The team from St Joseph’s College was named the overall champion of the 51st Joint School Science Exhibition at an awards ceremony held at the Hong Kong Central Library on Monday, August 27. Their project “Formaldehyde – No More!” explored a new way of filtering out the harmful organic compound formaldehyde from household air using a carbohydrate synthesised from crustacean shells.
Homantin Government Secondary School was the 1st runner-up, with their intelligent phone case that warns users about their surroundings. Salesian English School won the Most Popular Booth category with an app that lets users monitor their energy consumption.
Benjamin Chan, 17, of the winning team from St Joseph’s College, said they were motivated to solve two problems at once with their project. “We found a way to reduce indoor formaldehyde levels by reprocessing crustacean shells (e.g. shrimps, lobsters, crabs), which helps to alleviate Hong Kong’s food waste problem while improving air quality at the same time.”
In addition to increasing their scientific knowledge, participants also learned about the importance of teamwork and presentation skills. Irek Hsu, 17, from Salesian English School, said their team won the Most Popular Booth award because of the complete trust they had in each other. He added, “We came up with different presentation strategies for different people. If we saw they had more scientific knowledge, we adjusted our explanation to be more in-depth and technical.”
The Joint School Science Exhibition is an annual fair held in Hong Kong that showcases science projects from secondary school students around the world. The theme for this year was “Reflection” and encouraged participants to use science to solve the health, safety, and environmental problems that modern society’s obsession with technology has caused.
More than 30 schools participated in this year’s event, including teams from China, South Korea, India and the United Kingdom.