Making the future of education in Hong Kong: The Harbour School and MakerBay partner to drive innovation and citizen science

January 30, 2016

HONG KONG, 30 January 2016: The Harbour School (THS), a leading international school in Hong Kong, announced today a partnership with MakerBay, Hong Kong’s first large-scale makerspace helmed by inventor entrepreneur and TED senior fellow Cesar Jung-Harada, to encourage invention and creativity among school children.

 

Starting in February, THS will kickstart Citizen Science@THS, a “maker” curriculum which will see its students from age 7 upwards take on on real-world projects at MakerBay under the leadership of Mr Jung-Harada, whose TED talk on the subject has had more than a million views since it was published online late last year.

 

 

 

Caption: Secretary for Innovation and Technology Bureau, Nicholas Yang officiated the well attended opening ceremony of MakerBay today.

In picture from left to right: THS student Akasha Campbell, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Bureau Nicholas Yang, Christine Greenberg, THS principal, MakerBay founder Cesar Harada and THS students Aiyana Campbell and Brandon Wong

 

The partnership between THS and MakerBay is in line with the Hong Kong government’s focus in developing innovation locally and encouraging Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem, highlighted by the annual StartmeupHK Festival held earlier this week.

 

Dr. Jadis Blurton, Head of School at THS said: “Education in this century must model and promote creativity, ingenuity and genuine care for the issues and problems of our modern world. MakerBay and THS work together to provide its students with experiential, hands-on innovation opportunities which will continue to provide real life solutions for the [planet] earth and its inhabitants.”

 

 

THS is currently building a new school campus in Ap Lei Chau which will feature a state-of-the-art maker space which Mr Jung-Harada is advising on design.

 

Design Thinking

“I believe everyone can have great ideas including children who can be more creative and imaginative than adults,” said Mr Jung-Harada.

 

Each grade class will leave their classroom behind for a week to design robots, specialist devices, apps and toolkits that will be used to solve current social or environmental issues affecting Hong Kong and the world. In so doing, THS students will be exposed to the collaborative problem-solving, experimental and demanding design processes typical in engineering and science laboratories.

 

Mr Jung-Harada has worked with THS students on a number of citizen science projects for the past two years. One invention, a remote-control robot capable of detecting and quantifying microplastics in the ocean, was produced over a space of 12 sessions after school. It won a gold award from Dr Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Institute for the best school project with an environmental and humanitarian impact.

 

Creating Hong Kong makers

The rapid one-week workshops for THS students at MakerBay will be intense. The process starts with research and design and moves on to prototyping and final product development all in the space of a week. Apart from coping with a steep learning curve, students are also required to constantly document the projects’ progress.  

 

“The students come in at the beginning of the week with sketches on scraps of paper but by the end of the week, you will see results.” said Mr Jung-Harada.  

 

“We are asking questions such as, can we invent the future of mobility with renewable energy? Or, can we help the mobility of the aging population by transforming very standard wheelchairs into cool, electric vehicles?”

 

 

“I created MakerBay so that students, entreprenuers, inventors … everyone, in space-constrained Hong Kong, can have a mega-space to collaborate and work with wood, metal, chemistry, a bit of biology, a bit of optics...basically, you can build pretty much everything here.”

 

Students will have full use of MakerBay resources including 3D printing, laser cutting, wood and metal work machines, drones, design software and other equipment. As well as Mr Jung-Harada, THS students will also be able to tap into the creative energy of other inventors and entrepreneurs based at MakerBay.


 

END

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

  1. For THS, Carolyn Campbell: 94737878; info@ths.edu.hk

  2. For MakerBay, Maggie Lin: 97324572; info@makerbay.org

 

 

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