CUHK organises Jockey Club Community Care and STEM in Action Project
The project develops innovative products to improve quality of life for disadvantaged groups
Funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and organised by the Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CLST) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the Jockey Club Community Care and STEM in Action Project has achieved fruitful results in the past three years. Students from six participating secondary schools have successfully developed 21 technological products specially designed for disadvantaged groups, with the assistance of student mentors from CUHK’s Faculty of Engineering, social service organisations and entrepreneurs. The project results and products were exhibited at the Learning and Teaching Expo 2022 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The project provided students with a three-phase curriculum and an interactive platform for STEM learning. In the first phase, students acquired the most up-to-date STEM knowledge and skills, and gained an understanding of the needs of underprivileged groups before coming up with ideas for innovative tech products and drafting product proposals. In the second phase, the proposals were turned into prototypes under the guidance of undergraduate and postgraduate mentors from the Faculty of Engineering. Representatives from social service organisations and the Hong Kong Automation Technology Council helped perfect and upgrade the prototypes’ functions and designs. In the final phase, students refined and tested the prototypes according to users’ experiences, and enterprises assisted with the realisation of the products. The products would be ultimately donated to the disadvantaged groups. The real-life STEM learning platform allows students to experience the “design thinking process” first-hand, from ideation to production, and from refinement to promotion, giving them an in-depth understanding of how a product comes to the market.
The students’ products aim to meet the needs of various disadvantaged groups, using technology to improve their quality of life. Target beneficiaries include the elderly, visually impaired and hearing impaired, wheelchair users, and social housing and nano-flat tenants. The products’ applications cover all facets of daily life, such as clothing, food, housing, transport, entertainment, personal care and communication. For examples, the Bus Reminder, designed by students from Christian and Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Secondary School, emits audio signals to let the elderly and visually impaired know that their bus has arrived at the station; the Necklace, designed by students from Pentecostal Holiness Church Wing Kwong College, detects obstacles and warns visually challenged users, helping protect them; the Railway Safety Device for the Hearing-impaired, designed by students from Carmel Holy Word Secondary School, emits light flashes to help the hearing impaired avoid door crush injuries; the Elevating Wheelchair, designed by students from Lok Sin Tong Yu Kan Hing Secondary School, allows users to adjust the height of the seat for convenience; another product designed by the same school, the Ventpro, is a compact air purifier tailor-made for small-home residents. (For more product details, please refer to the Appendix.)
Professor Morris Jong, Principal Investigator of the Jockey Club Community Care and STEM in Action Project and Director of CLST, said: “Our project provides a three-phase, well-planned curriculum and an interactive platform for real-life STEM learning. We enable students to utilise their creativity and innovative technologies to tailor-make practical products for disadvantaged groups, addressing their everyday problems. This learning experience not only broadens students’ horizons, but also cultivates their social responsibility and the virtue of caring.”
For more information about the project, please visit this website.