We all know that learning is not just about sitting in a classroom. In fact, sometimes a field trip is exactly what is needed to ignite passion and excitement into a subject. That is exactly what happened recently, when a group of students from International University of Malaya-Wales (IUMW) Biotechnology programme took part in an educational visit to SIRIM, a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia.
Students gained a vast amount of knowledge in their respective fields and studies during the visit. They learned about industrial biotechnological products, safety and quality assessments, as well as techniques on marketing new and emerging products.
A highlight from the visit was a trip to the stingless bee farm. The students were able to participate in some interesting activities at the farm. With support from the staff, the students were able to extract the bee honey, as well as collecting propolis, which is a resinous and sticky material bees use to seal small cracks and gaps in the hive, and is said to come with numerous health benefits.
A little less on the practical side but equally as interesting, the students also took a visit to the advertising department. This session was particularly beneficial, as the students learned techniques on marketing bio-based products, which is not something that can be picked up from the basic marketing textbook.
Finally, they got to visit the exhibition booths, where medicinal, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products manufactured from natural ingredients were exhibited. Some of our students even managed to win some prizes in the quiz that was done by SIRIM representatives.
Durai Murugan, a second year biotechnology student commented, "This visit was very informative, it really sparked my interest even further in learning more about Biotechnology!"