Over the years, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has been actively involved in national space missions, and is committed to promoting space science education. Following the recent visit of top national space scientists to Hong Kong and the exhibition of lunar soil in the city, which inspired many young people’s interests in space exploration, PolyU is pleased to launch its first space science education programme. The programme aims to cultivate the interest of local youth in space science and elevate their enthusiasm for participating in the development of space technology, so that they can make contributions to the Nation.
The “Science World: Exploring Space to Benefit Mankind” education programme, to be launched in the 2021-2022 academic year, introduces space sciences and technologies to secondary school students. It also includes a competition to encourage students to design scientific experiments for space that could be performed at the China Space Station. For secondary schools participating in the competition, each school should submit a proposal to an adjudication panel comprised of PolyU experts for assessment. The panel will shortlist ten finalists and invite the teams to make a presentation about the scientific theories behind their proposals. They will also have to demonstrate a prototype of their proposed experiments. The panel will review their proposals based on four major criteria, namely feasibility, creativity, scientific value, as well as presentation skills. Experts from PolyU’s Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations will offer guidance and modifications to the winning proposal, so that it could have a chance to be performed at the China Space Station.
The Nation’s impressive advancement in space science and technology has inspired many students’ enthusiasm towards space exploration. Through this science education programme, PolyU hopes to pave the way in enabling secondary students to participate in scientific research, by introducing the basic theories to them and arousing their curiosity to pursue further knowledge in the area.
Professor Ben YOUNG
Vice President (Student and International Affairs)
The space science education programme is led by PolyU’s veteran astronautical expert Professor YUNG Kai-leung, Director of the Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations. Professor Yung and Professor WU Bo of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics will deliver two thematic lectures for participating students about precision engineering and surveying, as well as share their experiences about taking part in the Nation’s space missions. Furthermore, a cross-disciplinary lecture series by PolyU scholars from the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Applied Science & Textiles will introduce students to basic theories and interesting topics in relation to space sciences, including engineering, physics, and biology. Students will also have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of scientific theories through visits to PolyU’s specialised laboratories, including the China Academy of Space Technology – PolyU Joint Laboratory.
PolyU has been committed to its collaboration with local secondary schools especially in the promotion of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The University has organised numerous science education lectures for secondary students since 2017 and launched the Junior Research Mentoring Programme last year, offering them the chance to join university research projects and thereby nurturing their interests in scientific research.
Professor Ben YOUNG, Vice President (Student and International Affairs), PolyU, said: “The Nation’s impressive advancement in space science and technology has inspired many students’ enthusiasm towards space exploration. Through this science education programme, PolyU hopes to pave the way in enabling secondary students to participate in scientific research, by introducing the basic theories to them and arousing their curiosity to pursue further knowledge in the area.”
Professor Yung Kai-leung encouraged secondary students to take the opportunities from this programme to familiarise themselves with foundational scientific theories. “There are infinite unknowns in deep space. Any discovery and new technology in space exploration will impact the scientific development of our world. The advancement of space science and technology is boundless. I encourage young people interested in pursuing a career of research in this field to seize the opportunity to equip themselves with scientific knowledge and to unleash their creativity.”