Staff and Students from Secondary Schools
Ladies and Gentlemen
1 I am happy to join you for the 2021 ITE IgnITE Skills Challenge Award Ceremony. My warmest congratulations to all the finalists. I understand that only one in four teams who took part in the preliminary round made it to the Finals. Hence, every finalist has already proven that you are highly skilled and you are a winner in your own right.
2 ITE has been organising the IgnITE Skills Challenge annually since 2016. The competition aims to foster among students a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (or STEM in short), as well as ignite a deeper appreciation and understanding of the value of skills relevant to the industry and workplaces. This is the only national skills competition exclusively for Normal Stream secondary school students and is a platform to showcase their talents.
3 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition could not proceed last year. However, it is back. This year, it attracted 502 teams from 63 secondary schools and a total of 1,506 competitors. All competitors participated in training workshops and preliminary rounds of the competition online. For the Finals, while the original plan was to conduct these physically at ITE College West, in light of recent developments, we had to move the Finals and the award ceremony online. Out the 15 skills challenge areas, ten competitions were held virtually on 29 April and the remaining five competitions concluded online on Monday 18 May.
4 Despite the many uncertainties and challenges along the way, it is heartening to see the enthusiasm of students and their diligent and innovative efforts as they apply their knowledge and skills to tackle real-world problems.
5 As industries embrace digitalisation, work processes have been re-designed to incorporate Data Analytics, Robotic Process Automation, e-services and Artificial Intelligence. Hence for this year’s ignITE skills challenge, digitalisation skills have been infused into all 15 skills areas. Here are some examples:
- Filtraxxion skills challenge requires students to harness the basics of AI and automation to create chatbots that facilitate learning on the subject of ‘water filtration’.
- For Dancing Drones challenge, students had to learn drone programming using Python codebase to execute simultaneous flying of multiple drones to perform aerial acrobatic movements.
- In Storytelling with Data challenge, competitors were given raw data sets and they had to analyse the data and create visualisations that tell a “story” about insights gleaned from the data.
6 My ITE colleagues have thoughtfully design the skills challenges to inspire and motivate secondary school students to learn, apply and create. I am sure all participants have found your experience at the IgnITE Skills Challenge exciting and enriching. I hope you have discovered new areas of interest and would continue this passion to explore, learn and innovate.
7 Once again, I congratulate all participants and wish you all the best for your future.