Thai students take top prizes at Microsoft, Adobe meets

Two Thai students won first prizes at the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championships, and another won the top prize for graphic design at the Adobe Certified Associate World Championships both held in Florida earlier this month. Several other Thai students took runner-up and third place medals, as young Thais showed their prowess once again in international competitions.

The results bode well for Thailand’s efforts to improve digital literacy and emphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. The aim is to produce a younger generation of Thais who can better compete in today’s global marketplace and to drive the Thai economy through knowledge, creativity, and innovation.

“We are very impressed with the winners of the MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) World Championship and grateful to meet so many young people who have realized the power of Microsoft Office skills for productivity and employability,” said Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education for Microsoft.

Impressive indeed. The Thai students competed against over 200,000 other young people aged 13 through 22 from 70 countries. To determine the winners, Microsoft subjected competitors to unique project-based tests to demonstrate their ability to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations for the information presented in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

“They were asked to perform very specific, advanced functions of Word and PowerPoint, while being scored for their accuracy in performing the tasks.  To win, they had to get the highest score.  If scores are tied, the lower time wins,” said Allison Yrungaray of Certiport, the firm that administers the tests and competition in conjunction with Microsoft and Adobe.

The awards ceremony was held at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Florida and Microsoft presented each first-place winner with a $7,000 cash prize.

“I felt the pressure of my own expectations because I’d prepared for this for a long time and was hopeful about winning, so I tried to focus and keep everything under control,” said Apakorn Kengkanna of Mahidol University who took first prize for Microsoft Word 2016.

Natthapong Theumala of Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT) was crowned Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2013 champion. He told reporters that he was proud as a Thai to win the first-place prize.

Apirat Horwichien, who attends Stamford International University in Bangkok, won Adobe’s top prize for graphic design and Ratchadaporn Ondeekul of RMUTT was first runner-up.

“I didn’t think I’d win the top prize – I just wanted to do my best,” Apirat said