KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — Twelve-year-old Danish Irfan Muslim of SK Tun Hussein Onn here has proven that age is not a factor in science competitions, and that he has what it takes to be a great ‘rocket scientist’ one day.
Two days ago, the Year 6 pupil emerged as the youngest winner at the World Robotics Championship held in New Delhi, India.
Teaming up with his father, Muslim Tamsir, who is also his school teacher, the duo beat 30 other teams comprised of students from secondary schools, colleges and universities, in the ‘water rocket’ competition.
“The competition was very tough, and on the second day, our water rocket had to be launched twice and recorded quite an unsatisfying time, but it seemed luck was on our side when we still managed to finish in the top 10 on the third day of the championship.
“In the final match, we were only allowed to launch a rocket once, but before that, we could do three trials. At the time, we only had two rockets, but luckily, we brought some spare parts for another rocket, and another nose cone.
“Unexpectedly, the third rocket we fixed and launched ad-hoc, stayed in the air the longest, for about 11 seconds,” said Muslim, when contacted by Bernama.
The 38-year-old, who teaches the subjects of Science as well as Information Technology and Telecommunications, said all the materials used such as plastics, adhesive tape and corrugated board, as well as two-litre soft drink bottles were brought from Malaysia.
On Danish Irfan, Muslim said his eldest son was quite calm during the competition despite being surrounded by elder participants.
“He was really good throughout the competition. He was very focused on what we planned and knew what to do.
“I also tell him that the main purpose of entering any competition is to gain experience and more knowledge on what he is interested in (rockets), and if we win, it would be a bonus, although so far in all competitions, we have not gone home empty-handed,” he added. — Bernama