Passionfruit picking invention wins two golds for SK Stunggang Melayu team
By Jude Toyat
Picking the best passionfruit means plucking them from the highest branches. This is what inspired the SK Stunggang Melayu team to invent the passionfruit picker which ended up putting Lundu on the invention map with its recent win.
Their invention won them two golds (Malaysian and Asian Young Inventors Award) under the invention category of the 27th International Invention, Innovation and Exhibition event organised by Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) held recently.
According to the invention consultant and coach Chai Seng Hiong who is also an education partner to SK Stunggang Melayu, the win really means a lot to the school in the Lundu district.
“This invention is really important for our school as it was the first invention from the district to win the top spot. We will further promote this invention, and for a start we will be organising a design competition that will see five schools under the Trust School Programme (Program Sekolah Amanah) in Lundu competing against each other soon.
“The event is expected be held after the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination, in mid-September this year,” said Chai, who is also an education partner from LeapEd services, adding that the schools in the district will be notified on the competition and be issued a letter for participation.
He pointed out that the passionfruit picker invention was masterminded by SK Stunggang Melayu headmaster Jhinku Abdul Jalil and teacher Jamilah Ebrahim.
They spent six months perfecting the invention as it went through a series of transformations which included six adjustments to the initial prototype which included material selection to improving the mechanism.
During the competition, the invention was then presented by its Year 6 students Ain Nur Abdullah Munshi and Awang Fizikrillah Awang Aibis.
“Apart from bringing Lundu primary schools to a higher platform for invention at the national and international levels, the children also have a chance to open their eyes to see the world by themselves. We want the students to go to a higher platform for greater exposure.”
The passionfruit picker consists of two forks: One fixed to the pole while the other one is movable, connected to rubber bands and a string. The rubber bands enable the movable fork to return to its original position after it has been pulled by the string to pick the fruit.
More improvements will also be made in the near future including fixing a wireless miniature camera to the device to locate the fruit on a tree thus allowing them to make a precise cut, ideal for fruit trees that are over 20 feet tall.
Over 136 countries took part in the competition, with 152 teams from Malaysia and 22 of them from primary schools. Sarawak had a share of 17 teams with three from Kuching and one from Lundu – SK Stunggang Melayu.
He added that the achievement was made possible because SK Stunggang Melayu came under the Trust School Programmes where Chai as the programme education partner from LeapEd Services, not only encouraged the school to take part in the invention competition but also gave personal coaching to the team.
“Most importantly, the support from the cluster advisor Abdul Rahman Bolhasan, headmaster Jhinku Abdul Jalil who advanced all the expenditure himself, the teachers, the parents, the students, the school’s Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) and Lundu District Education (PPD Lundu) in one way or another made the event happen.
“The school wishes to thank everybody and hope that they will be given a chance to compete again next year,” he added.
On whether the invention will be pursued commercially, he added that this product would soon be made available at several hardware shops in the state as he believed this invention could actually become very handy to many.