2020-212019-202018-192017-182016-172015-162014-152013-142012-13

Experiential Learning Fund Staff-initiated Project 2020-21 (First Round)


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
Watoto Volunteer Work 2021
Course code: To be advised
Number of undergraduate students participating: 16
Dr. Edmond ChoI
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Real-Life Problem Solving by Algorithms and Codes
Course Code: N/A
Number of undergraduate students participating: 9
Dr. Hubert Chan
Faculty of Engineering
Experiential Learning on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Course code: COMP3414
Number of undergraduate students participating: 40
Dr. Kenneth K. Y. Wong
Faculty of Engineering
Myanmar Service Programme
Course code: To be advised
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10
Ms. Cecilia Sit
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Creativity and Innovation Across Cultures: A Collaborative Experiential Project Between India and HKU
Course code: CCGL7003/CCHU7003
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20
Dr. Estela Ibanez-Garcia
Arts/African Studies Programme
Dr. Nicol Pan
Common Core Office

Experiential Learning Fund Student-initiated Project 2020-21 (First Round)


Project Title Project Coordinator(s)
Aquatic Acoustics
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10
Mr. Aditya Gupta
Faculty of Science
Utilizing Robotics and Lego to teach Underprivileged and disabled children
Number of undergraduate students participating: 12
Mr. Siddharth Agarwal
Faculty of Engineering


Watoto Volunteer Work 2021

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: To be advised
Dr. Edmond Choi, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Number of undergraduate students participating: 16

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.
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.
This will be the second time for the “Watoto Volunteer Work” to apply for the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Fund. Previous awarded application has been approved for an extension of the project completion date to the end of the 2020/21 academic year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused the project not possible to take place in 2020 for the students of the 2019/20 cohort. This current application is for the students of the 2020/21 cohort.
As a new course “Life Enrichment Learning” (LE) has been incorporated into the curriculum of the Bachelor of Nursing (Full-time) programme effective 2019/20, students are required to, inter alia, undertake LE programmes (1 mainland and 1 overseas) in order to gain experiential learning. Such initiative is in alignment with the strategic theme of internationalisation of the University.
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’ general 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.

Depending on the availability of accommodation to be arranged by Watoto, students of the previous awarded application and those of this current application (if approved) may or may not travel and join the programme as one group.
Should this current application be approved and accommodation be available for the two cohort of students to join the programme together, the approval of the Management Committee of the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre (GHELC) is hereby sought for one set of the required project deliverables, including a final report, a 2-5 minutes video, and at least 5 photos, to cover the two awarded applications be submitted to the GHELC by the designated due date.
Given the programme destination is Uganda, where healthcare resources is already stretched thin due to the burden of other infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, which are common in developing countries, there has been great concern that the impact of COVID-19 on the country could be more severe. While it is certainly hoping that the COVID-19 would be over by the time well before the commencement of this programme, it is strongly suggested to have an academic staff, naturally in the discipline of Nursing, to join the programme in order to see that proper hygienic measures have been put in place for the prevention of similar infectious disease during the programme, for the health and safety of the students.



Real-Life Problem Solving by Algorithms and Codes

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: N/A
Dr. Hubert Chan, Faculty of Engineering
Number of undergraduate students participating: 9

We aim to help students who are interested in mathematics and computer science gain more experiences in solving real-life problems via algorithms. Students will meet to discuss possibilities on solving problems in multiple fields (e.g., statistics, biology) and organize training sessions to practice coding skills. Furthermore, the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) Foundation provides students from around the world with a chance to meet students who love algorithms and programming. In ICPC Asia Regional Contests and World Finals, our students will learn a lot from the lectures and exchange ideas with teachers and students from other institutions. More importantly, students will form teams to compete on solving real-life problems raised by the contest organizer in limited time. This is a valuable experience for students to put what they learn in class into practice and will be particularly beneficial for developing students’ career and building up their team spirit.



Experiential Learning on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: COMP3414
Dr. Kenneth K. Y. 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 (AI) and robotics. Students will learn AI 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.



