By: Nursyazalina Mohd Asikin
SERDANG - 144 students from Sekolah Menengah Sains Perempuan Seremban (Sekolah Menengah Sains Tuanku Aishah Rohani) participated in the “Girls in Physics’ programme recently.
The programme was organised by volunteers of Putra Outreach Physics led by a lecturer from Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yap Wing Fen with 32 volunteers from UPM Physics Club from the same faculty.
This programme was designed specifically for female students as they were perceived to be less interested in the subject.
Dr. Yap said that the world community has always portrayed the image of Physics as being a ‘masculine’ subject and that it suits more to male students. This has caused the female students to be less interested in Physics compared to Biology and Chemistry.
She added that when students started to memorise the concept and formula of Physics without trying to understand them, they will be overwhelmed as there is a huge amount of information that needs memorising.
“The students will face difficulties in answering questions of higher order thinking skills (HOTs) that require an in-depth understanding of a particular concept in Physics. They will also face problems in learning a higher level of the subject in the university later,” she said.
However, she added that by learning and practising Physics as a way of life, students will be able to grasp the concept and formula easily.
Putra Outreach Physics used the approach that focused on the implementation of hands-on activities where students were given the opportunity to learn and experience the concepts that happen in daily life, and the concept of Physics was also channelled through various outdoor activities.
Prof. Dr. Sidek Ab Aziz who performed the Magic or Physics in the slot called the ‘Magical Night of Physics’ had brought excitement to the participants. Other interesting slots were Nucleus Fusion, Explorace, YouReka, Fizineka, Fizumba, Magical Night of Physics, Dr. Y? and Cari Siapa Itu (CSI).
The dean of the Faculty of Science, Prof. Dr. Mohd Basyaruddin, said that this programme was one of the university’s efforts through UPM STEM to help curb the problem with regard to the insufficient number of scientists and engineers especially when the country is facing the IR 4.0 challenge.
“The programme was able to encourage and instil the culture of volunteerism among the students so that they are aware and concerned with the surrounding. The activities had also benefitted the society through knowledge and information transfer,” he added.
The head of the facilitator programme, a first-year student of Bachelor in Science (Honours) majoring in Science Instrumentation, Habibuzzikri Ajeman, said through this programme, he had the opportunity to share the knowledge he learned in UPM to help the students understand the concept of physics properly.
“The satisfaction of becoming a volunteer to the Physics UPM team could not be described in words upon witnessing positive responses from the students whose perception towards Physics has changed,” he said.
One of the participants, Siti Nur Insyirrah Aisyah, said that the programme had triggered her interest in learning Physics in depth and made her confident in scoring A+ in the subject.
Another participant, Siti Rasyiqah, said that the programme had increased her interest in learning Physics and eliminated boredom. “I understand Physics better through many interesting activities in the Girls in Physics Programme.” -UPM
Date of Input: 08/04/2019 | Updated: 08/04/2019 | ahmadazlan
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