Mighty Minds Challenge 2009

The Mighty Minds Challenge that was organized by RHB Bank and The Star newspaper was held at Alor Star Mall on the 18th of April 2009, which was last Saturday. I was one of the participants representing our school in joining the competition.

That morning, I woke up to discover that I was a twisted knot of mangled nerves. I could hardly eat anything , because my stomach was already full. With butterflies, that is. I reached the mall at 9 am to discover a warm and frantic hive of students from various schools gathering at the entrance as the building had yet to open its doors. Everyone was either nose-deep in books, or discussing facts with their friends. The sight made my heart palpitate wildly like the fluttering wings of a caged-in bird, because I had hardly touch anything to prepare myself for this challenge. I was reprimanding myself the whole time I waited for the doors to open. I even saw some familiar faces like Daniel, Aaron, Shi Yin & Shi En, and even Li Ni. Otherwise, there were no fellow Form 2 students there. *sob*

When the mall was finally open and several people wearing the ‘Mighty Minds’  T-shirt ushered us in, I tried to soothe my knotted stomach and rub the goosebumps on my arms. Inhale, exhale. Good. Then, one of the MM guys called out to the vast crowd of students, “Each team select one team leader and complete the registration at the counter, please.”  So, Puan Vanitha was like, “Ha! You! Michelle! You’re team leader!” And she pushed me towards the counter, leaving my jaws falling open like a toad trying to suck in air. I was dumbfounded and didn’t know what to do. Heck, I didn’t even know which team I belong to and who my teammates were. Luckily, Puan Vanitha helped me to carry out the registration procedure, and realised that our school had sent two F123 (Form 1, 2 and 3) and F4F5 (Form 4 and 5) teams each and I was in the lower secondary category: Sultanah Asma (A). My teammates were Chan Lye May (Form 1) and Anis Shafiqa (Form 3), and I must say, we make a pretty comprehensible group. Then, each group was given a phone-like device that resembled a keypad of putting in our answers for the first quiz. I was like, fuyoh. Technology is meddling with my mind.

The first segment was the F123 quiz, so we took our seats on the floor in the ‘hall’. There was a huge projected screen in front of us and we wondered idly what the whole thing was about while waiting for the other participants to arrive. I was even called by one of the officers to be interviewed. I tried to put on a calm and confident facade even though I was shaking from head to toe. But I thought I did pretty well. I hope.

The first quiz started at approximately 10 am, thanks to a school from Bukit Telujong or something, who were the last ones to arrive. Then, the quiz began. It was an MCQ quiz, and, I must admit, some of them were pretty easy. The science questions, I mean. And some of the math too. But there was one sphere area calculation that both May and I were yet to learn, so we depended on Anis, but we still got the wrong answer. And there was one stupid mistake that we did that cost us a whole TEN marks. My silly mistake, as I was the one holding the keypad. Stupid me, or we could’ve got another 10 points. But there was this question about Nicol David and we completely ‘hentam’ the answer but got it correct anyway, so, congrats to ourselves! :)

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The quiz took no more than an hour, then it was the F4F5 quiz next. I breathed a sigh of relief, but there was still a knot in my chest, a worry of not making it to the Top 30. Dad, Mum and I had a pretty good time guessing the F4F5 quiz answers, and Dad got most of it correct. XD Anyway, after the upper secondary quiz, they announced the Top 30 for both categories, and…..(drum roll) ALL THE ASMA GROUPS WERE QUALIFIED! Yay! Then, we were given a briefing on the hands-on challenge, which was scheduled to take place in the afternoon. All the groups were supposed to construct a model based on the objective and materials given, but we still didn’t know what we had to do yet. Then, it was lunch break. I could barely eat anything, as my stomach was churning like the inside of a cement-mixer, and who knows what’s going to happen if I drop a morsel into it? Ka-boom, that’s what’s gonna happen.