Myanmar Service Programme

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: To be advised
Ms. Cecilia Sit, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10

Operation Mobilisation (OM) is an international, religious, non-profit organization, originated in the USA, found in the 1960s. Today, OM has grown to have over 5,000 members, representing more than 100 nationalities, working around the globe to reach as many of mainly marginalized groups as possible. Besides performing missionary works to provide spiritual support, OM also invites volunteers to bring skills and knowledge to help the marginalized groups in the hope to improve their livelihoods.
The “Myanmar Service Programme” aims to support the poor and vulnerable groups in Myanmar. Despite the Myanmar’s government has introduced significant political and economic reforms since 2011, many entrenched problems remain in the country after decades of isolation and international economic sanctions. According to the Poverty Report, produced by the Central Statistical Organization under the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry, with support from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), released in June 2019, estimations from the 2017 Myanmar Living Conditions Survey reveals that 24.8 percent of the population is poor, that is, about one in four people in Myanmar is poor.
Poverty has deeply affected the lives of many in Myanmar, especially the children, as it can have devastating effects that last long into adulthood. Malnutrition, lack of education, poor quality of life limits the development of children, both physically and mentally, drastically reduce their future life chances. The situation is especially worse in rural areas with a poverty rate of 30.2%, which is 2.7 times higher than in the urban areas of 11.3%, according to the Poverty Report.
With the Rohingya crisis which has already led to decline in foreign investment and tourism from the Western countries in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is anticipated that Myanmar’s economy will go through another downturn, which usually hits the poor the hardest.
OM runs programmes to provide support to the poor and vulnerable groups in Myanmar. Volunteers could join to help teach at local community centres/churches, especially kindergartens in slum areas. Given the skills and knowledge, students from the Bachelor of Nursing (Full-time) programme could help teaching about basic hygiene knowledge and practices, which is especially important for the people living in poor physical environment, their needs are believed to be intense with the painful experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the first time for our students to join the “Myanmar Service Programme”, it is suggested to have one academic colleague to go along with the students so as to conduct on-site assessment of the entire programme as it goes in order to facilitate a comprehensive review afterwards for the possibility of including this programme as a recurring 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 mainland and 1 overseas) in order to gain experiential learning, which is also in line with the strategy for internationalisation of the University.
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.
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.



Creativity and Innovation Across Cultures: A Collaborative Experiential Project Between India and HKU

Staff-initiated Project
Course Code: CCGL7003/CCHU7003
Dr. Estela Ibanez-Garcia, Arts/African Studies Programme
Dr. Nicol Pan, Common Core Office
Number of undergraduate students participating: 20

This project started as a pilot experience in 2018, and it was consolidated last year with the creation of a credit-bearing course based on an exchange program between HKU and the DEI. The project fosters experiential learning, creativity, and multiculturalism through field trips and the development of a cross-disciplinary and collaborative multimedia project by the students of both institutions. The students first embark on an interdisciplinary exploration of the complex and diverse realities of the Indian and Hong Kong cultures using the arts as entry points into different realms of experiences (social, religious, economic, historic, etc). Through this exploration the students will learn the basic tools to critically reflect on the emergence and impact of human creativity and innovation in the context of the arts of India. They will then investigate, reflect, and collaborate on a project focused on the crossover between arts and sciences, with a thematic focus on “Nature, Culture, and Cities.” In groups, students will work on issues of cultural diversity and preservation, environmental issues and sustainable living, specific challenges Indian students face living in cities, and the arts, sciences, and technology’s role in meeting those challenges. The aim is to develop an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary, and creative project that will be shared in the form of public dissemination event both in Agra and in Hong Kong.
There are two phases in this project. Phase I: participants from HKU will visit India in January 2021; Phase II: students from Dayalbagh Educational Institute (DEI) will visit Hong Kong in May 2021. 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 experiences: In this project, students will engage in a variety of activities which facilitate their critical thinking and multicultural mindset. Students will visit the Golden Triangle: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, exploring a spectrum of socio-cultural settings. Students 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 favorable opportunity for cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange, but also to exemplify how the interdisciplinary learning can 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 will interview and conduct need analysis when they visit India. They will also design the learning activities when the DEI students visit HK in May 2021. HKU students will work with their DEI peers to come up with meaningful and fun programs that would maximize the outcome of the second 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 have 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.



