CityU’s Project-based Outreach Programme inspires creativity
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From shoes that generate electricity for mobile phones to robots that play football, local secondary school students had the perfect opportunity on September 22 to show off creations developed this summer at the Project-based Outreach Programme.
Organized by the Faculty of Science and Engineering at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), the Project-based Outreach Programme was aimed at boosting secondary school students’ interest in science and engineering.
A total of 83 Form 4 to Form 7 students from 12 secondary schools working in 16 teams conducted a series of science experiments and research projects for two months this summer.
Participants took part under the watchful eye of CityU students, who acted as mentors and held regular meetings with their teams. They were assisted in developing research projects, conducting experiments and research and discussing the results. CityU’s faculty members also served as scientific advisers, providing professional advice and co-supervising the projects together with secondary school teachers.
The students applied their scientific knowledge and creativity to conjure inventions and conduct research aimed at improving our lives. Their wonderfully imaginative projects encompassed the disciplines of physics and material science, building and construction, biology and chemistry, computer science, electronic engineering, mathematics, manufacturing engineering and engineering management. Among the eye-catching innovations were shoes that can generate electricity for mobile electronic products, football-playing robots, an analysis of the minerals in mineral water and an exploration of low-cost renewable energy.
The adjudicators consisted of Professor Henry Chung Shu-hung and Professor Yang Tong, both Associate Deans of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and Dr Shek Chan-hung, Associate Professor at the Department of Physics and Materials Science.
“CityU’s Faculty of Science and Engineering has always strived to nurture young talent in the fields of science and engineering,” Professor Chung said. “I hope students can maintain their passion for science and engineering and continue to explore scientific knowledge after participating in this programme.”
“Students need to determine their research topics and develop their own research methods in the programme,” said Dr Shek, who coordinated the programme. “It therefore gives them a valuable chance to improve their problem-solving ability.”
“Through this programme, I could let secondary school students know about the interesting facets of science. It has given me a strong sense of satisfaction,” said Kwan Yin-cheung, one of the designated student mentors and a Year 2 Biology and Chemistry student of CityU.
He added that the programme had also benefited him as he could consolidate what he had learned while assisting the students in completing their projects.
This year’s champion project was the “Reconstruction of Hong Kong Space Museum” proposal by Form 7 students from Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School. Mr Lo Kin-cheung, the teacher who led the team, said the students had demonstrated great team spirit.
Team leader Choy Yuen-ping said they chose the topic because they thought the floor space of Hong Kong Space Museum could be better utilized. She was very excited about winning the prize and said it was a result of cooperation between teammates.
The Project-based Outreach Programme has been conducted by the Faculty of Science and Engineering for three years, helping many secondary school students unearth their talent for studying science.
After designing during last year’s programme the so-called anti-bump lock that can deter burglars using the bump keys that can open many locks of the same type, Lau Tak-shing and Lau Tak-kin of Maryknoll Fathers’ School continued their research with the assistance of CityU. University staff advised them how to improve the lock, offered advice on patent applications and provided laboratory equipment.
The anti-bump lock won first class awards in the “Hong Kong Youth Science and Technology Invention Competition 06-07” and the “22nd China Adolescents Science and Technology Invention Contest” held in June and August respectively, and registered for patent successfully.
Winners of the third Project-based Outreach Programme presentation awards were as follows:
Name of Secondary School
Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School
Reconstruction of Hong Kong Space Museum
CUHKFAA Chan Chun Ha Secondary School
Step for Light
Pok Oi Hospital Tang Pui King Memorial College
Improving watering techniques on indoor plants