World Robotics winners 2019


man plastic bottles
Image adapted from: Erlim Danish Yati, Hans Braxmeier/Pixabay

Who would have thought that plastic bottles could be used to make rockets – much less one that would win a world competition? That’s exactly what a father-son team from Malaysia did. 

Just last weekend, they beat out 30 other teams comprising students from secondary schools, colleges and universities around the world with a ‘Water Rocket’ they made using adhesive tape, corrugated board and plastic bottles, to come out tops in the final round of the World Robotics Championship held in New Delhi, India. 

The duo hails from Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Tun Hussein Onn in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 38-year-old father Muslim Tamsir is a Science, IT & Telecommunications teacher at the school, while his 12-year-old son Danish Irfan Muslim studies there. 

father and son
Image credit:
Erlim Danish Yati


They did it for fun and for the exposure


Muslim and Danish travelled to India to participate in the competition using their own funds because Muslim wanted to boost his son’s confidence, as reported by The Star

Danish had won the water rocket championship at national level last year, and Muslim has been making water rockets since 2010 – so they aren’t amateurs in the field.  


A win that almost didn’t happen


Still, the two of them almost came back to Malaysia empty-handed because their rocket didn’t stay up long enough in the qualifying rounds on the 2nd day of the competition. 

It was only because they managed to finish in the top 10 on the 3rd day that they qualified for the final round of competition. 

But things hadn’t gone smoothly for them after that either. In the last leg of the race, they were allowed 3 test trials before the final rocket launch. But they only had 2 rockets to test. So they fashioned the 3rd out of some spare parts they had on hand – adhesive, corrugated board and plastic bottles.   

Ultimately, it was the third rocket that they built on the spot that stayed in the air the longest – clocking in the best time of 11 seconds. 

The proud and happy father took to Facebook to convey his thanks to his family and friends. 

screenshot
Image credit:
Erlim Danish Yati  

His post can be translated as: 

“The Cup will be brought back to Malaysia … Winner International Water Rocket Challenge, World Robotic Championships, New Delhi 2019. Thank you my dear Hayati Muhamad Noh, thank you my family, thank you big family SK Tun Hussein Onn, thank you all friends.” 

As of 2nd October 2019, the post has garnered 366 positive reactions, 267 comments and 27 shares, with a slew of heartfelt congratulatory comments.

A Facebook user who goes by the name of Maziatol Jasnim Abdul Saari said that Muslim has done Malaysian teachers proud on the world stage. 

screenshot
Image credit:
Erlim Danim Yati 

And another, Cikgu Liena Azlina thanked Muslim and Danish for representing Malaysia.

screenshot
Image credit:
Erlim Danim Yati 


Youngest Winner At World Robotics Championship 


At 12 years old, Danish is the youngest winner to hold the World Robotics Champion title. It’s his first international championship award, and Muslim told Bernama that Danish remained quite calm throughout the competition despite being the youngest there. 

man malaysia flag
Image adapted from: Erlim Danish Yati 


Malaysian representation at World Robotics Championships


While winning may not have been on the mind of this father-son team, they certainly made the country proud with their first international achievement. This is just another feather in the cap for the duo, who have yet to leave a competition without an award. 

We hope the father-and-son team continue their winning streak in future competitions, and we wish them all the best!

For more stories like this, check out our articles: