In Focus - Issue 35 (Spring 2023)

09 IN FOCUS Inspiring human-centered creativity A partnership between the School of Engineering’s Division of Integrative Systems and Design (ISD) and the business community is successfully fostering students’ empathetic design, systems thinking, and human-centered products through an enterprising scholarship award scheme. The Chinachem PrimeMovership scholarships support ISD undergraduates and postgraduates with high achievements in innovative technology design and entrepreneurial potential. One awardee is postgraduate Iain LAM, who has founded Sallux Education, a center that uses technology to help academically challenged students in primary and secondary schools. An endeavor born out of Iain’s own struggles with dyslexia and attention de cit hyperactivity disorder, his creative approach has improved the learning experience of such students by gamifying the process. With the help of headsets, students can become fully engaged in an immersive virtual learning environment, enabling them to focus on lectures and complete tasks in a non-distracting environment. Scholarships also went to an undergraduate team for a project centered on a social robotic pet, which o ers wellness support to isolated students. The palm-sized digital pet provides interaction and companionship to users with sound and visual feedback, and an emotional assessment to raise users’ awareness of their mental health. Prof. Winnie LEUNG, ISD, said: “Our ultimate goal is to nurture a new generation of innovators who can work across multiple disciplines and create disruptive innovations to solve the world’s great challenges.” Robots build engineering interest In a boost for science and technology know-how and enthusiasm among young learners, members of the School of Engineering helped the University organize the First Robot Explorer Cup competition in summer , attracting over students from primary and secondary schools and their teachers. The contest formed part of a hands-on HKUST science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program, launched in December , whereby school students could learn about programming and D printing, and build their own robots through online workshops and a bootcamp. The winning team came from TWGHs Yau Tze Tin Memorial College, with Pui Tak Canossian College as rst runner-up. Lok Sin Tong Lau Tak Primary School was named second runner-up, and also received the Best Team Spirit Award. St. Margaret’s Co-educational English Secondary and Primary School won the Best Engineering Award. The competition was funded by Bank of China (Hong Kong). Immersive learning for academically challenged students, and (right) a social robotic pet. Young learners discover how robots work by putting together their own.