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The hands-on challenge started at 2pm, and we took our places at our own worktables respectively. This time, my nervousness reigned supreme of my entire body system. It was worse than that morning. I felt fluttery, like I was a tightrope. Like I was exposed to air. Out of my element. Feet not on the ground. The fluttery feeling soon turned into a feeling of morbid nervousness. One of the officers gave us a few reminders, and the challenge began.

As soon as I opened the instruction manual, my mouth hang open.

You are instructed to construct a paper ball ejector that is able to shoot out five paper balls continuously.

And you know what the materials are?

  1. Two rolls of manila cards.
  2. Three coloured papers.
  3. A roll of aluminium foil.
  4. Four chopsticks.
  5. One satay stick.
  6. A pinch of cotton.
  7. A penknife.
  8. A pair of scissors.
  9. A roll of masking tape.
  10. A roll of cellophane tape.
  11. A small piece of plasticine.
  12. A small tack.
  13. A sheet of newspaper.
  14. A fat straw.
  15. Two metal wires.

That’s pretty much everything I can remember. So tell me, my fellow Einsteins and Einsteinettes, how the hell am I supposed to build anything from this materials, much less a paper ball ejector that is supposed to spurt out FIVE balls at a time?

Lye May was, I must admit, the conductor of this segment, despite me being the leader. We were totally clueless. Ternganga. We saw everyone starting on their project, but us? Nada. Zilch. Null. Void. Finally, we settled in for the tame, common catapult.

And even that was a disaster.

I don’t really want to describe about our procedure. I don’t even want to think about it. It was ghastly. Unspeakable. Outrageous. Inhumane. Unearthly. Calamitous. Well, you get the drift. And I was pretty positive that ours would receive barely a glance from the judges, even though I still kept a precious tinge of hope at the back of my mind.

Ha. How very right I was. Down to the very last detail.

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Soon, it was assessment time, and the judges took a gander at our model for a nano-fleet second, then turned away. We were dumbfounded. Was it really that bad? I realised I could answer that for myself. Yes. It was that bad. Almost everyone’s model took the shape of a cylinder, except ours. Ours was a cuboid. Don’t laugh. We were that bad, yeah.

As soon as we were allowed to claim back our products, I grabbed our ‘rubbish’ and headed straight for the rubbish bin. Of course I did ask May and Anis’ permission lah, and they agreed -even supported, so in went the yellow garbage into the garbage can, right where it belonged in the first place. There. Mission accomplished.

Ahh… The challenge is finally over. For me that is. It was the F4F5 hands-on challenge, and their hands-on was like, damn hard! Something about ‘weight compressor that weighs 0-400 g with the accuracy of 50g’. What the heck is that supposed to mean?? But my brain restricted anyomre mind-twisting thoughts so I banished it from my mind.

I went home at about 6 pm, because I had tuition. The F4F5 challenge was still on, but I reckoned I’ll check it on YouTube. If they DO record it at all.

All in all, it was a pretty exciting day, minus the hands-on part, and I gained LOTS of experiences and knowledge from this challenge. I hope I’d be able to take part in it again next year, if time allows me to.

49 thoughts on “Mighty Minds Challenge 2009

  1. A very interesting blog. Actually, I’m flattered you know my name. Let me give you a clue – our names.

  2. Daniel: lol, i did try my best :)

    Yi Hong: lol, unlucky u. u shuld’ve forge an IC claiming you’re still below 18. lmao. XD

  3. Hi Michelle,

    I read about your Mighty Minds contest. Sorry to hear that your hands-on is not successful. I am from Ipoh and will be taking part in this contest come mid of May. I am in Form 1 and would really appreciate if you can email me details of those quiz questions from your round. Please let me know as much as you can remember, it would be of great help as I think my F1 level might not be able to cope well.

    I might be asking too much, but I am just too eager to know how did the winner construct the paper ball ejector? Did you see their presentation? Would really appreciate your kindness to highlight the construction of the paper ball ejector, as I have no idea as to how. using those materials that you mentioned, to complete the model. I can only think of the 4 chopsticks used as stand to support the so called “cylinder” to put in the “bullet” ie, the paper balls.

