah Sing believes that giving back to society is part of the core business and through Mah Sing YNBC, Mah Sing is imparting knowledge to the next generation with the hope that they will be the next nation builders of Malaysia.
“This year we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a property developer and a nation builder. Mah Sing’s tagline ‘Reinvent Spaces. Enhance Life’ is incorporated into the concept of the challenge where the students are required to reinvent public spaces to enhance the lives within their community,” said Mah Sing Founder and Group Managing Director Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Leong Hoy Kum.
Incorporating design thinking into Mah Sing YNBC
Mah Sing Chief Design Officer Kevin Lew will kickstart the boot camp, sharing his knowledge on design thinking and its applicability in the property industry with the students. Kevin Lew has been in the industry for 30 years and will be able to provide the students with insight on town designing and what the students can expect in large scale planning.
The competition programme has been designed so that children can learn to observe and empathise with challenges faced by their community. They are given 5 Design Challenges to choose from, in the areas of accessibility, natural disasters, cultural and heritage protection, environmental conservation, as well as transportation and connectivity.
They are tasked to come up with solutions and test their prototypes. This is built around the design thinking framework and their ideas will be guided by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The launch of the programme also coincided with the Mah Sing YNBC Bootcamp, where the 10 student teams will attend a fully sponsored 4-day immersive series of workshops that will equip them with real life skills to help them build a prototype of their project. Throughout the whole programme, students are taught to identify problems in public spaces that impact their communities and craft solutions using the Design Thinking Framework and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) approach.
After the Bootcamp, teams will return to their schools to execute and document their projects, during which members of the public will be invited to vote for the best designed project using social media. The top 3 teams chosen by the public vote will then pitch their design to a panel of judges at the Grand Finale.
“We believe that this programme provides a great platform for our youth to begin thinking about their role in the nation building process. The ideas that have been submitted have been nothing short of inspiring and I sincerely hope that members of the public will take this opportunity to encourage our youth by voting on the YNBC Facebook page to bring the best teams to the Grand Finale,’” said Yong.