THE topic of environmental pollution clearly resonated with 12 pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.
Inspired by the grave incident of toxic waste pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang, Johor, the pupils — who called themselves the ‘Sweetly Dangerous Squad’ — hope to raise awareness on safeguarding the environment with their drama titled Hazardous Chemical Pollution.
At the recent International Science Drama Competition (ISDC) at Song Ching Ling Youth Science and Culture Exchange Centre in Beijing, China recently, the team emerged as the champion in the primary category.
The pupils successfully conveyed chemistry concepts and invoked a sense of realisation and responsibility to the audienceon the issue.
For Lim Jing Zhe, who took on the role of a scientist in the play, the competition was a learning opportunity for him to better understand the Chemistry subject and the factors that cause pollution.
“It is such a good experience being a part of the team. I learnt many scientific terminologies and gained knowledge on water pollution.
“Waste that is not properly managed will cause extreme harm to humans and the environment like what happened at Sungai Kim Kim. It is important to have awareness on how we can protect the environment.
“When practising for the competition, Iwas so inspired that I wanted to be a more responsible citizen and appreciative towards our natural habitat.
“Chemistry is an interesting subject as it plays a very important part in our daily lives. However, knowledge without conscience may lead irresponsible people to harm the environment,” said the Year Sixpupil.
Even though the drama competition took up a lot of time, Lim managed to balance priorities and did not reglect his studies.
“It was a challenge as I had to practise for the competition andprepare for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR). In fact, I had to retake the UPSR trial examination as I was in Beijing for the competition. I’m glad we won,” said Lim.
Despite being involved in a drama production for the first time, Year Four pupil Ruchka Nabil Chandru said she enjoyed acting and talking in front of the public.
“I feel that my command of the language has improved. It has also boosted my confidence to perform on stage. I will definitely participate in more plays in the future.
“I did not expect our team to win as the other representatives from China, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines and Thailand were very good. They had cool props and costumes too.
“I believe we won because of our plot and approach in addressing the current issue. We included elements of drama, humour and education to capture the audience’s attention.
“I am thankful for the help and guidance from our teachers. They helped me deliver my lines perfectly and how to act in different scenes,” said Ruchka, adding that acting is a fun way to learn.
English teacher Nurul Jannah Baharin, who was involved in the scriptwriting and training of the pupils, said she wanted to highlight the importance of handling chemical waste safely so that it would not pose a threat to the environment and community.
“I think it is highly important to educate the public especially the younger generation on the dangerous effects of toxic waste disposal. We conveyed the message through the play, presenting it in a light-hearted manner so that it is easily understood by the audience of all ages.
“It took quite a while for the children to warm up to each other since not all of them were from the same class. Over time, however, they worked as a team.
“This competition is unique because it combines both performing arts and science.
The way I see it, both fields play a vital role in character-building and uncover the true potential of the pupils,” she said.
According to Nurul Jannah, the team took one month to fully prepare themselves for the grand finals.
“I tried not to push the children too much during practice sessions. I am proud of all the cast members and their commitment. Our hard work has paid off,” she continued.
The team from SK Taman Kepong represented Malaysia at the ISDC after winning the Petrosains Science Drama
Competition in June. The objective of the competition is to promote science through drama among the younger generation.
It is is reflective of Petrosains’ learning approach where different techniques such as performing arts are used to spark interest, inspire passion in science and encouragecreativity among students. As winners in the primary category, the
‘Sweetly Dangerous Squad’ took home a cash prize of nearly RM2,000, a trophy and certificates.