Sign In

​​​Kenneth Chong: A Global Student Prize finalist fulfils Passion for STEM​

kenneth success story imaage 1.jpg Overseas internship journey in Kumamoto, Japan, to proceed with a research project related to pulsed power science and water treatment.

Kenneth Chong Yih Haur, a young innovator from Tenom, Sabah, is passionately pursuing his interests in STEM to make a positive impact on his community and country. From developing a sonar system to detect pests in paddy fields and creating an app to reduce food insecurity to building an RFID system for furniture store inventory management and an Early Depression Diagnosis System (EDDS) using Machine Learning, he constantly puts his creative mind to work on innovative projects.
kenneth success story image 2.jpg
Kenneth's journey in the maker community started during secondary school, where he was inspired by his science and chemistry teacher, Miss Anuthra Sirisena, who made learning engaging and exciting through practical experiments and discussions. Despite growing up in a rural area, Kenneth never allowed his circumstances to hinder his passion for programming, electronics, and robotics. Instead, he embraced the challenges and sought innovative ways to pursue his dreams. A pivotal moment came when he participated in an Arduino outreach workshop, which equipped him with the necessary tools to embark on creating his own projects. This inspiration led him to pursue a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS under the aid of PETRONAS Educational Sponsorship Programme 2019, as he justified himself during the interview, “Because I’m a maker!”
kenneth success story image 3.png
His dedication to STEM has earned him notable achievements. Not only was he secured in Top 100 MonStar Asia Young Talent Award 2022, but​ he was also shortlisted as one of the Top 50 Finalists for the prestigious Global Student Prize 2023, an award recognizing exceptional students making a real impact on learning and society.
kenneth success story image 4.jpeg
Kenneth's passion for engineering and innovation also led him to represent Malaysia and Asia in the ChemE Cube Competition, where his team’s entry, which won the Rapid Award in the competition, led to the creation of "ShuiNew", a water purification system that is able to purify water up to 99.99% (bacteria and chlorine removal). The team is now looking at making a more commercially viable version for the market.
​​​​kenneth success story image 5a.jpg
kenneth success story image 5b.jpg
Throughout his academic journey, Kenneth actively seeks help from professors, collaborates with peers, and uses online resources to overcome challenging subjects and build resilience and problem-solving skills. He has also gained valuable experiences through internships at Baker Hughes and Kumamoto University in Japan, expanding his skills and knowledge.
kenneth success story image 6.jpg
Kenneth has also been able to make a positive impact on his peers and on wider society. He has helped organize events and workshops that have brought together students from different majors and engineering backgrounds, fostering a sense of collaboration and creativity. In addition, he has also volunteered as a workshop speaker at his old secondary school, teaching the basic ideas and skills involved in 3D modelling, video editing and data analytics. This has inspired the students to take on their own innovative projects.

Believing in giving back to the community, Kenneth shares his expertise by mentoring juniors at Tenom Innovation Centre and assisting in the Young Innovators Challenge. He also volunteered to be the “Jedi” in Jedi Sessions at the National Young Innovators Challenges for three consecutive years, guiding and improving innovation projects for secondary school teams in Malaysia.​
 kenneth success story image 7a.jpg
kenneth success story image 7b.jpg
Kenneth encourages schools to develop dynamic and relevant STEM curricular aligned with real-world challenges and applications. He was invited to participate in 'Program Duta Guru' PDG National Symposium 2022, initiated by Yayasan PETRONAS and the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE), and served as one of the forum speakers representing the students' perspective. The forum's focus was on sustaining the integration of STEM (i-STEM) teaching in classrooms. As a student representative, he provided encouragement to all PDG participants who were teachers. He emphasized the importance of not giving up on this type of teaching, even if students initially find it challenging to adapt. It takes time for students, including himself, to become comfortable with this new and effective learning method. If teachers give up too quickly, students might struggle to practice and fully embrace i-STEM principles.

Kenneth Chong's maker journey as a Global Student Prize finalist is a testament to his unwavering commitment, exceptional talent, and boundless compassion for making a positive impact on the world. As he continues to explore the frontiers of technology and innovation, his legacy of brilliance and benevolence will undoubtedly inspire countless others to follow in his footsteps and create a brighter, better future for all.​​​​​​​