Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) today received 5 Mindstorms NXT Lego kits worth RM 12 500 as a contribution from international software producer, National Instruments. The software is to be used in a special initiative by USM to create interest in the field of science, engineering and automated equipment among students in the rural areas.
The contribution, presented by the Sales Engineer from National instruments, Malaysia, Kaw Kiam Leong was accepted by the Dean from the School of Mechanical Engineering, Assoc. Prof. Zaidi Mohd. Ripin.
The Kits were then loaned for the duration of one year to Sekolah Kebangsaan Methodist, Nibong Tebal, Penang for the use of the 30 over student members of the Young Robotics Club. The principal of Sekolah Kebangsaan Methodist, M. Loganathan was present to accept the kits.
Each of the Lego Mindstorms NXT Kits is worth RM 2 500 and have been fully programmed with the software developed by National Instruments (NI), LabVIEW Graphical Design and have the capacity to interact with the surroundings.
Prof. Khairun Azizi Mohd. Azizli, Director of the USM Engineering Campus who was also present said that the contribution will be the starting point for students in the rural areas to have the opportunity to learn about software and robotics right from the time they are at school.
“This will help us to tap young talents and more importantly, it will help in the process of instilling interest in the field of science and technology among the young generation,” he said in his speech during the presentation of the kits.
”Schools in the rural areas need strong support to enable the students to explore new fields especially in science. This support can be in the form of equipment and expertise and this is what USM and several partners in the industry such as National Instruments is attempting to do because we do not want anyone to be left behind in this fast developing technological era,” he added.
He added that USM will send lecturers and their students to conduct programmes on science in several schools in the vicinity of the USM Engineering Campus. This is to ensure that our aspirations of creating interest among the students towards the field of science are achieved.
The University-Community Project co-organised by the School of Mechanical Engineering, the Industry and Community Network Division and the USM community hopes to produce more youths who are keenly interested in the sciences and also to foster closer ties among the university, industry and community.
National Instruments (NI) which is headquartered at Austin, Texas, USA has a workforce of 4300 staff in 40 countries including Malaysia, and is one of the best software and electronics companies in the world