Activity Reports

AJYELN Malaysia Fellows Launch an Awareness Campaign on Marine Plastic Pollution with ~250 secondary students of SMK Aminuddin Baki, Kuala Lumpur

Report by Lee Jia Xuan, Shreena Alisha Singam, Isha Narissa Kaur Deo, Livvashini Nanthe Kumar
(AJYELN Malaysia Fellows)

Figure 1. Team BeachBud during the introduction of the event and the guest speaker, Dr. Yasmin Fauzee from the ASEAN-Japan Centre during her talk. 

Key Findings / Takeaways: 

Increased plastic pollution awareness

Through the Ad-making Competition held by the team, we learned about the students’ creative ideas on how they think about the plastic pollution issue and how they can solve them. This shows the students’ increase in knowledge and understanding of the possible solutions they can do about the problem. 

Cooperation and teamwork for a successful project implementation

We realized the importance of working together as a team and leveraging our individual strengths to ensure that we can implement the campaign despite challenges and setbacks.  

The AJYELN Malaysia fellows, also known as Team Beachbud, conducted a marine plastic pollution campaign on November 15, 2023, at Dewan Bestari, SMK Aminuddin Baki in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The campaign gathered around 250 students from the school, including student club representatives and teachers. It aimed to raise awareness about marine plastic pollution which is crucial to inspire positive change. By implementing this activity, we aimed to create a school environment where students are well-informed about this disconcerting issue and are motivated to take action to protect our oceans. Dr Yasmin Nabilah binti Mohd Fauzee, the AJYELN mentor from Malaysia provided the talk about the impacts of marine plastic pollution in the environment. 

Figure 2. Featuring the activity poster 

Dr. Fauzee delivered an insightful, easy-to-understand and informative speech that the students enjoyed. Among the topics she discussed were ‘plastic and its importance’, ‘plastic pollution in Malaysia and the world’ and ‘solutions to plastic pollution’. It was easy to listen to and even easier to absorb the topics she covered. We are truly grateful for taking time out of her busy schedule to fly to Malaysia and share her knowledge with students from our school. 

Figure 3. Dr. Yasmin during her talk 
Figure(s) 4. Shreena and Livvashini reading questions & the students keenly raise their hand for the Trivia Session 

Following the lecture, we held a trivia session with the students. Students had to raise their hand to answer the questions. The questions asked were based on Dr. Yasmin’s speech on marine plastic pollution. General questions about plastic pollution were asked to see if students were aware of topics concerning plastic pollution. Students were spirited in participating and quick to respond, showing that they paid attention and managed to connect information provided in Dr. Fauzee’s lecture. The winners received a metal straw each as a prize. All prizes are meant to be used long-term and to encourage the use of sustainable products among the students.  

Figure(s) 5. Ad-making social media challenge 2023 : Isha and Jia Xuan announcing the winners with Dr. Fauzee handing the awards 

Next up, our team conducted the ad-making competition where the students had one week prior to the campaign to prepare and submit their entries. This competition aimed to promote creativity and test their digital skills as well as foster teamwork. The students were asked to upload their ad video submissions in Instagram and tag our instagram account, @beachupsabkl. The winners were selected according to “Top 4 Most Creative” and “Honorary Mentions”. Dr. Nabilah awarded the winners with lunchboxes as prize to encourage the use of reusable materials and limit the use of disposable plastic items that contribute to plastic waste.

Figure 6. Dr. Yasmin receiving a plaque of recognition from our teacher-in-charge, Ms. Puan Nazila Othman. 

For the last activity, we presented students with one question and rewarded the ones who gave  the best response. The question was “What would you do if you have 100,000 yen in hand?”. The students with the most creative responses received a reusable water tumbler. Afterwards, Ms. Puan Nazila Othman, the teacher-in-charge of Team BeachBud, presented a plaque to Dr. Yasmin as a token of appreciation for her contribution to the event. 

The event closed with a photo session including Team Beach Bud, Dr. Fauzee, and the participating students and teachers. In conclusion, this campaign has been successful and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our teachers, facilitators, and students. We believe that it has made such a great impact on our project and to our school. Together, let’s reduce the consumption of plastic to ensure we can safeguard marine life and protect the health of our oceans. 

Figure 7. Team BeachBud, Dr. Yasmin and participants during the closing ceremony & dismissal 

Participant Feedback

After the awareness campaign, we asked the participants to rate the activity. The responses showed positive feedback of more than 50% on all 4 questions.

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