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Experiential Learning Fund Staff-initiated Project 2019-20 (First Round)


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
Critical Parallels
Course code: ARCH4071
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10
Ms. Claudia Andrea Pinochet
Faculty of Architecture
History and Culture in One Dish: Multidisciplinary Regional Studies of Northeast China
Course Code: SINO2010
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10
Dr. Loretta Kim
Faculty of Arts
Developing Resilient Student Teachers by Nurturing Resilience in Vulnerable Groups in Cambodia
Course code: BBED6790
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Ms. Jessie Chow
Faculty of Education
Sustainable Development in Tibet
Course code: BBED6792
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Ms. Jessie Chow
Faculty of Education
Developing the Competence in STEM Education: Focusing on the Feedback of Pupils
Course code: BBED6747
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Valerie Yip
Faculty of Education
An Experiential Approach to Learning and Teaching in a Regional Educational Institution: Being a Culturally Responsive Teacher
Course code: BBED6742
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Valerie Yip
Faculty of Education
Fostering 4Cs (Creativity, Complex Problem-Solving Skills, Communication and Collaboration skills) through Engaging STEM/STEAM-related EL Activities
Course code: TBA
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Ms. Promail Leung
Faculty of Education
Experiential Learning on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Course code: COM3414
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40
Dr. Kenneth Wong
Faculty of Engineering
A Collaborative Art cross Science Innovation Project Between India and HKU: Experiential Learning Project in India
Course code: TBA
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Nicol Pan
Common Core Office

Experiential Learning Fund Staff-initiated Project 2019-20 (Second Round)


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
Ararat Plain Southeast Archaeological Project
Course code: BBED6796
Number of undergraduate students participating: 23
Dr. Peter J. Cobb
Faculty of Education
Tropical & Temperate Marine Ecology field course to Australia
Course code: BBED6796
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Dr. Bayden Rusell
Faculty of Science
Watoto Volunteer Work
Course code: TBA
Number of undergraduate students participating: 8
Dr. Edmond Choi
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Experiential Learning in a Technical Visit for Enhancing Students’ Innovation Abilities
Course code: TBA
Number of undergraduate students participating: 43
Dr. HH Cheung
Faculty of Engineering
A Visual Diary of Paris
Course code: TBA
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Prof. Seraji-Bozrgazd Nasrin
Faculty of Architecture
Fossil-free energy or fish? Timber or biodiversity? The wicked problems of land use and land management in a changing world
Course code: EASC3419
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Dr. Jed O. Kaplan
Faculty of Science
Project Mingde – School in Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal
Course code: FOSS2019/ CIVL2109/ CLIT3019
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Ryan Wong
Faculty of Engineering
Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong 2020
Course code: ARCH 4704
Number of undergraduate students participating: 24
Mr. Scott Kelly
Faculty of Architecture
Nurturing Global Leaders Programme
Course code: CAES2001
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40
Mr. Patrick Desloge
Faculty of Arts
Understanding tropical ecosystems in a changing world
Course code: TBA
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Louise Ashton
Faculty of Science
Urban Architecture Between Wide and Narrow
Course code: TBA
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10
Mr. Requejo-Belette Roberto
Faculty of Architecture
Capstone Experience in Nutritional and Environmental Education in Cambodia with UNlimited Institute 2020
Course code: BIOL4962 / BIOL4964 / ENVS4966
Number of undergraduate students participating: 30
Dr. Jetty Lee
Faculty of Science
Pilot assessment on Small and Growing Business in Kenya
Course code: FOSS2019/CLIT3019
Number of undergraduate students participating: 4
Ms. Elsa Lam
Faculty of Social Sciences
Human trafficking survivors capacity building project in Nepal
Course code: FOSS2019/CLIT3019
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Ms. Elsa Lam
Faculty of Social Sciences

Experiential Learning Fund Student-initiated Project 2019-20 (First Round)


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
Innovative Musical Learning Experience for Underprivileged & Special Needs Children
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Mr. Tanuj Agarwal
Facutly of Engineering
Renewable Energy Device Building and Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Ms. Wong Ka Yee
Faculty of Engineering
Project for NGOs in Myanmar
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10
Ms. Chung Yi Han
Faculty of Law
Nepal Community Health Project 2019 {Project Namtar 4}
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Mr. Yik Siu Long Thomas
LKS Faculty of Medicine
HKU iGEM 2019
Number of undergraduate students participating: 18
Mr. LI Wing Ho
Faculty of Science
The Japanese Whaling Industry: an Ecological, Cultural, Legal and Political Debate
Number of undergraduate students participating: 17
Mr. Vu Ka Hei
Faculty of Science

Experiential Learning Fund Student-initiated Project 2019-20 (Second Round)


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
Evaluating the Public Knowledge on the Use of Endangered Species in Producing Traditional Medicines
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Mr.Rajpal Rohan Ravi
Faculty of Engineering
Japanese “Shokunin” (Craftsmanship): Striking a balance between tradition and innovation
Number of undergraduate students participating: 11
Ms. Wong Chung Yan
Facutly of Business and Economics
Robomaster ICRA AI Challenge Team
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Mr. Chen Sirui
Faculty of Engineering
BDS International Capstone Experience – Egypt
Number of undergraduate students participating: 4
Ms. Ng Chi Tsam
Faculty of Dentistry
Wildlife Conservation in Action: Cambodia
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10
Ms. Chan Lai Ying
Faculty of Science
Project EdCam
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Mr. Aditya Gupta
Faculty of Science
Promote basic education in Inner Mongolia: Love will never die
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Ms. Wei Xinyu
Faculty of Business and Economics
The Winter’s Tale
Number of undergraduate students participating: 6
Ms. Wat Tsz Yan Monica
Faculty of Arts
Clinical Testing of newly developed DNA-nanotechnology-incorporated Malaria Diagnostic Device
Number of undergraduate students participating: 1
Ms. Tran Ngoc Chau
Faculty of Science
Social service project in Condoray, Peru
Number of undergraduate students participating: 8
Ms. Ng Nga Chung Yvette
Faculty of Medicine
Coral Reef Mapping Drone Project
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Mr. Sanjeew Kanagaraj
Faculty of Engineering
BTP SinCere Project
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15
Ms. Fan Jiaying
Faculty of Social Sciences
Promoting Environmental Conservation and Sustainability to the Youth of Mongolia
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Mr. Justin Grace
Faculty of Engineering
Interactive-learning experience for blind children through tech-driven games
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Mr. Ankit Tibrewal
Faculty of Engineering
Nepal Community Health Project 2020 (Project Namtar 5)
Number of undergraduate students participating: 8
Ms. Lo Wing Lam
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine


Critical Parallels

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: ARCH4071
Ms. Claudia Andrea Pinochet, Faculty of Architecture
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10

Fourth-year architecture students will travel to Scandinavia as part of an architectural design studio. This capstone experience will consist of a 20 day visit to Oslo and other parts of Scandinavia with HKU students and will be part of a collaboration with the Oslo School of Architecture (AHO) in NonNay. The collaborating group of HKU and AHO students will be examining similar subjects and exchanging research to develop individual design proposals. Students will be given access to AHO’s campus premises and participate in joint reviews and activities.

Building on the relationships fostered by the local faculty, we will visit several local practices and architectural projects in the region. They will also be able to meet several actors involved in the planning, execution and maintenance of existing building environment and infrastructure in the European context.

The trip will offer an intensive program allowing the group to visit, observe, measure and compare architecture, in a very different context, pushing students to take on the role of the investigator, reflecting and reporting their findings through synthetic exercises. Because the trip takes place within an existing course curriculum, it will be easy for the students to directly apply the acquired knowledge into the existing course goals.

During our visit to Oslo, students will also be able to participate in a 10-day workshop organized by the Oslo Architecture Treinnale (OAT) called The Academy, run in conjunction with AHO, Belgian firm Rotor and the local authorities. This workshop will be joined by students from eight other universities around the world, including Cambridge University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Architectural Association in London.



History and Culture in One Dish: Multidisciplinary Regional Studies of Northeast China

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: SINO2010
Dr. Loretta Kim, Faculty of Arts
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10

Students will visit the field site, conduct interviews with voluntary interlocutors about how different forms of hotpot are associated with various ethnic groups, taste-test hotpot foods, and acquire images and other forms of evidence as produced through documentation with audio-visual devices or as found in repositories such as the county archives. After returning to Hong Kong, the participating students will compose oral histories and present these narratives with images and other relevant content to classmates at the end of the semester.

Community stakeholders will and learn more about their home region’s culture and history through the re-sharing of these findings by the students through digital transmission.



Developing Resilient Student Teachers by Nurturing Resilience in Vulnerable Groups in Cambodia

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: BBED6790
Ms. Jessie Chow, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

This is the third year of the programme and this programme sets out to build a long-term relationship between the Faculty of Education at HKU and a rural school in Cambodia which houses children impacted by trafficking and poverty. The focus will be on co-constructing a curriculum on developing resilience for the children there with the teachers and volunteers of the school by adopting a ‘train the trainers’ model of professional development. Through this sustained relationship we aim to attend to both the rural Cambodian and the HKU communities by developing global leaders with social awareness and empathy. Research demonstrates that teachers’ resilience enhances their job satisfaction and teaching effectiveness, and at the same time, allows teachers to nurture resilience in their own students to cope with the challenges of the 21st century. The current program highlights one of the key approaches that contextualizes the knowledge of teachers’ resilience in working with a vulnerable target group and carefully incorporates Kolb’s (2015) reflective learning cycle into the program. Student teachers learn to integrate academic theories and actively experiment through continuous observation, trial-and-error and reflection. Students also receive structured input sessions and reflect through ongoing guided reflective exercises.



