CYBERJAYA June 26 (Bernama) -- Astronautical Association of Malaysia (AstroX) has launched the Astronautics Club Malaysia for 26 selected primary schools under the Ministry of Education with sponsoring from Bank Rakyat and Microsoft Malaysia totalling RM225,000 here, today.
The objective of the club's establishment is to increase science literacy among primary 4 to primary 6 students. Due to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) report that Malaysia's science literacy among 14 year old students have declined by nearly 17% from 2003 to 2011 and Malaysia scored 510 in 2003, 471 in 2007, and 426 in 2011.
"From AstroX's extensive research analysis, we have identified that students aged between 10 and 12 are the best candidates to help develop their interest in science. In addition, parents are supportive of cocurricular activities for their children. Astronautics and science is an important extension to their normal science subject in school," said AstroX President Captain Mohammed Faiz Kamaludin at the launch.
2011 TIMSS report showed that Malaysia scored below the international average and was ranked 32nd out of 45 countries. TIMSS is a global assessment conducted every 4 years by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) on the knowledge of mathematics and science of 10 and 14 year old students.
"AstroX has a good track record in conducting CSR work in the field of astronautics and space science. We are the pioneer in this niche field and have collaborative projects with universities and colleges throughout Malaysia.
We also have a strong working relationship with Planetarium Negara (National Planetarium), Agensi Angkasa Malaysia (National Space Agency), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOSTI) and Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC)," Faiz added.
The rocketry workshops that they conducted for students received overwhelming response and highly recommended by the participants because the workshops are exciting and fun.
AstroX recommends that the assigned teacher to the astronautics club, to lead and conduct the cocurricular activities bi-weekly or monthly at the school grounds or in a classroom and they will provide the syllabus that is required to run the programmes.
The programmes will be made available on-line and AstroX will provide on-site mentoring if required to the assigned educator selected by the school to manage the club. Students will be able to access their projects and interact with other members through AstroX's web portal (http://
Astronautics Association of Malaysia comprises and managed by the 2007 National Astronaut candidates, who are experts in various fields and professions.
Also present at the launch was the Ministry of Education Assistant Director Wan Mohd Ariffin Wan Hussin, Microsoft Malaysia and Bank Rakyat representatives.