Inter-school Straw Competition attracts 1,000 Hong Kong and Macau students

Scarlett Leung

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Applying creativity to physics, more than 180 secondary school teams from Forms 1 to 7, representing more than 100 Hong Kong and Macau schools gathered at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) to construct launchers to propel a ball with the straws provided on 27 April.

 

The Hong Kong and Macau Inter-school Straw Competition 2008 - Roll in the City, organised by CityU’s Physics and Materials Science Society of the Students’ Union, set out to arouse secondary school students’ interest in physics through real-life applications, strengthen their sense of team spirit and provide a forum for exchange between students from different schools.

 

 

The competition was divided into junior and senior categories, both of which offered championship, runners-up, merit and best design awards. The contestants were given nothing more than 100 pieces of straw, a roll of string and instructions to construct a launcher within 90 minutes. The launcher that propelled the ball the furthest was the winner. Each champion team was awarded a HK$1,500 book coupon and trophy. Second and third placegetters received a HK$1,000 and HK$500 book coupon, respectively.

 

Mr Lam Chiu-ying, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, and Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Acting Vice-President (Undergraduate Education) of CityU, officiated at the Awards Presentation Ceremony.

 

The Faculty of Science and Engineering and the Department of Physics and Materials Science acted as consultants for the event. “The competition helps secondary school students apply their knowledge of physics and materials science to creative designs,” said Dr Jonathan Chung Chi-yuen, Associate Professor of CityU’s Department of Physics and Materials Science. “This year we have placed more emphasis on encouraging creativity and interaction among participating teams,” he added.

 

The competition served as an important platform for CityU students who helped organise the event to strengthen their organisational, leadership and analytical skills. “We have learnt about time management as we have had to take care of everything, ranging from defining the theme, preparing the entry invitation and planning the prize presentation — all while concentrating on our studies,” said Yip Yam-hon, Vice-president (External) of the Physics and Materials Science Society. “We have built up our confidence by organising the competition,” added Tong Yi-han, the Society’s President.

 

This is the eleventh year of the annual event, which has a dedicated theme each year. Past years included “aeroplane”, “trebuchet”, “flying soft drink cans”, “robots” and “water wheel”. The competition has been well-received by secondary schools since its launch.

 

Inter-school Straw Launcher Competition 2008 - List of Winners

 

Junior Group

 

Awards

School

Distance

Champion

Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Secondary School

1,784cm

Runner-up

Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Secondary School

1,783cm

Third place

FDBWA Szeto Ho Secondary School

1,735cm

Merit

Tak Nga Secondary School

1,718cm

Merit

Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School

1,718cm

Merit

Stewards Pooi Kei College

1,712cm

Merit

Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

1,707cm

Merit

Carmel Holy Word Secondary School

1,706cm

Merit

The Affiliated School of the University of Macau

1,705cm

Merit

Shi Hui Wen Secondary School

1,705cm

Merit

Caritas Yuen Long Chan Chun Ha Secondary School

1,703cm

Merit

Delia Memorial School (Yuet Wah)

1,602cm

Merit

The Affiliated School of the University of Macau

1,522cm

Best Design Award

Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

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Senior Group

 

Awards

School

Distance

Champion

St. Stephen's College

1,833cm

Runner-up

Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Secondary School

1,772cm

Third place

Carmel Holy Word Secondary School

1,765cm

Merit

Tang King Po School

1,764cm

Merit

Colegio Mateus Ricci

1,756cm

Merit

Tak Nga Secondary School

1,752cm

Merit

FDBWA Szeto Ho Secondary School

1,741cm

Merit

Mu Kuang English School

1,733cm

Merit

Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Secondary School

1,730cm

Merit

Carmel Secondary School

1,709cm

Merit

Cotton Spinners Association Secondary School

1,705cm

Merit

N.T. Heung Yee Kuk Yuen Long District Secondary School

1,700cm

Merit

S.K.H. Bishop Baker Secondary School

1,700cm

Best Design Award

Colegio Mateus Ricci

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