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    High School STEM Engagement: Fostering Interest

    Fostering interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) among high school students is crucial for preparing the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. In recent time, it has been observed that more students are less interested in STEM subjects due to the perception that these subjects are too difficult.

    The percentage of students taking the science stream had declined from year to year whereas STEM education is very important to prepare and help developing country, such as Malaysia to navigate the fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0). This problem can be seen deteriorating in most schools, especially among high school students and has created concern among school teachers. One of the schools that was affected by this percentage drop is Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Bahau (a high school in Negeri Sembilan). To overcome this problem, the principal and the teachers have taken the initiative to organize a science and mathematics exhibition in conjunction with STEM month which held for two weeks starting from 4th until 15th September 2023.

    The main objective of this program is to instill interest in STEM and give opportunities to the students to admire the subjects of STEM. More than 800 participants comprising students, counsellors, teachers, staffs and representatives from the other educational institution took part in the exhibition. The Faculty of Applied Sciences UiTM Negeri Sembilan Campus is honored to receive an invitation from SMK Bahau to hold a STEM exhibition. A group of lecturers and laboratory assistants from the Departments of Biology, Physics, Food Technology, Textile Technology and Mathematics were involved with the exhibition, each setting up a booth aligned with their respective fields.

    During this exhibition, the students gained so much knowledge and were given the opportunity to explore the experiments and games prepared by each booth, leaving them inspired and eager to delve deeper into the world of science and technology. The exhibition has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both students and their teachers. Initiatives like this offer students engaging, hands-on learning experiences, making STEM activities enjoyable and captivating, ultimately enabling students to go beyond mere rote learning. It is hoped that more programs outside the school in collaboration with UiTM can be continued, especially for rural students who lack in terms of laboratory facilities and expertise.