23. April 2016 09:54
We were just students adapting to a stressful upper secondary life when Subas, our leader, approached the rest of us about this competition. It wasn't easy for us to decide whether to participate as we were concerned about our studies. The first few chapters were already quite tough for us and our parents were emphasizing on paying full attention to our studies. Our initial perception of the competition's requirement was innovating a conventional product that could contribute vastly to the environment. Besides being excited with the prospect of having to invent something useful, we were partially enticed by the accommodation, that is Concorde Hotel.
On 23 February, we embarked on a trip to Concorde Hotel. The convoy consisted of the main team, two teachers, and our school's newly appointed principal, Mr.Tan Chee Kheong. Come 11 a.m, we arrived at the hotel. After unloading our luggage and placing it at a designated place, we registered our school and waited for the event to start. Throughout the workshop, the theme of the competition was introduced as SOLID WASTE SEPARATION and we were briefed on the procedures to be followed when tackling the problem, particularly Toyota's problem solving methodology.
If these steps are not followed meticulously, we would be at a disadvantage as it is a crucial part of the project that should be prioritized. To strengthen our understanding, practical activities that involved participants were done such as quizzes, exercises on the 8 steps, and not to mention fun activities.
Halfway into the workshop, every group was divided into 3 divisions. One division were brought to S.H.A. HUP AIK PALLETS SDN BHD that recycles plywood, vacuum packs and raw plastic materials. A Tzu Chi recycling site was visited by another division and the other stayed at the hall to be briefed by SWM CORP. These visits were beneficial as they helped us recognize the significance of these companies.
Having to observe the energy and confidence projected by teams from other schools, we were disheartened, albeit motivated in a way. Only after the workshop did we realize that the project had nothing to do with inventions. What fools we were, planning to design something beneficial for a month, only to find that we had to tackle solid waste separation problems whilst involving the community in the process.