Sustainable Development in Tibet

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: BBED6792
Ms. Jessie Chow, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

Tibet has developed rocketing economic growth in the past two decades at the expenses of the ecosystem and environment. Set against this backdrop, this programme aims to bridge this gap by creating the platform for our student educators to learn about the socio-economic landscapes of Tibet and to analyze its challenges of turning around and sustaining its development. Our student educators will first learn about the theoretical understanding of sustainable development and its relationship to the socio-economic landscapes of Tibet. Then they will work in cross-disciplinary teams to put their knowledge into practice — putting forward their ideas of raising social awareness and calling for behavioral changes with the consideration of local culture and limitations in the format of ‘TED talk’ videos and workshops to school. Through the learning process of knowing about the culture, self and others, students will develop an increased intercultural sensitivity as local and global citizens.



Developing the Competence in STEM Education: Focusing on the Feedback of Pupils

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: BBED6747
Dr. Valerie Yip, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This project is a continuation of a project funded by GHELC in the previous two years. It will continue to adopt a multiple-track approach (please refer to the course outline) to provide the flexibility for HKU undergraduates (UGs) coming from different streams to decide which area(s) they would like to focus on, and hence reflect more critically on their roles in STEM education. They will work closely with academic units and non-governmental and governmental stakeholders to support the ultimate beneficiaries – the school pupils.

This year the UGs will be guided to become reflective practitioners in education. The project participants will develop an instrument to collect the pupils’ feedback after the workshop implementation and revise the curriculum materials accordingly for future use.



An Experiential Approach to Learning and Teaching in a Regional Educational Institution: Being a Culturally Responsive Teacher

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: BBED6742
Dr. Valerie Yip, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

Past participants of the experiential learning course ”An Experiential Approach to Learning and Teaching in a Regional Educational Institution” (BBED6742) provided excellent feedback for over three years. In 2017-18, since the project emphasised on STEM education that is the latest development of science-related teaching, more non-education major undergraduates (UGs) were attracted to join the project. Moreover, these students expressed strong agreement in an end-of-course evaluation that this programme had enhanced their understanding of teaching in a diverse context and allowed them to put academic theories in action.

Built on the previous success, this project will aim to:

  • emphasise culturally responsive STEM education in the immersion period (innovation/interdisciplinary learning/internalization). HKU students will interact more frequently with the Thailand teachers and students about their views and practices in STEM education. This will not only facilitate STEM teaching to be more meaningfully connected to the out-of-school lives of Thailand students, but also promote intercultural exchanges of views and practices in STEM education between the stakeholders.
  • produce quality teaching (STEM) materials for the Thailand school to use (impact).
  • continue to invite BEd/BEng students to join this programme so that they can collaborate with BEdBSc students in teaching and learning (interdisciplinary learning).

With the support of HKU instructors and Sarasas teachers, the UGs will have intensive interaction with Thailand students before the two weeks of immersion, e.g. by administering the Sarasas students’ pre-visit questionnaire, discussing curriculum objectives and content through social media, etc. starting from Mar 2020. Right before the immersion, the participants will attend a few more sessions to understand the issues and trends in science (STEM) education with particular emphasis on culturally responsive teaching. During the immersion period, they will be supported by HKU instructors and Thailand mentors to develop curriculum materials, and organize science/cultural activities. This proposed study will enhance the HKU students better understand how to teach STEM based on the cultural background of students and teachers.



Fostering 4Cs (Creativity, Complex Problem-Solving Skills, Communication and Collaboration skills) through Engaging STEM/STEAM-related EL Activities

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: TBA
Ms. Promail Leung, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This project is a continuation of a project funded by GHELF last year. With the incessant support of GHELF, a new credit-based course ”Fostering 4Cs (Creativity, Complex Problem-Solving Skills, Communication and Collaboration skills) through engaging STEM/STEAM-related EL Activities” will be opened. This course aims not only at developing HKU students’ interdisciplinary knowledge, skills and beliefs of learning and teaching of STEM/STEAM-related context (both in Hong Kong and USA). It also aims at enhancing their understanding and mastery of the 21st century (4C) skills, that is, Creativity, Complex problem solving, Communication and Collaboration skills, in order to succeed in the information age.

HKU undergraduates (UGs) will be guided to: (1) develop innovative 4C teaching materials; (2) arrange workshops and trainings to share their STEM/STEAM-related and 4Cs learning through various activities for the winning school teams in the Odyssey of the Mind program; and (3) prepare them for the US World Finals competition in Iowa State University in 27-30 May 2020. Besides, HKU students will apply the 4Cs in setting up a booth creatively and collaboratively, to showcase the impacts of our unique culture through effective communications to the worldwide participants in the US. The Odyssey of the Mind program represents the discovery journey of the participants while using their 4Cs to solve the program’s challenging problems.

To sum, this project aims to:

  • broaden the HKU student engagement by inviting BABEd/BEdBSs/BEdBSc/BSc/BEng to join this course and the Odyssey of the Mind Program (regional and international) so that they can collaborate with BEdBSc students in teaching and learning (interdisciplinary learning/internationalization);
  • emphasise STEM/STEAM-related education and 4C skills in different regional contexts through the experiential learning project (interdisciplinary learning/internationalization);
  • develop quality activity-based STEM/STEAM-related 4C teaching materials for the local winning school pupils (innovation and impact);
  • curate a HK booth to share our unique culture to multi-cultural participants in US World Finals (innovation, internationalization and impact)

The UGs will first attend a few sessions to understand issues and trends in STEM/STEAM-related education and theories of 4C skills. During the experiential learning project (HK and USA), they will be supported by HKU instructors, local and overseas mentors to develop curriculum materials and organize STEM/STEAM-related/cultural activities for secondary school pupils and curate a Hong Kong booth with unique culture. This proposed study will broaden the HKU student learning experience as discussed above.



Experiential Learning on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: COM3414
Dr. Kenneth Wong, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40

This is a multidisciplinary experiential learning course designed for engineering students to learn about artificial intelligence (Al) and robotics. Students will learn Al and robot related technical disciplines (such as machine vision, embedded system design, mechanical control, inertial navigation, human-computer interaction, etc.) through designing and building intelligent robots according to the rules of the RoboMaster Robotics Competition. Different types of robots are required to cooperate with each other and work together to attack the base of the opponent and at the same time protect their own base. Students will form a team representing HKU to participate in the Competition and compete against other teams from all over the world.

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Apply their engineering knowledge to design and build intelligent robots for specific purposes;
  2. Communicate with peers with regard to technical concepts verbally (via meetings and presentations), in writing (via reports) and in action (via demonstrations);
  3. Collaborate with peers from different disciplines/backgrounds and be a good team player;
  4. Overcome unforeseen problems, make informed decisions, and work under the constraints of limited time, human and financial resources.



A Collaborative Art cross Science Innovation Project Between India and HKU: Experiential Learning Project in India

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: TBA
Dr. Nicol Pan, Common Core Office
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This project is based on a pilot student exchange program between the Indian and HKU students last year (2018). Previously, we had 10 HKU students and 10 Indian students visiting each other’s campuses and doing collaborative project together over 2 weeks respectively. We are hoping that with the funding available, we could scale up this meaningful exchange program and invite more students to join. Our target is to have a maximum of 20 HKU students joining. We will continue the project theme from last year on ‘Nature, Cultures & Cities’ of which students learned and did projects about both India and Hong Kong’s unique contexts. But this time we add the cross-disciplinary focus on ‘Art and Science’. Students from both sides will be asked to explore, investigate, reflect and make Art cross Science projects in the context of nature conservation, cultural diversity and their preservation, and the specific challenges young people face living in urban cities. Students will be divided into groups where they would pick one of the three themes to do a project together, and of which they would also need to include and apply both art and science knowledge and skills in their final ‘product’.

There are two phases in this project. Phase I: participants from HKU will visit India in Dec, 2019; Phase II: students from Dayalbagh Educational Institute (DEI) will visit Hong Kong in June, 2020. This project aims to bring mutual benefits to both Hong Kong and India students through real collaboration that would result in deeper and mutual understanding, equal participation/contribution, constructive intellectual dialogues and hands on experiences.

There are three teaching and learning outcomes for this project:

  1. Diversity of learning experience: In this project, participants will engage in a variety of activities which facilitate their critical thinking and multicultural mindset. Participants will visit the Golden Triangle: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, exploring a spectrum of socio-cultural settings. Participants will engage in a wide range of experiential learning, including farming, textile printing, yoga, visiting historical sites to appreciate period architecture and art, as well as interacting directly with local students and the community including artists, scientists and social innovators, etc.
  2. Cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange: Students from all majors are encouraged to join this project. It does not just provide a favourable opportunity for cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange, but also to exemplify how the interdisciplinary learning could actually be practiced.
  3. Design-based learning: The project takes on a design-based approach in searching for creative and innovative ideas and solutions to the 21st century challenges facing young people in India and HK. Participants in HKU have to interview and conduct need analysis when they visit India. They have to design the learning activities when the DEI students visit HK in 2020 summer. HKU students would have to work with their DEI peers to come up with meaningful yet fun programs that would maximize the outcome of the 2nd phase of this exchange.
  4. Building mutual understanding as the basis of genuine multiculturalism: based on the multicultural approach, we believe participants from both cultures can equally contribute and learn from each other. Students from both sides going to a foreign country will experience a ‘different culture’ in real context and a chance to practice what they learn in theory about diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism and all the nuanced issues. Hopefully, students from both sides will also appreciate that despite all their differences, they share so much in common in terms of facing what all young people face nowadays in study, finding a stable job, looking for their own voices and identities and solving these problems in an innovative yet practical way.



