With all-round development an integral part of a HKUST education, School of Engineering (SENG) students are encouraged to take part in a variety of activities outside the regular curriculum, including competitions. Such contests are important as they enable students to apply what they learn at HKUST, encourage independent thought and widen their perspectives by associating with peers in other local and overseas institutions.
The annual inter-institutional Robocon Hong Kong Contest provides students with real experience of a challenging project, including cooperating with others, problem- solving and time management. Each year at the start of the Fall semester, students who are interested in robotics are drawn to participate in the Robocon Team of the School. They are trained and coached by experienced team members through a series of tutorial classes. This tradition of old members teaching new ones not only helps the new students but also the old students on team management skills and personal development. In Spring semester, students are enrolled in the credit-bearing Engineering Special Project course, run by SENG professors, to further enhance their skills in robotics before they take part in the competition in June.
This year, the numbers of students signing up have shown a major increase and now encompass all SENG departments and the School of Science, an indication of the enthusiasm for robotics at HKUST and the benefits that participating in such contests can bring. To give students a taste of the competition and gain hands-on experience, an internal contest was held in November in the Atrium on campus. The event also captured the attention of other HKUST students and increased their interest in how to build robots.