24 April 2011, TEMERLOH: SMK Temerloh Jaya is being bugged... literally. The school compound is besieged by creepy crawlies -- praying mantis, ladybirds and caterpillars.
Even cobras are everywhere, but strangely, their "presence" does not bother the students at all.
Pic above: SMK Temerloh Jaya headmaster Suhaimi Mohd Dahan (right) and students with the insect and caterpillar exhibits made of recyclable materials, which is the brainchild of senior assistant of student affairs Ong Kim Hor (standing on left).
The school, about an hour's drive from Kuantan, is home to these bugs, larvae and reptiles, which are "bred" under the watchful eyes of teacher Ong Kim Hor.
The dedicated guidance of this school senior assistant of student affairs has led to the creation of "A Bug's Life", an environmental awareness showcase made of recyclable materials.
The Anugerah Hijau Road Show team, which was visiting schools and universities in Pahang to give eco-talks recently, was pleasantly surprised to see the decors.
As part of this annual youth-based competition, entries from individuals or groups from a secondary school or university would automatically qualify the learning institution for a free eco-talk by the organisers.
Ong initiated a creative 3R school project where recyclable materials were used to create amazing life-like giant insects and reptiles.
The creatures were placed on trees and shrubs around the school.
Old mineral water bottles, aluminium cans and car tyres were some of the materials used to create the exhibits.
"We want to go beyond just recycling or switching to energy-efficient light bulbs," said Ong.
"We want to teach kids the importance of preserving the Earth at an early age, and this project is something that everyone can relate to and is community friendly."
For the Anugerah Hijau team, this school project has the potential to become a prototype for future projects.
The Anugerah Hijau programme recognises and documents the achievements of youths to enhance learning by implementing green initiatives in their social environment.
It aims to guide youths on their journey, providing a framework to help embed the principles of a sustainable environment into the heart of their academic life.
Though a school's traditional focus is on reading, writing and arithmetic, more schools are adding sustainability to their "things to learn" list.
If your school, college or university is embarking on any "green" efforts, whether through a recycling programme, water and energy conservation, flex fuel or a school garden, you can apply to participate in the Anugerah Hijau competition.
The competition, now in its third year, is accepting submissions.
Public or private secondary school and university students between the age of 14 and 25 can join. The deadline is May 31.
The finalists will be announced within the first week of June by a panel of expert judges.
Submissions can be sent under one of the two categories -- Totally Active and Wildly Creative.
The former involves making a short video (minimum of one to two minutes) on any green issue while the latter involves designing sustainable or eco-friendly fashion wear.
The judges will select 10 finalists from each category where they will attend a one-day workshop to build their skills in developing their green ideas into reality.
For the Anugerah Hijau team, green science is important because humans have been "careless" with the Earth.
"Now, it is more important than ever to protect our fragile home planet," said Fadly Bakhtiar, the programme manager of Anugerah Hijau.
More information about the competition can be found at its official website: www.anugerahhijau.my