Ararat Plain Southeast Archaeological Project

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: BBED6796
Dr. Peter J. Cobb, Faculty of Education
Number of undergraduate students participating: 23

This class will join an archaeological fieldwork project that is excavating and surveying in Armenia in the summer, where students will gain hands-on experience with the research process. They will help with digging and learn innovative digital skills like 3d scanning to record results, while interpreting the material remains through the theoretical approaches of readings. While working with an international team, students will be contributing to documenting and presenting the cultural heritage of the Armenian people and the world heritage of the ancient Near East. HKU students will teach archaeology to Armenian school children when they visit for a few days. As the project makes connections in the local community, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of heritage and discourage illegal digging.



Tropical & Temperate Marine Ecology field course to Australia

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: BBED6796
Dr. Bayden Rusell, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

This course will use a field-based approach to provide students with an advanced understanding of marine and estuarine ecology in both tropical and temperate regions. Students will compare these ecosystems in Hong Kong and Australia, and between temperate and tropical coasts within Australia itself, experiencing their similarities and differences. The course is experiential learning, using hands-on field sampling techniques to familiarize the students with scientific techniques used in ecological sampling, environmental assessment and field ecology. It will also integrate cultural aspects of contemporary and Indigenous Australian culture and understanding of the environment.



Watoto Volunteer Work

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: TBA
Dr. Edmond Choi, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Number of undergraduate students participating: 8

Watoto is a programme (developed out of a local Church in Uganda founded by a missionary couple from Canada) initiated to provide holistic care and support to the orphans and vulnerable women who have endured hardships due to decades of civil war in Uganda.
Watoto has projects providing manpower and facilities to take care of babies who could have been died of starvation or different kinds of diseases; providing education to children and keep them in school who could have been forced to become guerrilla soldiers; providing training and medical treatment to women, who many of them are HIV+, widows.

The entire programme mainly aims to provide support and care to the young ones in the hope to foster them to become future leaders who could bring a change to the nation for the betterment of the people there; and also to help the marginalized groups to have hope and sustain their daily lives.

Seven students and two colleagues of the School of Nursing had joined the Watoto programme and gone to Uganda in Summer 2019 as a pilot run of Life Enrichment (LE) programme under the “Life Enrichment Learning” course recently incorporated in the curriculum of the Bachelor of Nursing (Full-time) programme. The new course requires students to, inter alia, undertake LE programmes (1 on the mainland and 1 overseas) in order to gain experiential learning, which is also in line with the strategy for internationalisation of the University.

Given the fruitful experience gained from the very meaningful programme as per reflection from students, the School plans to have “Watoto Volunteer Work” in Uganda as a running LE programme.

During in Uganda, students could make use of the knowledge and skills on Nursing gained in the classrooms to take care of babies, help distribute medication in the clinic, participate in talks on health education organised by local Nursing school/hospital to local community, visit the villagers, especially the vulnerable women, in the slum areas in order to have a better understanding of their conditions and to show support and care.

There will be LE supervisors (academic staff of the School) to provide guidance to students on activity planning/preparation, monitor students’ performance during the LE programme, and to provide advice on students’ academic deliverables. Representative(s) of Watoto will be onsite supervisor to supervise and/or assess students’ overall performance during the LE programme.Students will need to give a post-service experience sharing (PowerPoint/written format) and to make an e-poster for presentation at the end of the LE programme.



Experiential Learning in a Technical Visit for Enhancing Students’ Innovation Abilities

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: TBA
Dr. HH Cheung, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 43

This capstone course is aimed at providing hands-on experiences for students on developing innovative solutions to address industrial and logistics problems by integrating various advanced technologies. A technical field trip will be organised to help students understand how advanced technologies, such as IoT devices and robots, are adapted to automate industrial and logistics operations. Besides, students will gain exposure to the operation and management of an enterprise when they interact with the directors, managers, engineers and workers in GeekPlus. Indeed, the students will be inspired to apply their knowledge and skills on developing innovative solutions and businesses. As a result, students will acquire innovation skills and entrepreneurship abilities through the experiential learning experiences.



A Visual Diary of Paris

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: TBA
Prof. Seraji-Bozrgazd Nasrin,Faculty of Architecture
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This summer elective is a close reading of modern architecture and its effects with an emphasis in Le Corbusier’s work in France. Different themes such as materiality, cultural history, geography etc. are explored in the field trips across three densest cities in France – Paris, Marseilles, and Lyon. The course is composed of three stages – pre-trip preparation, field trips, and dissemination and exhibition. Prior to the trip, a detailed itinerary with required readings (refer to attm.1 for past example) is given to set out the objectives of the field trips which constitutes the main part of the course. Walking is the primary method of seeing and acquiring first-hand knowledge of seminal works in modern architecture with the support of lectures given by the principal project coordinator and guest lecturers from ENSA Paris-Belleville and Paris-Malaquais. In addition to the workshop(s) organised with Fondation Le Corbusier, students are given the opportunity to stay at Le Corbusier’s works as a way to experience the modern way of living which had been advocated throughout his entire career. These observations are recorded and synthesised in the form of a Graphic Novel at the final stage of the course. The set of Graphic Novels will be archived at the Department of Architecture Library available to other students and exhibited at HKU.



Fossil-free energy or fish? Timber or biodiversity? The wicked problems of land use and land management in a changing world

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: EASC3419
Dr. Jed O. Kaplan, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

In this experiential learning project, students will spend 25 days traveling across the Columbia River Basin of the U.S. Pacific Northwest on a 3000 km journey from the river’s headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. On-site they will learn firsthand about the wicked problems surrounding sustainable management of land and water resources in the region, and the tradeoffs that need to be made to provide timber, green energy, and other natural resources, while preserving ecosystems for wildlife, biodiversity, recreation, and as cultural resources. They will understand the ways in which ongoing and projected future climate change confounds efforts to solve the abovementioned wicked problems. Guided by experts on science and policy in the field, students will consolidate their understanding in the form of presentations, an essay, and a short film. They will become the founding members of a new community of HKU students, alumni, teachers, and overseas partners for interdisciplinary problem solving for the environment and sustainability.



Project Mingde – School in Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: FOSS2019/ CIVL2109/ CLIT 3019
Dr. Ryan Wong, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This experiential learning project will involve 20 undergraduates from Civil Engineering, Comparative Literature and Social Sciences bringing an innovation small-scale construction project to completion under the supervision of United World Schools Nepal over the course of 8 weeks. Students will work as a team to first carry out a needs analysis of the community, then create a design while utilizing their academic training as well as local constraints in capacity, resources and time. The program will begin with core workshops in early June, which enables students from both disciplines to understand cross-cultural differences and learn about the various development models used to support local communities in rural areas. The seven-week experiential learning will take place in Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal, which comprises two important components: a needs analysis of local communes and construction of a primary school. Some teaching classes will also be arranged for our students to interact with local school children to enable inter-cultural learning.



Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong 2020

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: ARCH 4704
Mr. Scott Kelly, Faculty of Architecture
Number of undergraduate students participating: 24

“Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong” builds on seven years of design-based experiential learning across mainland Southeast Asia by the Division of Landscape Architecture. For its third year, we continue our focus on the regional impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in northern Laos. Students will spend one term engaging issues of environmental conservation and development vis-à-vis landscape architecture to define problems and produce innovative planning proposals. During this process, students develop and deliver a 150-page research report to civil society and international NGOs, conduct fieldwork, individually design future scenarios through large-format maps, models and video, and have their work juried by a cross-disciplinary panel of experts. Students actively participate in the expansion of Landscape Architecture into regional development arenas, paralleled by high-impact work on sustainable development by their HKU teachers. Supported by a multidisciplinary team of landscape designers connected to policy experts and scientists through a network of domestic civil society groups, international NGOs, and bilateral agencies, this work offers an urgently needed model of design-research collaboration. It has been disseminated to governments in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, the Asian Development Bank, construction firms, civil society and agencies across Southeast Asia.



Nurturing Global Leaders Programme

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: CAES2001
Mr. Patrick Desloge, Faculty of Arts
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40

Nurturing Global Leaders (NGL) (formerly MOEI) has been running for more than a decade. In 2020, we will train up to 40 HKU students in developing thematic course materials and teaching English before sending them to Myanmar to deliver courses at CPOs. While onsite, interns will work closely with their host organization and CAES staff to ensure that their teaching effectively supports the needs of local learners. This year the programme will be based in Yangon, Hpa-an and Shan State. To enhance the programme in 2020, there will be a greater emphasis on materials development. In Hong Kong, students will be organized into thematic teams to collaboratively develop course structures and begin materials development in close collaboration with CAES teachers. These teams will then fan out across various locations in Myanmar where they will continue to refine and add to their base of materials working collaboratively to share materials across locations. Local CPOs and learners will be given access to the materials to continue their learning after our departure. The programme provides HKU students with culturally-immersive real work experience.



Understanding tropical ecosystems in a changing world

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: TBA
Dr. Louise Ashton, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

Tropical rainforests are vital ecosystems, providing services to humans like nutrient and rain cycling, carbon storage and new medicines. Rainforests also are the most biologically rich terrestrial ecosystems, but are under increasing anthropogenic pressure such as logging, burning and conversion to agriculture, as well as climate change which is driving warmer temperatures and more droughts. Effective conservation efforts over the next few decades are essential if we are to slow the rapid loss of biodiversity and help prevent catastrophic climate change. In order to understand and conserve biodiversity and ecosystem function, we need a good understanding of how tropical rainforest ecosystems work. A baseline knowledge of the natural history of tropical rainforest is essential if we are to collect ecological data on how human activity impacts rainforest and to decide which conservation measures work the best.

