17 December 2017

Secondary students showcase winning entry from CUHK - BASF Kids’ Lab Experiment Challenge



In a special showcase last Thursday, young scientists from Hong Kong secondary schools demonstrated the winning experiments from the 2017 Kids’ Lab Experiment Challenge, a unique program jointly organized by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and BASF, the world’s leading chemical company. Under the Experiment Challenge, participating secondary school students were asked to work in pairs and design simple and safe chemistry experiments for primary school kids under the theme of food and nutrition. The winning experiment from each year will be used throughout the Asia Pacific region, at sessions of BASF Kids’ Lab, a summer interactive science workshop for 6 to 12-year-old children. 

This year, 74 students from 14 secondary schools in Hong Kong took part in the competition. Tiffany Wai and Clara Hui from Marymount Secondary School were the winning pair.  Their experiment, “Ginger Milk Curd,” demonstrated the chemical process of milk coagulation using simple lab materials and food ingredients. The experiment showed how protease in ginger reacts with soluble milk protein to cause milk coagulation when mixing hot milk with ginger juice. 

CUHK and BASF share a common vision to promote STEM education and are committed to nurturing future scientific researchers.  BASF and the Department of Chemistry of CUHK held the first “Kids’ Lab Experiment Challenge” in 2016. Professors from the Department of Chemistry judged the competition, and provided professional and practical suggestions for finalists to further improve the design of their experiments. The unique nature of the competition and the useful comments from the judges helped students gain valuable knowledge about chemistry and boost their interest in science. 

“Chemistry is closely related to daily life. The purpose of holding the BASF Kid’s Lab Experiment Challenge is to enable students to develop their interest and enthusiasm for science through making practical use of the chemistry knowledge learned at school, and hands-on experiments,” said Prof. To Ngai, Professor of the Chemistry Department of CUHK. 

The Department of Chemistry and BASF have jointly organized various scientific and academic-related activities since 2014. CUHK has been a long-standing partner of BASF, collaborating on several projects over the last 5 years, and was the host of the BASF Kids’ Lab sessions in 2016. These activities aim to promote STEM education and nurture future scientists.

“As part of BASF’s global network with the scientific community, NAO aims to foster open innovation and nurture the next generation of scientists through successful science collaboration with top Asian universities,’ said Ms. Daisy Lam, Wai-man, Head of Marketing Communications, Corporate Affairs Asia Pacific, BASF. “The Experiment Challenge enables young scientists from secondary schools to think about science outside of their textbooks, and to design experiments for primary school kids that help them learn about chemistry in daily life in a fun way.” 

The first runners-up were Ivan Chun-yin Kwok and Sally Sum-yuet Cheng from Christian and Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Secondary School. Their experiment demonstrated “How to Make Glue from Milk” by adding vinegar into milk to extract liquid casein.  The second runners-up were Jasmine Cheung and Natalie Kwok from Maryknoll Convent School.  By using the chemical reaction between acid and milk to create clumps, they showed how to “Make Your Own Unique Toy with Milk and Vinegar”.  The other three teams of finalists came from New Territories Heung Yee Kuk Yuen Long District Secondary School, Chiu Lut Sau Memorial Secondary School and Christian and Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Secondary School. 

About the Department of Chemistry, CUHK

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and best equipped departments in CUHK and is committed to continually upgrade the standard of its teaching and research. There are about 20 professors actively engaged in teaching and research in virtually all branches of frontier chemistry. According to a recent compilation, over 3,000 papers authored by CUHK Chemistry faculty members have been published in various international refereed journals by 2016. It endeavours to further enhance its international status as a centre of chemical research. 

About BASF Kids’ Lab

Education is the key to the future of our children, and it plays an important role in the development of society. With our Social Engagement Strategy, we want to open up learning opportunities and to encourage children's sense of discovery and teach good science methods and skills. This helps us to meet the challenges of tomorrow and to create a sustainable future. The BASF Kids’ Lab program is an interactive, fun and free chemistry education program designed for kids aged 6 to 12 years to discover the world of chemistry through simple and safe hands on experiments. The program has been brought to more than 40 countries across the globe, including China, the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Singapore, India and Japan. It was established in 1997 in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Tiffany Wai (2nd right) and Clara Hui (middle), the winning pair in the 2017 Kids’ Lab Experiment Challenge and Form 5 students from Marymount Secondary School, pose for a group photo with their teacher Ms. Jane Chung (2nd left), Ms. Daisy Lam, Wai-man, Head of Marketing Communications, Corporate Affairs Asia Pacific, BASF (1st left), and Prof. To Ngai, Professor of the Chemistry Department of CUHK.
Tiffany Wai (2nd right) and Clara Hui (middle), the winning pair in the 2017 Kids’ Lab Experiment Challenge and Form 5 students from Marymount Secondary School, pose for a group photo with their teacher Ms. Jane Chung (2nd left), Ms. Daisy Lam, Wai-man, Head of Marketing Communications, Corporate Affairs Asia Pacific, BASF (1st left), and Prof. To Ngai, Professor of the Chemistry Department of CUHK.

(From right) Prof To Ngai, Department of Chemistry, CUHK and Ms. Daisy Lam, BASF, introduce the Experiment Challenge, while Clara Hui and Tiffany Wai share their experience in the competition.
(From right) Prof To Ngai, Department of Chemistry, CUHK and Ms. Daisy Lam, BASF, introduce the Experiment Challenge, while Clara Hui and Tiffany Wai share their experience in the competition.

Tiffany Wai (right) and Clara Hui pour hot milk into ginger juice, showing how protease in ginger reacts with soluble milk protein to cause milk coagulation.
Tiffany Wai (right) and Clara Hui pour hot milk into ginger juice, showing how protease in ginger reacts with soluble milk protein to cause milk coagulation.

A group photo of all winners and the judges of the 2017 Kids’ Lab Experiment Challenge.
A group photo of all winners and the judges of the 2017 Kids’ Lab Experiment Challenge.