CSR Education SMART's Cool 2.0 - Cabaran Tindak Balas Teknologi COVID-19

Following the continuation of COVID-19 in 2021, CSR activities planned by Velesto Energy Berhad (VELESTO) have also been sidelined by the outbreak. Due to the ongoing MCO, the ongoing CSR programme under the Education and Safety pillars in Selangor had to be postponed several times and restructured again to meet situational requirements.

Even so, the show must continue. Through its collaboration with the Selangor State Education Department (JPN Selangor) and its technical partner - Science Bridge Academy (SBA) - VELESTO proceeded with its online-based competition entitled “SMART's COOL: Cabaran Tindak Balas Teknologi COVID-19” . Already in its second edition, the programme consisted of three types of challenges; STEM 1 - Arduino & Sensor and STEM 2 - Brain Impact were held for secondary schools, while STEM 3 - COVID-19 Public Service Awareness (PSA) Campaign was held for primary schools. 

All participating schools were selected from the Science and Maths Unit of JPN Selangor's foster schools list.

In April 2021, participants were allocated a certain time frame to prepare their best presentation for the challenge and submit them online.

Unfortunately, while the participating students and teachers were getting ready to squeeze their ideas and concepts into their presentations and proposals, their efforts were hampered by the implementation of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) and its various MCO phases following the sharp rise of COVID-19 cases.

The students' and teachers' motivation and momentum dropped due to the setbacks of the pandemic; with everyone struggling to adapt to (then) latest home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) requirements. It was a challenge for everyone especially the participating students who now had to juggle an extra tasks on top of their PdPR assignments and homework. In addition, there were also students who were unable to communicate due to unstable internet connectivity at their residence.

Despite the setbacks, both sides of students and teachers managed to deliver their best presentations of their STEM challenges, sharing various unique concepts and creative video presentations.

The CSR programme was also mentioned as an example of a STEM-related activity and it's implementation through online medium, at the recent MOSTI-backed Techlympics event launch. The launch was witnessed by Dato’ Sri Dr Adham Baba, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.