We will travel to Danum Valley, in Sabah Malaysia, a conservation area of primary tropical rainforest. Using tropical ecological field surveys, students will carry out their own projects, collecting data on the ecology of several elements of tropical rainforests, including the diversity of insects, birds and plants. Students will work in small groups to carry out these research projects, with help from tutorials and lectures that will occur throughout the trip. All students will participate in each of the three major research projects, and then select one of them which will be their presentation and report. Students will gain a broad understating of natural history and field ecology, and gain experience in multiple field ecology techniques.
Students will receive guest lectures from local researchers and gain an understanding of the threats to biodiversity in tropical rainforests landscapes. We will go on side field trip outside the conservation area, to see how conservation measures are being implemented in human modified ecosystems.



Urban Architecture Between Wide and Narrow

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: TBA
Mr. Requejo-Belette Roberto, Faculty of Architecture
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10

The project will be a collaboration and exchange between SWJTU and HKU. The subject of investigation will be Chengdu’s Kuan Zhai Alleys. The nine (9) day exchange will be supplemented by lectures, multi-media, architectural drawings, discussions and other activities with the objective of expanding the participants’ understanding of these alleys as urban fabric. Based on their understanding of the alleys, students will be expected to document selected areas and subjects in the alleys, photographically, and through sketching, with the objective of gathering sufficient information to model their subjects into a detailed (Rhinoceros) 3D model. The ultimate objective and deliverable of the project will be to collectively design, coordinate and execute a series of Architectural Drawings to be implemented and applied in selected locations in, near or around the Kuan Zhai Alleys. The Project will essentially be a design-draw exercise, with the main experiential components being the extensive engagement with the site, the collaborative orchestration of architectural drawings and the final introduction of these illustrations into a public site. The objective of the (mural) drawings will be two fold, first to reveal aspects of the alleys not immediately visible, apparent, or understood by visitors, and two, to serve as some form of wayfinding for the alleys.



Capstone Experience in Nutritional and Environmental Education in Cambodia with UNlimited Institute 2020

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: BIOL4962 / BIOL4964 / ENVS4966
Dr. Jetty Lee, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 30

In the Capstone project, students will be provided background information about Cambodian community and research know-how. The students, mainly from science-related disciplines, are obliged to prepare training tools for knowledge exchange with Cambodian university students, and project materials for field study in rural villages. Students are required to come up with remedial solutions for severe impacts of climate change and environmental pollutions. It is supported by our massive connections with tertiary education, government and third sector that can offer loads of support on equipping the students with necessary skills. The project aims to deliver knowledge regarding nutrition and environment in order to improve health and agricultural practice in Cambodia. It is important for improving Cambodian’s livelihood that is heavily dependent on agriculture and garmenting industries.



Pilot assessment on Small and Growing Business in Kenya

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: FOSS2019/CLIT3019
Ms. Elsa Lam, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 4

The project will provide Faculty of Social Sciences and Comparative Literature students to support an international NGO in assessing and communicating their Small and Growing Business pilot project(SGB) in Kenya. Under the supervision and guidance of the NGO supervisor, the students will be able to interview the small business clients and document the impact of the business loan in growing the local business. The deliverable of this internship can be transformational for the organization as, depending on the report produced by the interns, the NGO may go forward with this initiative or not. The current SGB project had its foundations on the internship of HKU students in Hong Kong, in the summer of 2019, who supported the NGO research and develop this initiative.



Human trafficking survivors capacity building project in Nepal

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: FOSS2019/CLIT3019
Ms. Elsa Lam, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This project will provide opportunities for students from Social Sciences and Comparative Literature to work together for the trafficking survivors in Nepal. The students will help a trafficking survivor self-help organisation updating and revamping the social media platform, preparing stories of empowerment and providing a series of training workshop on communication, presentation and basic computing skills in their office in Kathmandu and Pokhara. The organisation will facilitate the process for the students to be instrumental in rebuilding the self-esteem and be empowered to have a sustainable and long term job, reducing their risk of being re-trafficked or abused again. The students will apply their own disciplinary skills in analyzing the human trafficking issues as well as to understand the operation of a social enterprise in Nepal.



Innovative Musical Learning Experience for Underprivileged & Special Needs Children

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Tanuj Agarwal, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

In our project, we will integrate technology and music to provide an unforgettable experience to underprivileged students and students with special needs, in Bali. Music education has the ability to provide an all-round learning experience to students. It provides them with something they can cherish for life, a sense of togetherness and a way of harmonizing with others around them. It has the ability to instill various kinds of life skills in them, which cannot be learned through traditional classroom education. Involving students with special needs in traditional forms of music education is a challenge. We plan to work around this obstacle by integrating a technology named ”MakeyMakey” with various easily available items such as potatoes, flowers, and balloons. With the help of well-planned use of technology and our diligent planning, we aim to make every child, a part of the music playing process.

With the assistance recommendations of our partner organization, we will identify a batch of students who we will work with, introducing them to the technology inspired musical experience. We will also design the structure of our workshops and the syllabus we will implement in each class with their support. Since the organization has experience of working with these children, they will be able to provide great insights and polish our plan to perfection. Our team will leverage this valuable information and provide a highly stimulating workshop by utilizing technology. We will implement the use of MakeyMakey, a piece of equipment the students would not have worked with earlier and create an interactive process of learning, with the end result enabling the students to play advanced pieces of music.

MakeyMakey is a simple tool, and we will ensure that we part on our knowledge of its application and use cases to the teachers present at the organization. The software is all open source and thus, the engineers will be able to modify the programming such that it caters to any of the highly specific needs the children might have. This will empower them to continue teaching the children through more and more innovative methods, making the process of learning more engaging and efficient.

The two weeks’ worth of workshop will see the children trying their hand at playing basic musical instruments as well as certain electronic devices created with the help of MakeyMakey. We will make use of local instruments so that the students can relate to a greater extent and also instruments like the shuffles, melodica, drum, and the tambourine. These instruments provide a double benefit of being very easy to play and also place a minimal demand on the overall budget.

Lastly, to connect any loose ends and ensure a truly wholesome experience for the children, we will incorporate the use of tablets. There is a wide range of music-oriented and user-friendly applications available on both, the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. We will shortlist applications tailor-made for children with disabilities. Soft Mozart and Garage band are a couple of examples of such applications. The MakeyMakey device combined with the real-time responses and touch interface of the tablets will prove to be a unique experience, one that will instill enthusiasm in the children and motivate them to push outside their comfort zones. We estimate a projected student to instructor ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 at most.

We plan to form a team of people from various learning backgrounds. Apart from having people having extensive knowledge about music and various instruments, we also plan to recruit students from an engineering background so that they can take care of the technical nitty-gritty so that we can provide an overall smooth experience to the kids. We will keep our teaching practices flexible so that the feedback collected in each session helps us improve in the next one and provide a fruitful experience. Our sessions will include jamming sessions which will help children loosen themselves and immerse in the experience completely. Our aim is to provide them with something long-lasting rather than temporary. We plan to set up the music teaching environment in the school so that these lessons continue even after we leave. This includes setting up the musical instruments and the ”MakeyMakey” devices needed. We also plan to educate the teachers on simple music lessons which can be incorporated in the day-to-day activities. After the programme, we will stay in touch with them to get feedback and assist them whenever the need arises.



Renewable Energy Device Building and Education

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Wong Ka Yee, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

As we observed that the worldwide energy consumption lifts fast and that the development of renewable energy in Southeast Asia is lacking behind despite the strong sun and wind they have, we decided to start the project to educate new generations in Bangkok and to equip HKU students with necessary sustainability knowledge which emphasize global cooperation.

We plan to organise a two-week renewable energy model & device building and education project at Kincaid International School in Bangkok approximately from late December to mid January.

Firstly, we (HKU students) would be cooperating with World Green Organisation, which is an environmental NGO having expert knowledge in energy education, to advise our teaching content and to plan our renewable city model’s layout. We would be discussing and modifying the plan together with their experts. Independently, we would also be building and testing the whole model and devices technically before starting the education in Bangkok.

In Bangkok, we would be teaching students in the school about environmental concepts and theories through interactive lectures and practical experience. We would be building a city model with green energy generators integrated (part 1) and necessary devices like mosquito lamps, LED lamps and cars powered by renewable sources (part 2) with them. Data from the generators would be collected and analysed for a published document.

Through the project, HKU students with various majors could discover more about the sustainable development in other countries and could learn how to tackle climate change together through worldwide cooperation with different professionals and experts.

After the project, Kincaid International School would start to demonstrate the city model and devices to other schools and parties. They would start similar projects to promote this concept to more people.



Project for NGOs in Myanmar

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Chung Yi Han, Faculty of Law
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10

The idea of this project originated from the HKU-Myanmar bond, as evidenced by our partnering organisations which are founded and operated by former HKU students and existing ones. This experiential learning experience aims at bridging HKU students to Myanmar students, who share different world views and ambitions. The one thing in common between us is that we are in need of more opportunities and support as we strive to become leaders of tomorrow.

Given the great development potential of Myanmar, we believe that this learning experience will lay a solid foundation for facilitating youth development and cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and Myanmar.

The organizations we intend to collaborate are as follows:

MYEO {Myanmar Youth Empowerment Organization) is established to provide youth in Myanmar with opportunities, from studying and internships abroad in ASEAN countries to entrepreneurship and professional skills. its initiatives include “Workplace Digital Skills”, which help bring digital remote workers out of Myanmar and promote employment of Myanmar youths in digital economy and international organizations. it has also launched ‘Edu Gurul — a virtual mentorship aiming at guiding through Myanmar youths the application of scholarships and overseas studying.

