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Breaking Boundaries: Maximising Growth in Technology and Innovation

Breaking Boundaries: Maximising Growth in Technology and Innovation

by Alisa Haoken

About Alisa

Alisa Haoken is a SWA tenth-grader. Ever since her childhood, she has always been fascinated by the multitude of changes technology has brought about in our lives. She started out fiddling around with little LEGO bricks, and soon attended a robotics centre, where she later learnt to use NXT and EV3 to build and program robots. Over time, the technological fields she was exposed to branched out to: engineering and programming through Arduino; using different programming languages such as Java, Python and C++; and web-design through HTML and CSS. As a result, she soon discovered her passion for technology. In the midst of her journey, she realized the significance of technology in our lives, and is excited whenever she thinks about how it will grow in the future. In her TEDx talk, she shared how to further maximize personal growth by embracing technology, and how it can help change the world. Below are several excerpts from her TEDx talk:

“COVID-19 is one of the most famous global issues of 2020, but it is just one of the countless crises our world faces every single day. Many crises remain unresolved up until today: poverty, hunger, water, and education are four of the many global issues our world is facing, especially for developing countries. Then we have gender equality and rapid environmental declines. The world desperately needs answers to these problems, and fast.”

“The United Nations (UN) created the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to tackle our planet's most urgent problems, using exponential technologies. To achieve these goals, there are small steps that need to be taken, and it's common to fail. It's an open call for innovative ideas to solve some of the world's biggest problems

As WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said, There are questions we need answers to, and tools we need to be developed as quickly as possible.

Quoting the WHO Director, he mentioned two things: questions & answers and tools to be developed. If we align with the mission that the Sustainable Development Goals has, we can find that we need innovative ideas to get questions & answers, and we need exponential thinking to create tools needed to be developed.”

In addition, Alisa added a third point: building interest & cultivating mindset. She shared her experience from back in 2014 when she and her friends helped underprivileged children gain new experiences and opportunities in the robotic world. Together with her friends, she provided hands-on activities for children to work around and engage with robotics. It helped to build an interest in that field and the next step for them was to provide further STEM activities to further cultivate the children's mindset.

Alisa believes that generating innovative ideas, embracing exponential thinking, and shaping attitudes through mindset cultivating are three important strategies that can be used by humanity to find answers to major global issues that will help create a better future for all.

Watch Alisa’s talk on TEDxYouth@SWA 2020:

Develop Your Passion, Don’t Find It

Develop Your Passion, Don’t Find It

by David Shane Goh

About David

David Goh is a Grade 10 SWA student. He was fascinated as a child by other students winning awards at math competitions. He started out joining competitions when he was just eight years old, winning his first medal. He has joined national and international competitions since. The last competition he joined, he won the championship trophy and three gold medals. He realised that his passion for math started to develop and grow. He has been to three different countries for math competitions, namely the United States, India and Singapore. After going to all of these competitions, he realised that his passion started to develop beyond his expectations. He shared his experience of Mathematics competitions in relation to developing one’s passion.

Often, people will say, "find your passion", but what does that actually mean? It's vague, and people have different interpretations of this single statement. David has his own perspective. David has a passion for math. He won his first medal in a math competition in Singapore when he was just eight years old. From this success, David has become more motivated than ever and has joined even more competitions. He has won many times: from the provincial, national, and even international level.


The road to success wasn't always easy for David. At one time, he even trained for one month, studying mathematics for seven to eight hours a day. It was very difficult, but he persevered. Passion and a certain mindset is what kept him going.

David states that there are two important things when it comes to one’s passion. First, find something that you are passionate about and trust that it exists within. You can tell if you are passionate about something when it comes relatively easy and puts you into the zone, hours upon end. Second, consider your mindset because your mindset is critical when it comes to one's passion. The passion may already exist within you, but then it is up to the individual to develop that passion.

One must have a ‘growth’ mindset, as opposed to a ‘fixed’ mindset. A growth mindset leaves one open to developing one’s passion beyond what is naturally given, and letting failure be fuel, rather than discouragement. A fixed mindset is the false belief that one doesn’t even have to try to develop one’s passion, and that the passion is a fixed talent, beyond one’s nurturing. With a fixed mindset it can be tempting to observe the seemingly easy success of others - the success that was actually a result of hard work. In the growth mindset that David subscribes to, challenges and criticism translate into motivation in order to strive for more, and the success of others is not met with jealousy, but only serves to inspire.

David took Michael Jordan as a role model: where he has failed thousands of shots and even lost hundreds of games, overall he still succeeds. David believes that although passion is innate and born, one must develop it and nurture it, and that attitude is the key, and to let failure fuel one’s determination to develop one’s passion.

Watch David’s talk on TEDxYouth@SWA 2020:

National Pride: 3 SWA Students Won International Grant Worth up to $30,000

National Pride: 3 SWA Students Won International Grant Worth up to $30,000

Not just one, but three students from Sinarmas World Academy (SWA) being chosen to be awarded the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) Student Innovator Award! Only a handful of 33 students were selected from across IB schools in 13 countries and the winners are eligible to receive grant funds of more than $145,000 combined. Three SWA students won the award: Rania, Chris and Leon. Their projects were selected after a competitive two-stage application and review process and are required to exercise advocacy for authenticity, social impact, and personal connection towards the initiative. Each winner is entitled for a funding of up to $10,000 to support project financial needs and ensure project success.

"Winning this award is a national pride. We are proud of Rania, Chris and Leon, for their hard work and commitment in doing these projects and for winning the award. Their projects not only demonstrate intelligence and knowledge but also character and values in the initiative to solve real world problems. These projects show empathy and a strong desire to have a positive impact on the world around them. As a school, we are responsible to not only enrich knowledge, but equally important to foster positive character through a solid learning environment." said Deddy Djaja Ria as General Manager of the SWA.

