by | Jul 11, 2023 | EDUCATION | 0 comments

Cambridge International is pleased to announce that a team of students from Victoria International School in Malaysia took home the ‘Best in Southeast Asia & Pacific’ in the prestigious Cambridge Upper Secondary Science Competition 2023.

Ahrayn Jordan Ravi, Siti Noor Halijah Bt Md Muslem, Threessha AP Uganathan and Yap Zhi Heng

The competition, which attracted participations from 151 teams from around the world, provides learners with the chance to develop their passion for science and practical skills that complement their academic studies. Students studying Cambridge IGCSEs and Cambridge O Levels worked in small teams to conduct their own scientific investigation, with schools submitting their strongest entries to Cambridge International for evaluation. 

In line with promoting sustainability, this year’s competition challenged students to consider sustainability in their planning and investigate a topic of practical relevance to their school or community. This initiative aimed to assist students to establish a connection between science and resolving real-world problems.

The winning entry – submitted by team members Ahrayn Jordan, Siti Noor Halijah Bt Md Moslem, Threessha A/P Uganathan and Yap Zhi Heng – was titled “Comparison of Different Methods of Purification of Water from Lakeside”, an investigation into addressing the global challenge of providing safe drinking water to communities by determining the most effective way of purifying water from a lakeside source. The team investigated the effectiveness of several water purification methods and cost of widespread adoption of each method for real-world application.

According to the winning students, they were proud to win the award and appreciated Cambridge International’s recognition of their collective effort. They also expressed their heartfelt gratitude to their parents

and teachers for their invaluable guidance and unwavering support as well as to their teammates for the camaraderie shown throughout the contest.

Priyatharshini Balakrishnan, a biology teacher at Victoria International School, said: “We are truly thankful for this honourable award from Cambridge International. Our principal has always encouraged students to participate in local and international competitions, so our students’ emergence as winners in the category is indeed testament to the quality of our teaching through our dedicated teachers and calibre of our students. We want to express our gratitude to teachers at Victoria International School who helped the students fulfill the requirements needed by Cambridge International. I would like to wish the best of luck to all the regional winners in the upcoming Best In World Award.” 

The winning team, along with other Best in Region awardees from across the globe, will now contend for the coveted overall Best in World award, which will be announced in December.

Carolyn Tiller, Cambridge International’s Deputy Director, Qualifications Development & Support, said: “It is a remarkable achievement to win the ‘Best in Southeast Asia & Pacific’ award, so congratulations are in order to the winning students on their scientific skills and research, and the teachers who supported them. We asked students to think about sustainability and the environment in their investigations and the winning students from Victoria International School embraced the challenge. I hope this competition has helped them to see how they can apply their learnings onto real life and inspire them to consider a science career.”

The expert judging panel included Dr Helen Eccles and Dr Elaine Wilson from the University of Cambridge; Dr Claire Malone, STEM Lead at the Lightyear Foundation; Professor Chris Huang from the University of Cambridge; and Dr Lucia Garcia Lecuona, a former Cambridge International student, now at AstraZeneca. 

A statement from the panel said: “The judges would like to applaud all participating schools and teams who took part in the competition for their hard work and enthusiasm. We would like to recognise the bronze, silver and gold award winners. We were delighted to see many excellent, thoughtful and well-executed science investigations. In particular, it was gratifying to see the wide range of topics chosen by the teams and the motivation behind these – most of them based on local issues with a wider sustainability impact.”

The second entry period for the Cambridge Upper Secondary Science competition is scheduled to take place from July to October 2023.