Soap Cycling is a N60 recycling soaps from hotels in Hong Kong to Southeast Asia with an aim to improve hygiene and living quality of children in remote and underprivileged areas in Asia. The Myanmar office of Soap Cycling has been set up recently and its Hong Kong operations are largely run by Mr. David Bishop and his HKU students.

We aim to:

  1. Deepen existing HKU—Myanmar ties and facilitate cultural exchange
  2. Build youth leadership tools, e.g. leadership training courses, utilizing virtual platforms for startups, templates for consulting etc.
  3. Explore more opportunities between the two communities in the long run, eg an online data base of opportunities available in Asia Pacific for Myanmar youths (including but not limited to internships, business case completions, service trips and meeting competition, pen pal project, Youth Conference organised by HKU a MYEO)
  4. Access to over 80,000 students in Myanmar
  5. Utilize resources of impact tab and Social Venture Management Courses managed by our mentor, Mr. David Bishop from Faculty of Business and Economics, to prepare HKU students with the above initiatives



Nepal Community Health Project 2019 {Project Namtar 4}

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Yik Siu Long Thomas, LKS Faculty of Medicine
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

Medical Outreachers Hong Kong (MO) is a charitable organisation initiated by medical students from HKU and CUHK. MO aims to cultivate the passion of medical students in not only practicing medicine but also reaching out to care for others through various humanitarian actions. Through these services, we hope to create lasting improvements on the lives of those we have reached out to, and in the process, inspire medical students towards positive personal development.

The Nepal Community Health Project (Project Namtar) is one of MU’s long term projects. This is our fourth year visiting Nepal’s Makwanpur district.

We will be separating our project into two phases. The first phase will be implemented in Bharta (August), while the second phase will be implemented in Namtar and Kalikatar (December).

Bharta
As this is our first visit to Bharta, our main objective is to assess local health gaps. Participants will be conducting household visits and a health camp.

During household visits, we will conduct surveys to evaluate villagers“ knowledge, behavior and attitude towards different aspects of health. It enables us to identify local health gaps, ensuring that future endeavors are tailored to the community’s most updated need. Moreover, we will be correcting any health misconceptions revealed throughout the survey. We will distribute soap and toothpaste, which are scarce in supply, to further promote hygiene practices.

A health camp will also be held. During this health camp, we will invite Nepalese doctors from Kathmandu to conduct free medical consultations and checkups for villagers. Students from Hong Kong will be responsible for measuring BMI and blood pressure, while Nepalese doctors will conduct more holistic consultations and prescribe suitable medications. We aim to attract local villagers to the camp to promote their use of local health services.

Namtar & Kalikatar
Our main activities in Namtar and Kalikatar will be conducting household visits and health education quizzes to evaluate our interventions from previous visits.

Health education quizzes will be conducted by participants to assess the local primary and secondary school students’ knowledge on the following topics: WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene], household cleanliness, nutritional health, wound management, epidemiology, puberty, anti-drug, anti-alcohol, anti-smoking, and mental health.

Participants
The project enables medical students to apply what they have learnt in medical school, particularly basic clinical skills (measuring BMI and blood pressure) and attributes thev have learnt from other courses such as public health and medical humanities. During the trip, participants have to carry out health checks and also practice their communication skills with the service targets in school and household settings when conducting education and survey respectively. In a rural setting, doctors and medications might not be as effective as good hygiene and preventive measures. Therefore, the activities in this trip also lead the participants to reflect their role as future doctors, and the different determinants of health such as socioeconomic factors and basic infrastructure, which might not be deemed as equally important in a developed city like Hong Kong. This could facilitate in developing a global health perspective.



HKU iGEM 2019

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Li Wing Ho, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 18

The HKU iGEM 2019 project is a synthetic biology research project. The student team is already formed in the current stage. In this stage, we do not have a concrete topic to work on as it is only the planning stage. But we have narrowed down the possible tracks after several times of meeting, for instance, develop synthetic cell to chemo-attract pathogen or infected cell, using DNA nanotechnology to target cancer cells, and develop gene circuit for triggering an immune response to target cancer tumor.

After the project topic selection, we would then carry out researches and laboratory work to focus on engineering a new synthetic components that could be employed by cells, this will occupy the entire summer semester break this year.

Meanwhile, human practices is a key component in the development of an iGEM project where our team “go beyond the lab” and consider the many ways that our research can impact society. Understanding our project in a social or environmental context is crucial for building safe and sustainable projects that serve the public interest. We would work with students and advisors from the humanities and social sciences to explore topics concerning ethical, legal, social, economic, biosafety, or biosecurity issues related to their work. Also, we will be mentoring the high school team from S.K.H. Li Ping Secondary School, guiding them to carry out the project, and also collaborating the laboratory work with the equipment that our school has.

The iGEM 2019 is more than a competition. It is s program dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open community and collaboration. Members of the student team will have the opportunity to push the boundaries of synthetic biology by tackling everyday issue facing the world, we will work together to design, build, test, and measure a system of our own design using interchangeable biological parts and standard molecular biology techniques. Therefore, team spirits, research skills, and laboratory techniques could be strengthened.

Besides, for the Human Practice component, our team members would have the change to share the scientific knowledges to the general public in Hong Kong. Moreover, have chance to mentor a local high school team, transferring various techniques and inspire the younger generation of future scientists.



The Japanese Whaling Industry: an Ecological, Cultural, Legal and Political Debate

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Vu Ka Hei, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 17

This project is a practical transdisciplinary project about whaling in Japan. Whaling is the hunting of whales for their products in wildlife trade and is a topic of intense debate. The killing of whales has immense ecological impacts affecting worldwide marine ecosystems and has far-fetching profound impacts on global warming. Thus, whaling is tightly regulated by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and governmental bodies worldwide. However, in December 2018, Japan announced its decision to quit the IWC and will continue commercial whaling in July 2019. The move was fuelled by cultural reasons, social protests and mainly political motivations. Our project will aim to investigate the issue in ecological/conservation, cultural/social, legal and political viewpoints and will raise awareness of whaling and its impacts on the general public in Japan.

The project is comprised of two components. The first component will require participants to produce a documentary film and popular scientific article (PSA) regarding the whaling issue. In order to achieve this, we will interview and/or collaborate with university scholars, researchers, governmental departments, NGOs, local businesses and the general public in Japan and other countries on their views on whaling. Furthermore, we will also reflect the views of different publications and academic articles regarding the issue. The documentary and PSA will then be subsequently circulated online on different social media platforms and websites. The second component will involve more practical experience including our collaboration with educational institutions (secondary and/or higher education) to hold a short workshop(s) to promote the conservation of whales and marine biodiversity through means of education. To wrap up, the participants of the project will attend a session of whale watching and visit aquariums in Japan to experience eco-tourism.

As this project is transdisciplinary in nature, participants will be given the chance to exchange intellectual perspectives from different fields of study and criticaily stimulate innovative skills used in tackling real-life conservation issues. Through means of film production, publicising on social media and academic exchange, participants will gain the experience required to solve issues in larger cultural, social and political confounding contexts where there is no single correct answer to the issue. By learning the views of different professionals from vastly different backgrounds (conservation biologists, environmental activists, governmental representatives, NGO founders, local businesses, lawyers and the general public), participants will then construct their own perspective on whaling and participate in producing a piece of work in a group effort to reflect upon the complex issue.



Evaluating the Public Knowledge on the Use of Endangered Species in Producing Traditional Medicines

Student-initiated Project
Mr.Rajpal Rohan Ravi, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

The project is a multidisciplinary project investigating the awareness of the youth inJapan, Hong Kong and Macau on the usage of endangered species in the production of traditional medicines. The project would be carried out in collaboration with the Japanese Wildlife Conservation Society (JWCS), a number of Japanese higher education institutions (listed below), the Macau Ecological Society, other Macau NGOs (listed below) and secondary schools in Macau (listed below). The goal of this project is to produce a report that details the depth of awareness with regard to the medicinal usage of endangered animals and also how integral they believe that such a practice is. The report could potentially be used by the JWCS and other Japanese NGOs in their plight to convince big pharmaceuticals to abandon such practices for the purpose of conserving specific endangered species.

We aim to carry out the project by surveying and interviewing 500 students from higher institutions in Hong Kong, followed by 500 students from universities in Japan. After gathering sufficient data, we would produce a statistical report to the JWCS and other NGOs in Macau and Japan. We also intend on creating a short video for the purpose of raising awareness about conserving these endangered species by using footage from street interviews, survey footage at universities and schools and from our site visits in Japan.

This project will also attempt to raise awareness on the issue by allowing participants to conduct school visits and co-host workshops on conserving species and talking about traditional medicines, their alternatives and how this relates to biodiversity and the need for conservation. In this regard, we will be presenting findings that we have identified from surveys conducted in Hong Kong, Japan and Macau.



Japanese “Shokunin” (Craftsmanship): Striking a balance between tradition and innovation

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Wong Chung Yan, Facutly of Business and Economics
Number of undergraduate students participating: 11

The Japanese “Shokunin” (Craftsmanship) is a prominent and unique culture in Japan which praises craftsmen and artisan’s professionalism. The “Shokunin” does not only imply technical perfection on a certain field, but its essence lies on its attitude known as “Shokunin spirit”, which represents Shokunins’s lifelong dedication in achieving mastery of his profession. The Shokunin culture can be found in various social contexts in Japan. Sado (tea ceremony) and Japanese-style confectionery are just the tip of the iceberg, while the Japanese craftsmanship culture can be delivered in a deeper and more complicated context. The Shokunin culture has contributed a lot in conserving the country’s tradition, through inheriting the wisdom and beauty passed down from generation to generation. Craftsmanship is an art to be proud of. Shokunin, as a professional, take high pride in their skills and is often stubborn in creating their works. Nevertheless, in the modern world with ubiquitous technology and development of mechanization, the “stubbornness” of Shokunins is fading out from the society.