Rania’s project, “A New Life for Plastic” involves eliminating plastic waste through the conversion of the plastic into biodegradable/edible substances. Her passion in reducing plastic waste led her to her project of plastic degradation that involves the use of fungi in converting the polymers to biodegradable breakdown products that can be used in agriculture or even as an edible food source to support world food demand. "My project focuses on the degradation of plastics, bags for example are common environmental pollutants, by utilizing the fungal breakdown mechanisms which convert the polymers into small organic compounds, which can be absorbed and assimilated by the fungi. I will explore the different conditions and their effectiveness in breakdown in order to take one step closer to eliminating plastic waste." explain Rania.

Similar to Rania, Chris has a growing concern for the environment well being and the problems caused by the ever growing number of plastic waste and exploitation of non-renewable energy. Through his project, “Plastic Fuelled Microbial Fuel Cell”, he involves the combination of two elements: bacterial-mediated plastic degradation and bacterial-fuelled biological fuel cells. He combined these ideas to produce a plan for using waste plastic as a fuel source for electricity generation. “In most rural areas, electricity is not very accessible and, at the same time, plastic- especially plastic waste- is very common. My project addresses the need to provide rural areas with a sustainable source of clean energy, while reducing environmental plastic waste that is present in these areas." added Chris.

Unlike Rania and Chris, their fellow winners of MYP Innovator's Grant, Leon focuses his project in the preservation of Indonesian culture, Javanese culture. As the world flattens, globalization and modernization rises, overshadowing many ancestral cultures and leading them to their graves. Leon refused to forget his Javanese culture, and through his project, “SIJI” an iOS application for Javanese transcript learning. "My goal is to develop a major part of Javanese culture- the vanishing Javanese writing systems- by helping to make it accessible to everyone and support its use in everyday life. My app enables all people, including non-Javanese, located in any part of the world to learn Javanese language and script, opening a door that has been closed previously.” Said Leon.

Deddy hopes Rania, Chirs and Leon's achievements will inspire and motivate other Indonesia students to study more and create more innovations. "Our Indonesian students have tremendous potential. With the proper and consistent guidance, education and positive learning environment, we are able to do breakthroughs and innovations. Indonesia will be able to contribute to solving world problems and push humanity even forward" he added.



By: Jaeyi Kim (Student of Grade 7 Sinarmas World Academy)

As the COVID-19 restrains individuals from being in a packed area together, schools encourage students to conduct social distancing through e-learning sessions at home.

In order to slow down the reduction of the rapid growth of the number of infectees, an effective social distancing is required. An act of minimizing contacts with people, social distancing can also be referred to as voluntary self-quarantine for an emergency. E-learning, which is learning through electronic media, is an effective method of social distancing.

To avoid situations with frequent contact with other packed situations, some schools in Indonesia have recently introduced e-learning to their curriculum. Sinarmas World Academy, a school located in South Tangerang City, is a school that has adopted e-learning. By using links to Google Meet, an interface that allows live chatting, screen sharing, and attendance-tracking, teachers are able to divide students into their respective classes. Whilst pre-school students can learn through recorded videos sent to parents, primary and secondary students learn directly through live communication interfaces. A timetable optimized for self-oriented learning has also been made and followed.

A prominent advantage of e-learning is that studying can be personalized and time can be used more effectively. By explaining assigned tasks and giving time to complete them individually, some may discuss and run through the tasks first, while some may run through one question at a time. By following one’s preferences, e-learning can effectively increase the efficiency of self-oriented studying. For instance, my friend and I could boost our concentration by following our own studying tactic. While I solved problems first and sought explanations when stuck, my friend read the explanations first then solved all the problems. As I identified and compared different studying tactics, I could gradually unveil the true joy of studying.

“I think that e-learning sessions teach students to bring up integrity and responsibility. Even though I can daydream behind my muted mic and turned-off screen, I always try to absorb every second of the lessons.” A seventh-grader complimented on the passion of the teachers. Connecting screens to online sketchpad and educational resources, teachers passionately bring their teaching into visuals and boost efficiency.

If there is an improvement needed for e-learning,it is the communication part. Despite being able to communicate ‘face to face’ (online), it is harder to connect emotions and atmospheres, which might lead to frequent misunderstandings. Besides, teachers need to explore their new ideas to make their lessons to be attractive for the students. Furthermore, as the camera and microphones are, at times, turned off, students may lose their concentration and lose track of their progress.

Despite its challenging methods, Mrs. Young Mi Lee, a Korean school parent, commented, “Teachers and students can connect together without any wall. The SWA faculties are reliable and well prepared, ensuring that all students are effectively led throughout the lessons.” Hopes are that all schools can achieve an organized and coordinated e-learning curriculum.

TEDxYouth@SWA 2020

TEDxYouth@SWA 2020

TEDxYouth@SWA 2020 brought a diverse range of powerful ideas to the TEDx stage. Ideas were shared by a group of Indonesia's most influential and impactful minds. The theme of the event was 'Be The Change' and hinged on a belief that all people, whatever their walk of life, have the capacity to create an impactful vision for change that they seek to see in the world, develop and communicate their ideas with their community and the world, and take ownership over the process of seeing their vision into fruition.

TEDxYouth@SWA is student-run and organized, placing students in the position to identify their role in tackling the problems that face the world today. SWA students are driven by a desire to help others, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. SWA's approach to education embraces the idea that developing student voice and agency is a key educational goal and recognizes that students, more than anything else, are driven by a sense of purpose. TEDxYouth@SWA is a key activity that aims to help students develop their sense of purpose by connecting with leaders in change and exposure to their unique stories of success, grit, and inspirations.

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