'BASIC' inspires interest in building design

Stephen Yip



Over 100 secondary school students packed CityU's campus on 4 September to take part in the third Build and Shake Inter-school Competition (BASIC) organized by CityU’s Department of Building and Construction (BC). With only wooden boards, wood strips, papers and glue sticks on hand, 25 teams demonstrated their talent for constructing models that resist powerful earthquakes, using liquid dampers to absorb vibrations.


“The BASICs organized in the past two years have been successful in motivating students to solve technical problems on their own,” Professor Andrew Leung , Head of BC, said at the Opening Ceremony. “The competition this year is even more challenging.  We hope the students will exercise their team spirit, apply their scientific knowledge and have lots of fun.”


The models were put to the test in CityU’s Heavy Structures Testing Laboratory, equipped with the largest vibrating table among local universities. After a series of 'earthquakes' of gradually increasing intensity, the model that withstood the highest intensity before collapse was declared the

winner --“Winged Victory – Nike” from SKH Li Ping Secondary School. All four members of the winning team were girls. “I think girls are more meticulous than boys in building models,” the team leader said. “We communicate well with each other and solve problems together. Perhaps that’s why we won.”




The champions received a cash prize of HK$20,000. The first-runner up and second runner-up prizes went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong and Wa Ying College, respectively. The Best Design Award, sponsored by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, went to SKH Li Ping Secondary School and Cotton Spinners Association Secondary School. The participating teams and their models were assessed on: leadership and teamwork; poster presentation; structural practicality of models; aesthetic and architectural value; and capability to resist external vibrations. 



Judging the competition were Dr Raymond Ho, Legislative Councillor of HKSAR; Ir S Y Yu, Chairman, Civil Division of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; Dr Andrew  Chan, Chairman of Ove Arup & Partners HK Ltd; Mr Francis So, Managing Director of Wui Loong Scaffolding Works Co. Ltd; Professor Chan Chi-hou, Dean of CityU’s Faculty of Science and Engineering and Chair Professor of the Department of Electronic Engineering; and Chair Professor Sritawat Kitipornchai of BC. 


Professor Kitipornchai, consultant to the competition, said, “Build and shake is a new and interesting idea to many students. We believe this exciting event helps to boost students’ interest in learning about science and construction engineering.”


This year’s competition was sponsored by: the Civil Division of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; Hanison Construction Company Ltd; Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd; Shui On Construction and Materials Limited; Wui Loong Scaffolding Works Co Ltd; the Hong Kong Housing Society; Hip Hing Construction Co Ltd; and Swire Coca-Cola Hong Kong.




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