Inter-school Straw Competition attracts 1000 participants

Michelle Leung

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Combining physics with creativity, over 1,000 secondary school students turned straws into waterwheels in the Hong Kong Inter-school Straw Waterwheel Object Lifting Competition on 17 April 2005, organized by Students’ Union Physics and Materials Science Society.

 

Over 300 teams from 80 secondary schools took part in the Competition. Students from Forms One to Three participated in the Junior category while students from Forms Four to Seven joined in the Senior category. Each team was given 150 straws, a roll of string and 1.5 hours to design and construct a waterwheel or any other water-driven mechanical device that could lift a hexagon nut. The raised height of the nut was the main selection criterion. Each champion team was awarded a HK$1,500 book coupon with a trophy; first and second runners-up received a trophy and a HK$1,000/HK$500 book coupon, respectively.

 

Students from Tang KingPoSchool raised the 40g nut to 271cm and clinched the champion among some 200 senior groups, while ShapPatHeungRuralCommitteeKungYikSheSecondary School won all three prizes in the Junior category. Each champion team was awarded a HK$1,500 book coupon with a trophy; first and second runners-up received a trophy and a HK$1,000/HK$500 book coupon, respectively.

 

This is the eighth year that the Society has organized activities of similar nature for secondary school students in Hong Kong aiming to arouse students’ interest in physics through real-life applications. The Competition was made more exciting and challenging this year, thanks to the dynamic model structure requirement to apply the concept of potential energy of water.

 

 

The Competition was launched by Professor (Chair) Richard Ho, Professor  (Chair) C H Chan and Professor  (Chair) Johnny Chan, Dean of Undergraduate Education, Dean and Associate Dean of Faculty of Science and Engineering, respectively. The Prize Presentation Ceremony was officiated by Professor Lilian Vrijmoed, Dean of Student Learning and Dr Robert Li, Associate Professor of the Department of Physics and Materials Science.

 

More than a dozen sponsors supported the Competition this year, including the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (Material Division) and the Hong Kong Bank Foundation.

 

 

Results:

 

Junior Category

School

Raised height of the 20g hexagon nut (cm)

Champion

Shap Pat Heung Rural CommitteeKungYikSheSecondary School

281.0

First runner-up

Shap Pat Heung Rural CommitteeKungYikSheSecondary School

258.0

Second runner-up

Shap Pat Heung Rural CommitteeKungYikSheSecondary School

256.6

Senior Category

School

Raised height of the 40g hexagon nut (cm)

Champion

Tang KingPoSchool

271.0

First runner-up

Tang KingPoSchool

261.7

Second runner-up

Shap Pat Heung Rural CommitteeKungYikSheSecondary School

259.5

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