Secondary school students in Hong Kong have been able to gain in-depth insight into a career in civil engineering thanks to an intensive campaign by ICE Hong Kong Association Graduates and Students Division.
The four-month campaign, Shaping our Future City 2019, ran with a theme of “Accessibility, Connectivity and Vibrancy”. Its aim was to help senior secondary school students understand the key elements of civil engineering - and hopefully choose it as a profession.
Sixty students from 14 local secondary schools visited some of the major infrastructure projects in Hong Kong, and learned from senior civil engineers about their lives and ways of thinking.
They also got hands-on experience of being civil engineers by carrying out a study and planning for two infrastructure projects - an underground space development and transport infrastructure - as part of an inter-school competition.
ICE facilitators played a key role
The ICE graduate and student facilitators played a key role in guiding the secondary school students through the campaign, helping them to appreciate the important role of civil engineering in the development of society.
“The students are so innovative and always beyond my expectations. They are super willing to learn, despite the lack of technical knowledge,” said Athena Ng, a graduate facilitator.
The student facilitators also benefited from the experience, said Ethan Li, a graduate facilitator, who also said he felt more prepared for the challenges ahead in becoming a professional engineer.
“The graduate members and facilitators managed to motivate the participants by sharing their experiences and concepts in the real-life application of civil engineering, and eventually, the student members and facilitators become more self-motivated to the field before starting their career,” he said.
The campaign culminated in a one-month public exhibition between April and May 2019, and a presentation session on 27 April 2019.
Mr S H Lam, JP, Permanent Secretary for Development (Works) of Development Bureau was the Guest of Honour at the session. Ms Carmen Chu, Director of Transport of Arup, Mr C K Hon, GBS, JP, Adjunct Professor of the University of Hong Kong, and Mr Clifford Phung, Director – Geotechnical of Meinhardt Infrastructure and Environment Limited, were the the judges of the presentation competition.
The winner of the competition was Good Hope School, with its brilliant idea of developing a modern recreation centre in the underground space of Kowloon Tsai with due considerations in the technical aspects of civil engineering, as well as public aspirations.
The team was also awarded the Best Poster Award to commemorate its clear and persuasive presentation style.
By the end of the presentation session, Prof C K Mak, GBS, JP, Vice President of ICE, gave a closing remark expressing his delight of witnessing the amazing achievement the participants made in just three months of exposure to the field of civil engineering, and his belief in the potentials of the participants in becoming professional civil engineers.
Prof Mak ended his remark with the three “P”s in sustainable development – People, Plant and Prosperity, reminding the participants to consider thoroughly the social, environmental and economic factors in balancing the need for development.