Allstars sent quizzical looks at the group of 30 school kids in their track uniform sporting excited faces, as they walked into RedQ on a Tuesday afternoon. Apparently, we all found out later, that these students were actually digital ambassadors (duta penggerak digital) from SMK Bentong.
SMK Bentong was selected for this visit as it is one of the #mydigitalmaker Champion Schools that had gone through a transformation to cultivate digital innovation for the school and community. They successfully spread the digital innovation culture to other schools in Bentong by hosting a competition in digital-making, and they were also selected as the STEM model school for Pahang.
In light of a recent partnership between Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and AirAsia (as AirAsia was invited as one of the guest speakers for MDEC’s annual event called #mydigitalmaker Fair last September), the two parties kept in touch and found more room to collaborate – which meant that schools will now have the opportunity to visit RedQ, learn more about AirAsia as well as new jobs in the digital economy.
But first, a little background on #mydigitalmaker
According to MDEC’s project lead, Nalini Inthiran, (who also visited RedQ for the first time with her colleagues Victor Lam and Gajendran Karunanithi) the #mydigitalmaker movement is an initiative that aims to produce more digital innovators and makers, and prepare students for future jobs in the digital economy such as programmers, data scientists, AI specialists, drone pilots and more.
All in all, the movement’s objective is to transform students and youths from digital users to digital makers, and to prepare them for future jobs.
And because AirAsia is at the forefront of such things, hence, the visit!
The first order of business: the RedQ tour
No site/office visitation at RedQ would be complete without a full tour of the premises, and the kids enthusiastically followed the Allstars in charge, as they went up to visit the innovation lab, the rooftop (RedDeck), the physio lab, game room and other facilities. Naturally, the best part was saved for last, as all the kids got to go down the giant slide!
Next stop: Millennium Falcon
Post-tour, everyone gathered at the famous board room, Millennium Falcon, where the kids settled down with a laptop, ready to take on the next task: a coding workshop. Not just any coding workshop though, it was a Star Wars-themed coding workshop!
President (RedBeat Ventures) of AirAsia Group, Aireen Omar, as well as AirAsia Group Head of Global Affairs, Shasha Kartini joined in for the session, and addressed the students as well.
Sharing is caring
Two of our very own Allstars, Tiew Kee Hui and Lee Bing Yuan, who are both Data Scientists, oversaw the coding workshop and had a short sharing session with the students about what they do at AirAsia, the importance of digital makers in future jobs, as well as career opportunities in AirAsia Berhad.
When asked about how they felt after the event, the students said they were inspired, amazed and ‘terpegun!’ (stunned) at the technology hub that is AirAsia and its workforce.
One for the books
That was not all; the students were in for one last surprise after having refreshments courtesy of Santan. They were also gifted with a goodie bag containing secondhand books, which were donated by members of the AirAsia Book + Podcast Club!
“The kids had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and visit an industry that embraces the digital culture, and the sharing session by AirAsia’s Data Scientists have given them exposure regarding future jobs, and now understand that AirAsia is not just an airline but takes a team with so many roles with so many different backgrounds to run the business,” said Nalini. “If possible, we would love to provide this type of exposure to more schools as experience is the best learning process.”
“By going to new places and meeting real-life digital heroes in AirAsia, they get more inspired to learn important skills!”