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Fostering Cultural Roots for Technological Innovations: An Initiative with Gifted Secondary School Students

項目負責人: Dr. Alfred C. H. Yu (電機電子工程系)
電話: 2857-8482


- Two-Day Workshop on Engineering and Healthcare
- Engineering Science Workshop for Rural Primary-School Students


Project Objectives

1) Design and deliver interactive, inquiry-driven enrichment programmes on real-world engineering technologies to foster an innovative mindset among gifted secondary school students who aspire to become part of the future driving force in Hong Kong and China’s technology R&D sector.
2) Forge a long-term community partnership between HKU and the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (HKAGE) to establish a formal knowledge-exchange channel with gifted students in Hong Kong.
3) Gain practical insights on the cognitive styles of gifted students in grasping new technical knowledge. This will be achieved through our direct intellectual contact with them during the enrichment programmes to be organized by us.


Project Description

This knowledge-exchange initiative is centered around the grand vision of fostering an innovative culture among Hong Kong’s youth talents. We will engage gifted secondary school students to develop deep enthusiasm in technological innovations through inviting them to attend interactive enrichment programmes that will be designed with our professional expertise in engineering design. In doing so, we hope to gradually cultivate a pool of high-caliber young talents with innovative cultural instinct to further develop themselves into entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, or technical experts: professionals who are essential to Hong Kong and China’s quest to transform into a knowledge-based economy with globally competitive R&D capacity. In addition to being a knowledge provider, we will benefit from this initiative through gaining practical insights on the cognitive styles of gifted students. These will provide us with important empirical knowledge on the epistemology of technically-oriented disciplines, a topic which the Project Coordinator has been researching on from a practitioner’s perspective.
At this stage of planning, we have identified a few hands-on project topics that have strong potential on developing gifted students’ interest in technological innovations. For example, one of our planned topics will be on medical imaging equipments. In particular, we plan to teach students the technical basics of imaging, engage them to discuss the societal impact of imaging technology, and provide them with hands-on experience on using imaging equipments to make simulated diagnostics. We also have planned topics on developing-world technologies and electronic gadgets. These topics will be organized into a multi-day enrichment programme with “real-world engineering technologies” as the theme.

For this work, it is our intent to develop a close working relationship with HKAGE to recruit suitable gifted students who have strong aspirations to take on important roles in tomorrow’s innovation and technology developments. We have already established some connections with HKAGE since 2009 (a half-day seminar on biomedical engineering was organized for HKAGE on a volunteering basis). Through our new initiative, we hope to develop a long-term community partnership with HKAGE who can serve as a middleman between us and the gifted students. Such an arrangement can ensure that our endeavors can have far-reaching impact.


Target Deliverables

Design and delivery of a multi-day hands-on enrichment programme on real-world engineering technologies.
Reach agreement with HKAGE on establishing a long-term community partnership for knowledge exchange with gifted students in Hong Kong.



- Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (HKAGE)


Two-Day Workshop on Engineering and Healthcare

To encourage secondary school students to develop interest in technological innovations, a two-day workshop entitled “Engineering and Healthcare: From High-Tech Metropolitans to the Developing World” was organized in December 2010. The workshop was held over two consecutive Saturdays at HKU, and over 25 gifted students registered to join this occasion. It served as a knowledge exchange platform between HKU and gifted students in Hong Kong.

Organized by the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education, the workshop was delivered by Dr. Alfred Yu and four research staff members from the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (Simon Lai, Ivan Tsang, Billy Yiu, Donald Chan). It covered a broad range of topics with emphasis on introducing the role of biomedical engineering in today’s world. Participants were given hands-on opportunities to try how ultrasound imaging and electrocardiogram monitors are being used in high-tech clinics to perform medical diagnoses. They also worked in groups to design a solar sterilization device that is intended to address basic healthcare needs in the developing world.

Through this workshop, participants were able to find out more about how various real-world biomedical engineering technologies are making an impact in the global society.


Engineering Science Workshop for Rural Primary-School Students

A half-day interactive workshop was organized to introduce rural P. 5 students to engineering science principles that have broad applications in the real world. 40 rural students living in Sha Tau Kok came to HKU on February 25, 2011 for this event. The workshop was intended to give an early inquiry-based exposure on engineering to primary-school students in Hong Kong.

The workshop was delivered by members of the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (Simon Lai, Harry Chiu, Billy Yiu, Donald Chan, Ivan Tsang, Alfred Yu). Students were introduced to the engineering science behind MRI, and they were given first-hand opportunity to make scans on the 0.2T MRI scanner developed in-house at HKU. They also worked in groups to learn about the scientific principles of dry ice and how they can be applied to make fire extinguishers and generate rocket thrusts.



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