A total of roughly 80 rounds of dinner gatherings were organized for 258 freshmen from HKUST's School of Science (SSCI). Entitled "Gwing Gwing Dinner Gathering" and involving freshmen in each round of gathering, SSCI hosted this gathering for the first time to allow its faculty or staff members and freshmen to get to know each other better, on an individual basis.
The dinners provided an excellent occasion for mutual exchanges among students, faculties and staff members of SSCI. While students were briefed on the School’s development plan, resources and aids available, they were encouraged to communicate their expectations and their needs and concerns on the many different aspects of life on the campus.
While the occasion has amply fulfilled the planned objectives of the dinners, SSCI’s faculty members were pleasantly surprised by the diverse abilities and talents incidentally uncovered through casual chitchats. Amidst this group of new arrivals at HKUST, all booming scientists from Hong Kong, Mainland China and overseas, one was found to be representing Hong Kong as a member of Hong Kong’s Table Tennis Team — there is also a magician, a designing artist, a pianist, a gymnasium coach and finally, a go champion!
The word Gwing originates from the Chinese word「冏」which has recently emerged to become one of the most heated jargons among Hong Kong youngsters. Gwing as an ancient Chinese word means "big", "bright" and "fine fairness". The word epitomizes the expectations SSCI holds for its students — that they will enjoy unlimited access to prosperity and happiness in future.
A Mission in Need is a Mission Indeed
A culture that the School of Science is working hard to cultivate among students is the humanitarian concern. Half a year after the eruption of the tumultuous Sichuan earthquake, the School led a student delegation to the earthquake stricken areas in Sichuan to bring warmth, friendship and material aids to the earthquake victims.
In June 2009, a delegation comprising more than 40 students and faculty members from the School embarked on an education project in Shifan, one of the worst affected areas in Sichuan. Through conducting lessons in science and mathematics and engaging primary school students in interesting quizzes and experiments, our volunteers had turned hard-to-understand scientific and mathematical theories and concepts into something reachable and interesting.
The delegation has accomplished a mission impossible. Apart from spreading among people in less developed regions the values and skills involved in science education, HKUST volunteering teachers had helped channel joy and happiness to the stress-trodden kids, providing them with needed temporary reliefs from their disturbing experiences.
The mission was also an eye opener for members of the delegation. Our students learnt to see for themselves the mode of life and production patterns of a farming community. Through observations, discussions, reviews and refiections, the mission would hopefully instill among students the spirit for human and community concerns as well as a caring attitude for the needy and underprivileged.