    Waiting for your email.

    Cheers,
    Gates Tan.

  4. Hi Michelle,

    I read your Mighty Minds post and it was sad to learn that the hands-on let you and your group down. I am Gates from Ipoh, and I will be taking part for the Perak leg towards the end of May.

    I was wondering if you are kind enough to help me out, to let me know the details of the 20 quiz questions? I am in F1 and I am afraid I do not have enough knowledge beyond my level. It would be most helpful and of course it would be deeply appreciated and if you email me the details as much as you can remembered.

    As on the hands-on part, I was wondering how to construct the paper ball ejector with those materials provided, all I can think off is to use the chopsticks as support of the “launcher” aka cylinder. Did you by any chance witness the presentation of the winner’s entries? It would be of greatest help if you can highlight the same to me, please?

    Waiting for your respond to my email, till then, warmest regards and cheers … All the best in your school “whatever” …

  5. Hi Michelle,
    I read your Mighty Minds post and it was sad to learn that the hands-on let you and your group down. I am Gates from Ipoh, and I will be taking part for the Perak leg towards the end of May.
    I was wondering if you are kind enough to help me out, to let me know the details of the 20 quiz questions? I am in F1 and I am afraid I do not have enough knowledge beyond my level. It would be most helpful and of course it would be deeply appreciated and if you email me the details as much as you can remembered.
    As on the hands-on part, I was wondering how to construct the paper ball ejector with those materials provided, all I can think off is to use the chopsticks as support of the “launcher” aka cylinder. Did you by any chance witness the presentation of the winner’s entries? It would be of greatest help if you can highlight the same to me, please?
    Waiting for your respond to my email, till then, warmest regards and cheers … All the best in your school “whatever” …

  6. Yeah, you’re right. Now I’m sure you’ll be having a headache thinking which one actually wrote that comment.

  7. Gates: sure I’ll PM you afterwards… lol

    guess: um….yeah, I guess I have no idea which of you two wrote that. =)

  8. hai.im yinying from ipoh.i’m participating mighty minds challenge too.so can you email me more about the hands-on challenge??thanks a lot.=)

  9. hey there. i’m pretty much sure u’ve got many things on ur hand right now but i really wanna ask you bout that mighty minds thingie.

    i’m a participant for the upcoming selangor/kl challenge, so could u lend me any tips on how to, at least, qualified for the hands on challenge?
    because when it comes to general knowledge, i dont know where to start or what to read. and were the questions on math and science that easy, or was it just u a clever head? ;D

    just tell me anything u know, anything u remember. sorry for bothering u.

    tq ;)

    i wish u not to reply via my email, i hardly check it.
    reply this at my blog, tq.

  10. Hi Michelle,
    I’m Zhun Min from Selangor. I will be taking the Mighty Minds competition too this 18 or 19 July, which is 2 weeks later. Can you please e-mail me the details on the 20 quiz questions asap like wat is requested by Gates? Please and Thank you!!!

  11. I’m flattered with the English language you used despite you being so young. Anyways, I was checking out with details about Mighty Minds Challenge and happened to come across your blog. ; ) It’s a nice one there.

  12. hey, sorry about the challenge. I didnt win either in the selangor state challenge, lost in the first round to some really powerful schools. Oh, and btw, you’re still form 2 right? If you are, then you can still enter the challenge next year.

  13. Li Ni: You saw me? :D Of course I rmb you! :)

    Anonymous: lol, thanks!

