Hong Kong students design sustainable solutions for their schools

CNEC Lee I Yao Memorial Secondary School​​​​​​​ placed homemade sustainable landscape and planting works at the fish pond and the greenhouse inside the school for decoration and educational purposes. (Image from Arup)

Students in Hong Kong have been giving their creative input on the ‘sustainable’ future of their schools through an innovative local and national partnership.

Seven schools joined forces with La Violet Education (LVE) and global architectural firm Arup for the ‘Sustainable School Explorer’ programme, to show how students’ innovative thinking can bring about positive change.

Designer and engineers from Arup, which has a strong track record of designing innovative educational buildings, worked closely with LVE, as well as teachers and principals, to engage more than 100 secondary students in identifying what are described as their schools’ ‘pain points’, and then coming up with workable, sustainable solutions.

Renewable energy, water conservation, waste reduction and recycling were among the themes explored, and ideas put forward included an ‘energy room’ which uses a homemade electricity-generating bike to produce cool air for the classroom, and a smart paper towel holder that tracks individual paper towel consumption to encourage less usage.

A closing ceremony has recently been held for the Sustainable School Explorer programme, which launched in December last year with the aim encouraging young people to transform their campuses into testing grounds for learning and experimenting innovative ideas to make their schools more sustainable.

Andy Lee, Chair of Arup East Asia Region, said: “We believe in the importance of nurturing our future leaders and sowing the seeds of innovation. We strive to bring the education and industry closer together by providing unique STEM learning experiences to local youths. Through the programme, the students are empowered to turn their ideas into action, delivering tangible results that can be enjoyed for years to come. This is also the beauty of design and engineering which transforms aspirations into reality and leaves a lasting impact on society. ”

Kit Wong, Founder of La Violet Education, said: “We’re pleased to collaborate with Arup for this special educational programme where students learnt from and interacted with professional engineers and designers who volunteered in the activities. We truly hope the students can be inspired to take the first step in their continued journey of a sustainable explorer.”

Author: Simon Weedy

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