This project is a transdisciplinary study that investigates how the Shokunins culture can be blended into the modern society by adapting innovation and what are the difficulties they are faced with when competing with the fast developing technology. In this project, students would gain the valuable chance to visit and meet some of the well-known traditional crafts, such as Japanese music instruments, tableware, and glass making in Kyoto, an ancient city where the Shokunin culture is developed and well-preserved. Through interview and meeting with Shokunin, participants are expected to develop a deeper understanding of craftsmanship in the modern society.

The project also aims to promote the Shokunin culture in Japan and Hong Kong. Art and traditional culture are not just a mere “item”, but they are also deeply associated with the spirit of the nation and reflect the society. By carefully balancing tradition and innovation, craftsmanship would eventually deliver the tasteful beauty to the next generation. Not only do the participants experience the traditional art, but they would also share their experience by holding a small-scale presentation in Japan universities, and share their opinion with Japanese Shokunins in order to help them learn their possible markets in global insights.

School and museum visits will be held to facilitate participants’ understanding towards traditional art and how innovation can be adapted, while interview sections with Japanese teenagers on their thoughts of preservation of traditional art will also be conducted. A documentary on Japanese traditional art would be produced to promote the beauty of the traditional art to the general public and show how the Shokunin culture can survive and embrace the 21st century. Eventually, participants would compare the preservation of tradition art in Hong Kong and Japan, and study how tradition art can be better preserved in Hong Kong by utilizing their insights gained from Japan. A mini talk and a social media campaign would be organized to further assist Hong Kong’s craftsmanship art future preservation and development.



Robomaster ICRA AI Challenge Team

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Chen Sirui, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

Robomaster ICRA AI Challenge is a competition held by DJI and IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. It emphasizes on writing AI algorithms and tuning and choosing and training machine learning model to power pure automatic robot to accomplish complex goals like building map, avoiding collision and tracking. Technical Details: Build AI Robot tuples that can work purely automatically. Implement and design decision policies according to competition requirement. Training AI networks to recognize and track objects. Implement localization and motion planning on robot under uncertainty.
To construct a functioning robotic platform and to purchase equipment require a large amount of funds. In addition, our project requires us to do tests in other places (Shenzhen, etc.) and to participate in competition in France, which brings extra transportation expenses.

During the process of finish competition, participants are guided to work on a robot platform and extract research topics and values during preparing. Also, building a continuous AI robotics study group can enable students to be involved more in AI robotics development and research.



BDS International Capstone Experience – Egypt

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Ng Chi Tsam, Faculty of Dentistry
Number of undergraduate students participating: 4

The project aims to engage dental students in a dentally related environment outside Hong Kong. During the two weeks of exchange, we will be visiting two dental teaching and learning institutions and other clinical institutes in Egypt, including the dental schools of the Mansoura University and the Delta University. The activity aims to give us, students an international experience that allows comparison with the home setting, as well as to enrich the students’ perspective of dentistry in various cultures and communities. Various summer exchange programs to Asia countries are available, organized by the Faculty of Dentistry every year. However, he faculty seldom offers opportunities to visit countries like Egypt, where we can expect obvious cultural difference. Through the two weeks of experience as a dental student in Egypt, we will take part in clinical sessions and lectures with the local dental students, which allow us to have a full picture of their university life.
By this, we will be able to appreciate the difference in dental education system and dental healthcare system between Hong Kong and Egypt, where we can reflect on and bring improvement to our system in the future. Apart from academic exchange, the local dental students from Egypt will also be bringing us to the famous spots in Egypt for sightseeing and exploring the mysterious ancient Egypt history and culture. Through the two weeks time, it is expected that our intercultural understanding can be enhanced. After the two weeks of overseas experience, we will be giving presentations on our trip to our fellow teachers and schoolmates in Hong Kong, and to share our experience and learning from the trip.



Wildlife Conservation in Action: Cambodia

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Chan Lai Ying, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10

Lomphat Wildlife Sanctuary (LWS) is located in north-eastern Cambodia covering 250,000 hectares. It is home to five Critically Endangered bird species, including White-shouldered Ibis, Giant Ibis, White-rumped Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, and Red-headed Vulture. Other globally threatened species including Gaur, Eld’s Deer, Banteng, Sambar, Sarus Crane and Green Peafow could also be found there. This globally important sanctuary has multiple conservation status. It is listed as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area of BirdLife International, one of the Global 200 Ecoregions of WWF and located in the Indo Burma Biodiversity Hotspot of Conservation International. Recently, however, a proposed damming project near the site has raised concerns on its threats to endangered species, as well as local communities. Such a development plan may intensify flooding which could cover one-third of the sanctuary. Global biodiversity hotspots like LWS are facing increasing pressures worldwide from human beings. Apart from species conservation, these sites provide a wide variety of ecosystem services such as fisheries. They should therefore be prioritized for enhanced protection.

BirdLife Cambodia is a country partner of BirdLife International (https://www.birdlife.org/), which is a global NGO focusing on bird and biodiversity conservation. BirdLife Cambodia wishes to enhance the conservation of LWS through proper ecotoursim development. We will work hand in hand with BirdLife Cambodia to develop a pilot ecotourism project in LWS. We hope to bring motivation and ideas to Birdlife Cambodia so they can enhance the protection of LWS and other biodiversity hotspots in Cambodia. In our project in LWS, we will conduct baseline ecological surveys for developing education materials for ecotourism and providing training for local communities in ecotourism and conservation. We hope to attract wildlife lovers from all around the world to appreciate the beauty of this place and thus raising awareness on its importance. On the other hand, we wish to enhance proper ecotourism development which would also provide economic benefits to local communities

Participants of this project will be able to appreciate the importance of protecting biodiversity hotspots, and devise plans to execute the conservation of these hotspots. They will obtain hands-on experiences through designing ecotour routes and publishing bird guides for LWS. Through this project, participants will also gain some first-hand experiences working with international NGOs (i.e. BirdLife) which would enhance their capacity in future career development in environmental protection and conservation.



Project EdCam

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Aditya Gupta, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

Our project – Project EdCam, will be an Engineering project that aims at helping the Cambodian community, specifically the Business and Education sector.According to research done by OECD , Cambodia has a dearth of job searching facilities andadditionally there is a huge mismatch between the labor needs of businesses and the employability of individuals though their obtained education. This means, students can’t get jobs of their interest and specialization, and that their education hasn’t trained them to be employable. This creates a huge issue for businesses, students and the Cambodian community at large. Our project aims to tackle this very issue.

We have divided our targets into 2 major areas:
1) The first are graduates looking for suitable employment. We aim to link them with hiring companies around the area, according to their interest, skills and specializations.
2) Our second target are students. Through our project, we aim to provide them with internship opportunities. This allows them to gain valuable business experience and further allows businesses to hire them if their work meets their standards.

To facilitate this process, we are going to be creating an app that matches students and employers based on parameters like skills, position, work experience etc. It will allow employers to update their requirements and create expectations for the students. We plan on collaborating with NGOs, the government, recruitment companies and other organizations to create our database of hiring businesses, and partner with schools, colleges and institutes for our database on students. We have
already contacted the Asia Foundation and the Industrial Technical Institute (ITI) for this project and hope to work on it with them. Our Project Advisor Dr. Tam is providing huge support and has agreed to help us contact the Hong Kong Government to further expand our contact with companies not only established in Cambodia, but with those planning to setup in Cambodia as well.

Our target is to implement our project with at least 2-3 institutions based in Phnom Penh, and we envision 2 major challenges in the future:
1) The first is to establish contact with businesses and institutes, and as mentioned above, we have a well laid out plan to overcome this difficulty.
2) The second challenge would be application development. To counter this, we already have 2 core and a few members in Year 3 and Year 4 from the Engineering Faculty in our team. With Dr. Tam guiding us we know we can overcome the technical difficulties.

Our project deliverable would be our app implemented in various institutions, and we shall keep track of its impact by keeping a count of the number of students and graduates who are able to gain internship and job opportunities.

We believe Project EdCam, will have a worthwhile impact on students and businesses in Cambodia. Further, it would be a great experiential learning process for us, as we will not only be impacting the community, but also developing an actual idea into a tangible product of value. https://www.oecd.org/dev/inclusivesocietiesanddevelopment/youth-issues-in-cambodia.htm



Promote basic education in Inner Mongolia: Love will never die

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Wei Xinyu, Faculty of Business and Economics
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

Two trips will be organized, one in the winter involving only the four team leaders and one in the summer involving team leaders and other participants recruited in the spring.

The first trip is a preparation for the second trip. We aim to build a collaborative relationship and improve our mutual understanding with local schools and authority. We will conduct demo teaching in classes and visit the Education Bureau and the Promotion Society.
The second trip will happen in the summer. The major activity will be teaching. To ensure learning by the participants, passover of experience to the next team and dissemination of our learning, participants will take turns to write articles in Chinese and English.

Our teaching covers courses from basic life knowledge, interesting curricula to social activities. We have heard that the lack of basic knowledge such as physiological knowledge related to sex has led to bad consequences in local schools. Children will equip with health knowledge and be able to deal with sex problems correctly after we introduce the knowledge to them in detail. Apart from this basic and tangible knowledge, we can also give them some spiritual level knowledge. We will design some featured courses teaching them poems and so on, arousing their interest in study and broadening their eyesight. Besides, many children and parents don’t realize the importance of study and children drop from school early. We will give them career planning courses to provide them with another possibility and reduce the dropout rate. We will also organize an activity like orientation camp and foster their ability of communication and working together.

