A group of Malaysian secondary school girls recently demonstrated their creativity and problem-solving skills through a Design Thinking course organised by RYTHM Foundation, showing how education, creativity, and teamwork can create endless possibilities.
Seventeen students aged between 14 and 15 from Damansara Damai 1 Secondary School participated in the course as part of our Maharani Learning Lab (MLL) initiative to nurture and empower young talents.
The after-school programme, held over seven weekly sessions, was developed by our partner for the initiative, talent development ecosystem Me.reka. The course introduced the students to Design Thinking basics like ideation, problem-solving, and prototyping.
True to its purpose, the sessions proved to be a melting pot of ideas where the girls discovered their capacity to collaborate effectively and draw out their creativity.
The imaginative ideas included a purpose-built school to foster talent and creativity in a safe environment, a mobile app encouraging support for non-discrimination and gender equity, and a proposition to curb school bullying.
Confidence Through Creative Expression
The increased confidence of the girls in expressing their ideas reflected the course’s success in enhancing their communication skills.
Fourteen-year-old Sivasankary Samyvelu realised that her creative ideas, however modest, could have a meaningful impact on the world. The workshops instilled in her the confidence to explore and execute these ideas, sparking a newfound sense of purpose and possibility.
“Design Thinking made me believe that my ideas have the power to change the world,” Sivasankary said confidently.
For Thanushia Johde, the course helped her discover that challenges are not obstacles but opportunities for growth. She appreciated that her creativity was a valuable tool for solving problems, which made her mindset stronger and more resilient.
“The sessions taught me to welcome challenges as opportunities for growth and use creativity as a problem-solving tool. I am also more motivated about school and my studies.”
Darshini Thana Raj, 15, realised that by understanding the needs and viewpoints of others, she could create solutions that address real-world issues and establish a stronger connection with the people she aims to assist.
“I learned that understanding people’s needs is the first step to meaningful innovation,” Darshini, whose team envisaged the social support app, explained.
Jey Bala, Chief Ecosystem Officer of Me.reka, said, “The most remarkable aspect of witnessing the students’ creative journey was observing their diligent exploration of the solutions they tirelessly worked on, which illuminated their commitment and innovative spirit.”
RYTHM’s Creative Empowerment
MLL focuses on guiding girls from disadvantaged communities to empower them to holistically develop and improve their lives. Since its inception in 2010, RYTHM has worked with more than 8,000 adolescents with academic support, computer classes, self-discovery camps, and mentoring sessions.
RYTHM is on the verge of ushering in a new chapter for the initiative to further nurture creativity and innovation while equipping girls for a digital-centric future. Our extensive curriculum will soon include various digital programmes, such as virtual reality, robotics, the Internet of Things, and 3D design and printing.