By Nandar Win & Win Win Maw
Outstanding students from Myanmar made their country proud by beinglaced in the top-9 of the Go Green in the City 2017 international competition. Maung Phyo Thu Htet, a fourth-year Information Science Technology student, and Ma Win Nadi Aik Maung, a third-year Computer Engineering student, entered the contest and stood in the top-9.
The following is an interview with the outstanding students who placed in top-9 of the international competition.
Q: Could you explain about the Go Green in the City 2017 international competition?
Maung Phyo Thu Htet: The competition was organised by Schneider Electric Co., Ltd, which is based in France. Many people took an interest in this competition via Facebook and other social media. Those who were interested in this project, applied for it online. There were more than 800 competitors from 136 countries this time.
Ma Win Nadi Aik Maung: There was a talk show on Go Green in the City 2017 competition in our school, and the head of the department told us about it and urged me to enter the competition. Accordingly, I made a project presentation. Luckily, I was selected in the top-5 of the competition.
Q: How was the competition?
Maung Phyo Thu Htet: This competition aims to present a fantastic idea about how to make our society green. We entered the green project and had to participate in many projects at different levels, along with the registration process, such as Team Mate, Challenge and Idea Submission. I had competed to represent my country, and was chosen in the top-5 and listed at the world champion level. As a result, I had to compete in the semi-final again. Fortunately, I was selected to represent Myanmar, and our team stood in the top-9 at Japan’s level.
Q: Could you tell us more about your preparations?
Maung Pho Thu Htet: Myanmar has been entering this competition for three years. As for me, I was selected in the final list and came to Yangon. I had to learn how to make a good presentation, besides developing my English proficiency skills. I had to go in for the title ‘Energy Saving’, together with the environmental conservation project. It is of vital importance to have your own innovative and creative ideas, from reading, thinking, travelling and surfing the internet.
In the first phase, I entered many stages, such as Challenge and Idea Submission. I also participated in the group discussions that were held in the Yangon office. As for making preparations for the projects, we switched on the lights, and then we wrote “Switch off the light after using it.” It looked like an energy-saving campaign with the use of sensors. I first thought of “Cool Green” to give the feel of a shady place, when the word “Creepers” occurred to me. Therefore, I had to go to many places, such as farms and gardens in Pyin Oo Lwin, where I could combine “technology and innovation.”
Ma Win Nadi Aik Maung: Contestants had participated from 155 different countries, and we had to think of “creative ideas, as well as innovations.” We had to hone our presentation skills, spoken English skills and listening skills to enter the competition.
Q: What was your project in the competition?
Maung Phyo Thu Htet: My project was ‘Growing Creepers’, which is not an easy task to do. I built a steel structure design with a shady place and a 20-foot-wide plot of land to grow the creepers. Futhermore, I added a water-pot stand around it, in the traditional Myanmar style. My project aimed to raise the environmental awareness of the local people who throw litter and rubbish in public areas, such as recreation centres and rivers.
I added two kinds of robot birds. One robot bird was placed near a tree branch; another one was placed near the water-pot stand. I got this idea from a Myanmar folk tale, “Kyee Nyi Naung,” which means “A Tale of Two Bird Brothers.”
This project will be carried out as part of the Pyin Oo Lwin Yadanar Myo Thit project. My project is the only one of its kind in Myanmar, as well as in the world, and I am trying my best to show it within a year. I am sure that my project can help my country.
Q: Could you tell us about your experience during the competition?
Maung Phyo Thu Htet: This is my own creation and innovation, which can help save energy and cool its system. I tried very hard for it, and my experience was strange, because I had to vie with a virtual contestant in the semi-final competition.
Ma Win Nadi Aik Maung: I got this idea from a friend of mine and had to practise a lot. I had to collect data on creepers. I overcame all obstacles by using the effective Teaching Method Project of the USAID Organisation.
Q: Could you explain more about the nature of virtual competitions?
Maung Phyo Thu Htet: At the semi-final stage, there were 12 teams from various regions, such as Africa, America and other European countries. Therefore, I presented my project using the internet. There were sound recordings, films being shot, and question and answer sessions at the competition. As for me, I had to present my own project on behalf of my country.
Q: What benefits did you gain from this competition?
Maung Phyo Thu Htet: I believe that both my idea and creation can be transformed into a project, which can be beneficial to the country. Even though my idea is small, I had a good chance to present my creation to those from other countries in the world. Moreover, I could show off my talent and skills, which were useful and effective in the process of environmental conservation, through this competition. I had a great chance to represent our university and country.
Ma Win Nadi Aik Maung: This is my first experience and am very pleased to have taken part in this competition. My aim in life is to serve my country.
Q: And what are your ambitions?
A: I assume that I have to realise my ambitions. I shall try to create what I would like to be in my mind. I will make the best use of all my efforts to serve my society and country to the best of my abilities.
Thanks a lot for your answers, and may all your dreams come true as early as possible.