Our impact on the local schools will be measured by tests, surveys from local students and student files. While designing tests for students to examine their degree of mastering the knowledge, we will conduct a survey to see whether their thoughts have changed before we leave. We also have a student file for each student which we will record and update their behavior during the project to show our influence.

To ensure impact on the local schools, we will conduct extensive training sessions on local cultural issues and teaching for participants before the trip. There will be training sessions provided by BTP, introducing the situation of Chinese education and background knowledge, letting them have a better understanding of world. They will also learn some basic pedagogy knowledge and how to get along with children from the training sessions. Team leaders will share them with their findings during winter vacation, including the problems they might come across during the project and some solutions, helping participants know more about how to tackle with real life problems. Besides, leaders will give participants certain teaching training such as writing teaching proposals and plans. By discussing and modifying together, they can improve the quality of teaching. Leaders will observe participants through demo classes, giving them feedback and improving their teaching skills. These are all meaningful life experience and personal enrichment for participants, developing their abilities in different aspects.



The Winter’s Tale

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Wat Tsz Yan Monica, Faculty of Arts
Number of undergraduate students participating: 6

Hong Kong Shax Theatre Group (HKSTG) is an independent Shakespearean theatre group registered under the Societies Ordinance and based in the University of Hong Kong. Founded in 2010, the group has performed thirteen productions to date, receiving considerable critical acclaim for being able to adapt Shakespeare’s works to various new settings. By participating in HKSTG’s plays, students can access and preserve Shakespeare’s heritage and add to their perspectives in learning literature and understanding life, as well as share these themes with their audiences – the youth of Hong Kong.

While HKSTG has always performed in Hong Kong, this project will be a collaboration with the Australian La Trobe University. This joint production of The Winter’s Tale will have a cast of actors, as well as creative and logistic staff, from HKU (both current and former students) and La Trobe, with performances in both HK and Australia in 2020. In mid-February, the Australian team will join HKSTG in HK for performances at both Studio 303 in HKU and at Sheung Wan Civic Centre. In March, the main cast and core production team from Hong Kong will fly to Melbourne, Australia, where we have been invited to perform as part of Asia TOPA, an arts festival that aims to celebrate the creative imagination of artists and cultures in the Asia-Pacific region; we willalso be performing at La Trobe University as part of their Moat Festival. In 2017, Asia TOPA saw a total attendance of 893,257 and was further broadcast live to millions. This is a level of exposure that would benefit all those involved, providing a learning experience that not only improves their artistic skills, but also puts
them onto an international stage that demands professionalism and dedication. Being guided by experts such as Artistic Directors Bob Palvich from La Trobe and Rosalind Wong (HKU graduate and founder of HKSTG), participants will be introduced to a professional work environment where they will be able to improve their organisation, teamwork and time management skills.

This project will provide a stage for cross cultural exchange as the play will be set in both Hong Kong and Australia. With our adaptation, we intend to break the play into three sections and take non-realistic time jumps from 1920s Hong Kong to modern day Australia then to modern day Hong Kong and the play itself is structured in such a way that would easily facilitate this idea. Through this collaboration, we would like HK and Australian youth to experience, either as performers or as viewers, the more realistic emotions and human themes that Shakespeare explored, providing commentary on social phenomena still pertinent in modern times, such as gender roles, loyalty and relationships. We would also like to convey the universal vitality of Shakespeare to Hong Kong youngsters and community members and give them a taste of authentic cultures and eras across the decades, both local and international. Being a problem play, The Winter’s Tale is the perfect package for our project, providing the structure to entertain and educate.



Clinical Testing of newly developed DNA-nanotechnology-incorporated Malaria Diagnostic Device

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Tran Ngoc Chau, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 1

Malaria is caused by infection with Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. According in the World Health Organization (WHO), 218 million cases of malaria and 435,000 deaths were estimated in 2017 and approximately 50% of the world’s population was at risk of malaria [1]. In Viet Nam, malarial morbidity and mortality have significantly reduced from 1991 to 2017 due to national effort to prevent and eliminate the disease [2]. However, 74% of the population are still at risk of malaria, with over 19,000 cases found in 2015 [2]. Moreover, malaria threat is concentrated in rural, forest, and mountainous areas, which affects vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, forest workers, and migrants in cross-border areas [2].

Accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial to monitor the disease. There are currently 3 available diagnostic methods including microscopy, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) [3]. While microscopy and PCR provide highly accurate results, they require special equipment, skillful technicians, and are expensive, which make these tests inaccessible in rural areas where the risks are higher. RDTs can detect malaria on-site, relatively affordable, and do not require qualified personnel to conduct the test [3]. Conventionally, RDTs work based on antigen-antibody interaction [3,4]. However, the specificity and sensitivity of these RDTs are rather insufficient because of the instability and batch-to-batch difference of antibodies [3-6].

DNA nanotechnology provides novel solution to tackle these drawbacks. In fact, scientists have synthetically produced special oligonucleotides (short DNA or RNA molecules) that are capable of binding to specific targets with high affinity and specificity called aptamers [7-9]. Aptamers are capable of molecular recognition; hence, they have been used in various biomedical applications including both therapeutics and diagnostics [9,13]. Although having similar characteristics as antibodies, aptamers are easier to produce at a much lower cost and comparatively more stable than antibodies, making them ideal for diagnostic and therapeutic uses [14-15].

Of the 5 parasite species causing malaria, P.falciparum one of the two species that poses the greatest threat not only in Viet Nam but also around the world [1-2]. Hence, it is essential to detect and identify Plasmodium falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH), which is a well-studied molecular target for P. falciparum. Recently, a PfLDH-specific aptamer has been well characterized with high binding affinity and specificity to the target, showing the potential application of aptamers in RDTs for malaria diagnosis [13].

Among different RDTs, colorimetric lateral flow assay (LFA) gives tools to transform antigen-based RDTs to simpler and more user-friendly test kits [17-19]. LFA is a test for detecting analytes in mixtures, where blood samples can be added directly to the device to obtain the results after a short period of time [20]. However, the stability and sensitivity of such devices remain relatively low. Hence, with the application of aptamer to renovate LFAs, it is possible to develop novel point-of-care medical devices for rapid diagnostics test of malaria disease to obtain more accurate and timely results.

In our lab, we are currently developing not only LFAs but also other devices for malaria diagnosis. There have been positive results regarding malaria detection when testing with protein samples in the lab. However, the practical application of such devices remain unknown as no clinical testing has been done before. This project will bring such devices to Viet Nam for clinical testing with the support of our collaborator from National Hospital of Tropical Diseases. The success of the project will benefit millions of people in high-risk areas in Viet Nam and around the world and potentially transform LFA market.



Social service project in Condoray, Peru

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Ng Nga Chung Yvette, Faculty of Medicine
Number of undergraduate students participating: 8

We are a group of medical students who are not only passionate in practicing medicine, but also reaching out to care for others through humanitarian actions. We initiate the following project in the hopes of creating lasting improvement on the lives of those who we reached out to.

Our project will be carried out in Cañete, a province in southern Lima region, Peru. We will be visiting five towns in total, namely: Roma, La Wjenrada, Santa Barbara, Los Olivos and Unanue.

The first component of the project is medical related. We hope to utilise the knowledge we obtained from medical school in helping locals. We will perform medical check-ups on children and adults, including measurements of body-mass index, blood glucose and blood pressure. The results and associated diseases will be explained to the locals, and individuals with abnormal results will be encouraged to seek advice from healthcare professionals, to enhance their awareness towards common diseases and to promote self management of health.

Non-medically related activities are also planned in this project. Firstly, we aim to help with the maintenance of local schools. Schools and facilities in the area are generally poorly maintained. Participants will help transport materials for the repair of buildings and facilities or painting the walls, to create a safer and better learning environment for children in the region.

Another activity would be to cooperate with local schools and teach the children English. Lessons will incorporate interactive teaching to increase their interest towards the subject, in hope to equip them with knowledge and skills that empower them to improve their quality of life and connect to the world in the future.

Underprivileged groups in the local community lack resources to maintain a decent standard of living. Participants will approach companies to obtain sponsors for daily necessities such as clothing, soap and toothbrush. We will then sell them to the locals at a lower price. This allows the locals to purchase quality goods at an affordable price, to live more comfortably and to live with dignity.



Coral Reef Mapping Drone Project

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Sanjeew Kanagaraj, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

A follow up the Mindoro SwarmBots Project that took place in 2018, we plan to organize a two week trip to the Mindoro Island in the Philippines during the coming semester where we shall work with the NGO “Ecotone Resilience”, in partnership with Hong Kong startup “Scoutbots” to assist in the mapping of the coral reefs in the area using mapping drones that will be built in Hong Kong. Mapping corals reefs is an important part of ensuring coral health over the years. Currently, it is mostly done by divers with physical quadrants and thus is a very time-consuming process.

Our coral reef mapping drone will combine stable boat technology, drone electronics and control,underwater photography, photogrammetry and computer vision to deliver high resolution maps of coral reefs in 2D and 3D. Our technology can be used to survey large area of shallow seafloor. The drone has made significant improvements since the swarm bots project, mainly more autonomy and the addition of Artificial Intelligence to accurately map the corals with no human help. We will also be testing out on more sites to receive a better understanding of the coral reefs in Mindoro.Using the massive amount of data that we will generate, we will work with environmentalists and researchers to determine a safe coral protection baseline. We shall be collaborating with the large number of scientists, researchers and conservationists already present in Mindoro. The students will spend a week working with Mr. Cesar Harada, senior professor at HKU and director at Scoutbots, to build the newest version of the coral reef mapping drone and get hands on experience on drone building, 3D printing and prototyping. The drone will then be transported to the Philippines, where we will test it.