    Nazmi: I WILL definitely join nxt yr. :)

  14. Hi there =) I googled Mighty Minds and discovered your blog…I’m from Perak and will be participating in MM 2010.I’m sorry to trouble you…But if it’s not a problem with you,can you pretty please e-mail me some tips/pointers?And if you remember what they want,please include that too.BTW Congrats on the great job done! When you did your best,that’s all that matters so it’s OK =)

  15. w0w…
    and that’s really not a mean feat at all..
    xD..
    i googled Mighty Minds.. and of course ended up like Sabrina..(first one ehh^^)
    Anyway, I’m from Perlis.
    compression weighing machine?
    Cool…
    last year in Perlis, my seniors told me that they were building some sort like a traffic light thingy.
    *Not very sure about it..

  16. hey
    im from penang
    i googled
    The Star Mighty Minds Challenge
    and founded your
    1)sry for my broken english

    i read your blog,
    the contest quite interested

    My school was a new school
    and im the one who suggest to for a try
    but i have no idea wat the contest asking about
    so i search in google and founded your blog

    can i have some tips or some example wat the question that will come out
    did u enter this year?

    email me or add my msn
    troy_cheah@hotmail.com

    the best way is,
    err,add my facebook
    cause i rarely open my mailbox and msn
    add and mail if can

    sry for any inconvinence
    anyway,thx^^
    good luck`

  17. hello, michelle.i loved your blog. my name is Rebecca and i hail from ipoh. i am entering the Mighty Minds challenge this year in july and would appreciate it very very very much if you would take the time to send me the details bout the MCQ. i would also appreciate it if you would kindly describe how the winner’s paper ball ejector. you can email me at ms.rebeccasu@gmail.com or add me on facebook – Rebecca Su. my pic is the one of a girl with blue hair and some wordings underneath.and any tips? i am only form 2 and dont think i will stand a chance in this challenge. thanks.

  18. hello!
    i am from perak. Recently, my teacher told me that i will represent the school for this mighty mind contest. at first, without knowing anything, i thought that this would only be like some sort of quiz competition n i took it for granted! Well, it can’t be helped since the schedule as form five student is very hectic. But then, hey! i try to look for details on it on the internet ( i have to use the computer at school as i don’t have one at home)and i find it far too challenging!n the contest is in 3 days time! it takes until the evening n that would be very tiring ( if i survive all the rounds..haha) Then i came across your blog n i found it very helpful. thanks a lot. Do you mind to send me the details of the contest for f4f5 category via email ? that would be very helpful and i’m looking forward to it. thank you very much =P

  19. Pingback: Mighty Minds Challenge 2010 « Careful Confessions

  20. hei man… im joining the mighty minds competition this saturday…. can anyone think of what can i do with:
    1)2 thumb tacks
    2)2 plastic containers
    3)magnesium strips
    4)copper wires
    5)sand paper
    6)screwdrivers and pliers
    7)4 colour papers
    8)a metal wire
    9)4 bunch of wooden sticks
    10)2 crocodile clips
    11)a japanese straw
    12)masking tape and cellophone tape
    13)led
    14)connecting rubber and the rubber insulator
    15)a wooden peg
    16) 3 pencils, an eraser,a long metal ruler,scissors,penknife.

    if u can find out anything that i can do pls email me at ronaldinho64@ymail.com
    i beg you pls…

  21. Erm… Eh… I was wondering if you have any tips for the first section of the competition? Like what kind of questions they ask and stuff? Pls email me!

  22. thanks whoever you are!!! i’ll go there this saturday 7/5/2011. i’m f***ing nervous cause i never participate this event. my group are the ayam tambatam for our school. your information was realy helpful. god bless you. SMK Kulim ready to rock and roll!!!!!!

  23. Pingback: Mighty Minds Challenge 2011 « Careful Confessions

  24. I’m from Sabah and will be joining Mighty Minds this Saturday -for the first time! I’m in form 3 and I am extremely super duper nervous argh. Anyway just wanted to let you know, your blog is nice and thanks for the info! Although that was like, 3 years ago ;)

    • Hello there! It’s perfectly alright to be nervous but don’t forget to enjoy the process as well! And thank you! I also have recent ones from 2010 and 2011 if you search for it in the search bar below. :)

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