Aquatic Acoustics

Student-initiated Project
Mr. Aditya Gupta, Faculty of Science
Number of undergraduate students participating: 10

In this project, in collaboration with the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute (LAMAVE) and the Open Ocean Camera (OOCAM), we intend to create a high quality, low cost, alternative to a hydrophone for marine researchers. A hydrophone is a device that, as the same suggests, functions like an underwater microphone, capturing sounds underwater as raw data to be used by researchers.

The Open Ocean Camera, another project by an HKU Graduate, in a similar vein, captures video underwater at an affordable price range with a multitude of features. The hydrophone build will be made so that it can work, coupled with the OOCAM, as an additional attachment. Building a hydrophone in principle is extremely easy and can be done at home using basic items. The challenge being faced is building one that can receive and output high quality audio, along with the ability to capture a spectrum of data based on pitch, frequency and loudness.

Thus, in addition to the physical hydrophone, we will be building a software application that helps distinguish between the received sounds, and relays them in a meaningful manner as per the specific preferences of the researcher. The software will be coupled with the video footage of the OOCAM to obtain even more detailed information, combining the audio and video data for the researchers purposes.

The utility of this, while primarily for research, can manifest itself in many ways. The data used can not only be monitored to understand more about marine life, but also monitor behaviour and patterns that can help better understand and preventively deter the effects of climate change in certain regions. The hydrophone can be used for the benefit of the community as well, by measuring sound pollution underwater caused due to construction or other activities. It combination with other hydrophones it can even be used to pinpoint the location of marine animals underwater.

There are many challenges that are to be faced in the future. Obtaining parts for some of the features of the hydrophone, and in addition to that, building low-cost alternatives to high cost parts will be the primary engineering challenge faced. A hydrophone embedded within the casing of the OOCAM will have low sound quality, hence we shall try to develop an external waterproof hydrophone to counter this effect. We have already consulted with marine researchers from Mexico and Italy regarding the same. The last difficulty would be using software tools to effectively isolate different sounds.



Utilizing Robotics and Lego to teach Underprivileged and disabled children

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

Our idea is to create a curriculum that contains courses that uses robotics and Lego to teach underprivileged children in Vietnam. Students in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDC’s) don’t have access to efficient and reliable educational resources. It is harder for them to stay focused on their studies.
A robotics course at the introductory level of engineering education involves students in hands-on practice through which they can learn various subjects and their applications.
Robotics is one of the most fascinating branches of science which deals with the designing, engineering, programming, testing, and robot development. It encourages and develops creativity in students with an add-on benefit of fun. Consequently, It enhances students’ concentration and attention levels.
A research conducted by Bahçeşehir University (Istanbul, Turkey) concluded that students in primary school had a job completion rate of 68% on average. They also observed an increase in students’ capabilities, self-confidence, and ease to learn scientific issues through experiences.
Courses that will be created will depend from subject-to-subject. It will be primarily focused on project-based learning and mostly conducted in groups as it is proven by various studies that group works are more beneficial for students, in terms of education and interpersonal skills.
STEM curricula that is a mile wide and an inch deep is often cited as a reason for poor STEM achievement, since it most likely contributes to superficial coverage of ideas, students’ views of Science and Technology as simply a large collection of rote procedures , and acquisition of inert knowledge that is learned without consideration for its use outside of the classroom.
Thus, Engineering Design & Critical Thinking Curricula has been proposed as an alternative approach to teaching disciplines such as science and technology as it has the potential to serve as an integrator, providing a context in which students can synthesize and apply subject knowledge in authentic problem-solving situations.