BTP SinCere Project

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Fan Jiaying, Faculty of Social Sciences
Number of undergraduate students participating: 15

Beyond the Pivot (BTP) is a Hong Kong-based NGO(91/10725) initiated by students from the University of Hong Kong (HKU). It’s established as a platform for volunteers and social workers to spread the spirit of benevolence and raise their awareness as global citizens. By spreading the spirit of servicing, we are devoted to improving the living conditions in developing areas while promoting local education and healthcare. Established in 2010 as a branch of BTP, SinCere has had 8 years of teaching experience in Dazhou, Sichuan with two unique characteristics including 1+1 model (working in both primary and middle schools) and creative courses. Volunteers are recruited as temporary teachers in local schools to take part in students’ learning experience.
In order to better fulfil local students’ education desire, we have developed academic seminars, science experiments, developmental training and inspiring speech contests, which have helped them develop their interests and expanded their horizons. In response to the psychological shift started during adolescents, a tree hole mailbox has been set to local schools where students could feel free to write about their concerns to volunteers and special attention would be paid to comfort them and to ensure their wellbeing. In addition, we have asked volunteers to join in the classes’ regular shifts to tighten their relationship with the students and to relieve their loneliness by reinforcing their trust bond. Besides, we plan to pay more attention to students’ career paths this year thus we have prepared professional lectures to guide them to choose their suitable careers and help them find their dream occupation to pursue while encouraging them to improve their academic performance. According to interviews with local students, they reported to have more confidence in pursuing their dreams after communicating with volunteer and are more capable of dealing with the sudden change in their body and mental development. Their academic performance has improved significantly with the learning strategies introduced and are better at handling multi-task homework. Not only could local students get improved, volunteers also learnt deeper about the spirit of social service and were motivated to make more contributions to the society or even pursued social work as their occupation. While teaching younger students, volunteers could demonstrate their learnt knowledge and improve their ability of delivering presentations in HKU. Deliverables including posts from our official account, students’ reflection, volunteers’ teaching diaries and evaluation videos are available if needed.



Promoting Environmental Conservation and Sustainability to the Youth of Mongolia

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Justin Grace,Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

The project is a multidisciplinary project, focused on Computer Science and Environmental Conservation. Its main purpose is to promote the idea of ecological conservation and sustainability to the youth of remote areas of Mongolia. The project would be carried out in collaboration with the Mogol Ecology Centre (MEC), an NGO that works towards promoting sustainable practices to preserve the environment, natural resources and cultural heritage of Mongolia. Other partners in this project include a number of schools in Ulaanbaatar, Khovd and Southgobi provinces; and local park ranger departments. The MEC is currently developing a Youth Sustainability Corps project where they will work with pupils aged between 15 and 18. The Youth Sustainability Project will have several components such as renovation of school classrooms, design and delivery of after school activities and conservation summer camps. Their project aims to reach out to 1500 students from 6 different schools, and hence requires a database to be developed in order to carry out the above. Our project will deal with the planning and development of the aforementioned database, and of course spreading the goals of the MEC to the youth of the regions we visit.

We aim to carry out the above, which is our primary objective, by visiting the MEC and up to 6 of the above mentioned schools to gather data in order to build the database system. By doing so, not only will we be able to promote sustainability to the students of these schools by carrying out workshops, but our own participants will also gain exposure to conservation and sustainability practises in these ecological zones. The MEC has also given us the opportunity to visit Park Rangers of the above provinces, which is a great opportunity to receive first hand learning about wildlife and national park conservation. As it can be seen from the above, this project will have an immediate impact on a range of beneficiaries.



Interactive-learning experience for blind children through tech-driven games

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Ankit Tibrewal, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12

In our project, we will integrate technology to provide an unforgettable experience to blind students in Ho Chi Minh City. Education has the ability to provide an all-round learning experience to students. Integrating technology in education provides blind children with something they can cherish for life, a sense of togetherness and a way of harmonizing with others around them. It has the ability to instill various kinds of life skills in them, which cannot be learned through traditional classroom education. In this manner, blind children can be integrated into the society. We plan to provide them with this opportunity by integrating a technology named “MakeyMakey” with Braille system with various easily available items such as cardboard and balloons. With the help of well-planned use of technology and our diligent planning, we aim to provide every blind child with an interactive and fun-filled educational experience.

With the assistance and recommendations of our partner organization, we will identify a batch of students who we will work with, introducing them to the technology inspired educational experience. We will also design the structure of our workshops and the syllabus we will implement in each class with their support. Since the organization has experience of working with these children, they will be able to provide great insights and polish our plan to perfection. Our team will leverage this valuable information and provide a highly stimulating workshop by utilizing technology. We will implement the use of MakeyMakey, a piece of equipment the students would not have worked with earlier with Braille system and create an interactive process of learning, with the end result enabling the students to read and interact with computers and learn about technology. This would also allow them to learn Braille system using a fun-filled method and experience the latest technological developments.

MakeyMakey is a simple tool, and we will ensure that we pass on our knowledge of its application and use cases to the teachers present at the organization. The software is open source and thus, the engineers will be able to modify the programming such that it caters to any of the highly specific needs the children might have. This will empower them to continue teaching the children through more and more innovative methods, making the process of learning more engaging and efficient.

The two weeks’ worth of workshop will see the children trying their hand at using basic electronic devices like computers with the help of MakeyMakey. We will make use of local games and devices so that the students can relate to a greater extent. These games provide a double benefit of being very easy to play and also place a minimal demand on the overall budget.

Lastly, to connect any loose ends and ensure a truly wholesome experience for the children, we will incorporate the use of tablets. There is a wide range of user-friendly applications available on both, the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. We will shortlist applications tailor-made for blind children. The MakeyMakey device combined with the real-time responses and touch interface of the tablets will prove to be a unique experience, one that will instill enthusiasm in the children and motivate them to push outside their comfort zones. We estimate a projected student to instructor ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 at most.

We plan to form a team of people from various learning backgrounds. Apart from having people having extensive knowledge about psychology, social science, we also plan to recruit students from an engineering background so that they can take care of the technical nitty-gritty so that we can provide an overall smooth experience to the kids. We will keep our teaching practices flexible so that the feedback collected in each session helps us improve in the next one and provide a fruitful experience. Our aim is to provide them with something long-lasting rather than temporary. We plan to set up the technology-intensive teaching environment in the school so that these lessons continue even after we leave. This includes setting up Braille system with “MakeyMakey” devices.. We also plan to educate the teachers on tech-driven braille system which can be incorporated in the day-to-day activities. After the programme, we will stay in touch with them to get feedback and assist them whenever the need arises.



Nepal Community Health Project 2020 (Project Namtar 5)

Student-initiated Project
Ms. Lo Wing Lam, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Number of undergraduate students participating: 8

Overview
Medical Outreachers Hong Kong (MO) is a charitable organisation initiated by medical students from HKU and CUHK. MO aims to cultivate the passion of medical students in not only practicing medicine but also reaching out to care for others through various humanitarian actions. Through these services, we hope to create lasting improvements in the lives of those we have reached out to, and in the process, inspire medical students towards positive personal development.

The Nepal Community Health Project (Project Namtar) is one of MO’s long term projects. This is our fifth year visiting Nepal’s Makwanpur district.

Namtar & Kalikatar
Our main activities in Namtar and Kalikatar will be conducting household visits, health education, health checks (in schools), and health camps.

During household visits, we will conduct surveys with the subject’s consent to evaluate villagers’ knowledge, behavior and attitude towards different aspects of health. It enables us to identify local health gaps, ensuring that future endeavors are tailored to the community’s most updated need. Moreover, we will be correcting any health misconceptions revealed throughout the survey. We will distribute soap and toothpaste, which are scarce in supply, to further promote hygiene practices.

Health education consists of the following topics: WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) & Cleanliness of Environment; Food and Nutrition & Dental Health; Wound Management; Epidemics & water-borne diseases; Sex Education; Anti-smoking & Anti-alcohol; Anti-drug & Mental Health. We will teach primary and secondary students through our designed curriculum through interactive games and role-play. We aim to provide local students with a comprehensive health education that their basic school curriculum may lack.

We will also conduct health checkups for local students. We will mainly be assessing BMI and scoliosis; we will recommend students with possible health issues to attend our health camps.

Health camps will also be held in both Namtar and Kalikatar. During these health camps, we will invite Nepalese doctors from Kathmandu to conduct free medical consultations and checkups for villagers. Students from Hong Kong will be responsible for measuring BMI, blood pressure, while Nepalese doctors will conduct more holistic consultations and prescribe suitable medications. We aim to attract local villagers to the camp to promote their use of local health services.

Participants
The project enables medical students to apply what they have learnt in medical school, particularly basic clinical skills (measuring BMI and blood pressure) and attributes they have learnt from other courses such as public health and medical humanities. During the trip, participants have to carry out health checks and also practice their communication skills with the service targets in school and household settings when conducting education and surveys respectively. In a rural setting, doctors and medications might not be as effective as good hygiene and preventive measures. Therefore, the activities in this trip also lead the participants to reflect on their role as future doctors, and the different determinants of health such as socioeconomic factors and basic infrastructure, which might not be deemed as equally important in a developed city like Hong Kong. This could facilitate in developing a global health perspective.