KOTA KINABALU - The St Michael's secondary school in Penampang emerged as Sabah's top team in the 16th European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation (EuroINVENT) in Iasi, Romania.
Beating contestants from 26 countries, Form Five science students Chelsie Feely Bache, Galedine Lind, Carlsson Adwin Paddy and Jovie Jivinsol Moosom, wept with joy when they were announced as winners of the competition held from May 22-24.
Also present were their teachers Mariatul Hanis Merani Abdullah and Jennifer Asing,
"We were stunned for a moment when the name of our school was called. We could not hold back our tears as we were so happy,'' said Mariatul upon arriving at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport on Monday night.
The competition was aimed at encouraging competitiveness, creativity and innovation among students as well as to explore possibilities in the field of science and entrepreneurship.
The school's inventions - an easy pouring set (a 20-funnel jar-like equipment for faster pouring) and a smart food protector (food cover that keep out ants) - landed it the gold and silver medals respectively.
The school was also winners of the Youngest Investor Special Award, scooping up four of the 15 awards available. Mariatul said the team had invented a 10-funnel jar in last year's SME Bank Y-Biz challenge, where they won RM20,000 (S$7,800), with SME Bank providing RM25,000 for the team's trip to Iasi for the competition.
"After winning the SME Bank's contest in innovation, we went to various departments including the Babagon handicraft centre and ceramic factory in Tuaran to finetune our inventions,'' she said, adding that the school's Parent Teacher Association also helped fund their trip.
Mariatul said the 20-funnel jar was a product of "brainstorming sessions" while the smart food protector was an idea by students Sascha Ng Bansing, Calvin Noril and Dineilson Luke and teachers Hamzah Hamsan and Cyprian Rian Jokinol.
Chelsie, Galedine, Carlsson and Jovie said they did not expect to win big in the international competition.
"This feels like my biggest achievement as a student so far,'' said Chelsie.
Galedine said it was a dream come true to make Malaysia and her school proud.