Technology camp is an eye-opening experience

Chen Shuyee

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CityU welcomed 40 elite science students from seven Hong Kong secondary schools to a larger world of science and technology at a Technology Camp designed to encourage the youngsters to share their interest with others and broaden Hong Kong's technological horizons.

Organized with the help of the Innovation and Technology Commission, the Education Department, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and three other local universities, the one-week event kicked off at CityU on 29 July. The camp, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, aimed to enhance interest in science among secondary school students and to further their understanding of advanced research work at the university level.

"The future development of science is bound to be integrated more and more with other fields and subjects," said Professor Y S Wong, CityU's Vice President (Institutional Advancement) at the opening ceremony. "Researchers no longer work on their own. Joint efforts among individuals, groups and even nations are becoming increasingly common. Science, which has always been an exciting subject, is now a dazzling area of study."


The participating students, from Form Four and Form Six, were selected from finalists at the Hong Kong Science Project Competition 2002. Seminars and activities, for the most part, focused on applied science. "We try to introduce research projects that are easy for the students to relate to. We also designed some lab experiments that gave them the opportunity to participate first-hand in a high-tech environment," said Professor (Chair) Ron Hui of Electronic Engineering and Associate Dean of Faculty of Science and Engineering.

At the one-day CityU Technology Camp, students took part in five seminars, including energy conservation, wireless communication and Hong Kong environmental issues. Guided laboratory tours to CityU's Departments of Biology and Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Building and Construction, Physics and Materials Science were also conducted.

Students were encouraged to conduct hands-on experiments in six advanced laboratory and research centres. They tested a dimmable lighting system, clicked on a mouse to explore a newly incubated fish embryo, and enjoyed a virtual reality tour at CityU's Virtual Reality Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science. They also experienced the power of a mock earthquake in the Heavy Structures Testing Laboratory within the Department of Building and Construction.

"It's an eye-opening experience for me. Secondary school students rarely have a chance to participate in such university activities," said one participant. "This camp made me realize how little we know about the universe."



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