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U.S. Committed to Empowering Penang Youth Through STEM Education
March 1, 2022

February 28, 2022

Georgetown, Penang– On February 28th, Ambassador Brian McFeeters visited Penang and launched the Virus Hunter Exhibit, the EducationUSA Advising Center, and the American Tech Corner (ATC) on Wheels. He also met government officials and business leaders to learn more about the public-private partnerships in Penang.

Ambassador McFeeters kicked off his visit with the in person launch of the Virus Hunter Exhibit at the American Tech Corner (ATC) Penang with the Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang, YB P. Ramasamy. Virus Hunter is a campaign to educate Malaysian youth on infectious diseases, vaccine development, and STEM career pathways. It aims to build a solid cadre of youth passionate about STEM who can help prevent, detect, and respond to future pandemics. Organized by ATC Penang at the Penang Science Cluster (PSC), the complete Virus Hunter experience includes interactive information panels, hands-on science demos and workshops, as well as a virtual learning tour via VirusHunterExhibit.com. The exhibit will also travel to Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah, Sarawak, and Kuala Lumpur.

In addition, Ambassador McFeeters launched the EducationUSA Advising Center in Penang.  Funded by the U.S. State Department, EducationUSA provides free advising on studying at accredited, postsecondary U.S. institutions. The center’s opening at PSC marks the expansion of EducationUSA’s advising services to Malaysia’s northern region. Despite COVID-19, the U.S. remains the top study abroad destination with over 914,000 international students and more than 5,000 Malaysians currently studying in the United States.

Ambassador McFeeters also attended a meeting with PSC’s Board of Directors, which included U.S. company representatives in Penang. During the meeting, he expressed his appreciation for the companies’ investment in developing young STEM talent through their employees’ volunteer efforts and various corporate social responsibility programs.

Furthermore, Ambassador McFeeters took the opportunity to meet Penangite alumni of U.S. government exchange programs. He met alumni serving in government, health, media, and education and discussed the importance of cultural exchange in fostering stronger ties between Americans and Malaysians and creating impact in local communities.

Furthermore, Ambassador McFeeters participated in the launch of the American Tech Corner (ATC) on Wheels with the mayor of Penang, Y. Bhg. Dato’ Ar. Yew Tung Seang. An outreach program by ATC Penang, ATC on Wheels brings STEM education resources and maker tools to Penang schools that do not have access to such opportunities. The mobile initiative consists of STEM exhibits, 3D printers, virtual reality and robotics sets, information on STEM career pathways and more. Through ATC on Wheels, the U.S. Embassy hopes more students can utilize STEM and maker tools and continue to be curious in pursuing STEM education.

Lastly, Ambassador McFeeters met with the Governor of Penang, Tun Ahmad Fuzi bin Haji Razak. He reiterated the U.S. government’s commitment to strengthening relations with Penang through STEM education and other youth empowerment initiatives.

Ambassador McFeeters said, “Our support for these various education initiatives is rooted in our belief that STEM education, and education in general, can help us tackle so many of the world’s most pressing problems.  And our hope is that sparking students’ love for science and math can one day help them play a role in tackling issues like climate change, renewable energy, public health, and a host of other priorities.”

The U.S. government is committed to building stronger educational ties with the state and strengthening people-to-people connections between the U.S. and Malaysia.

For photos, please refer to the Flickr album https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzE1EB