The University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Health and Sciences (FHS) has recently held a one-day camp for 19 secondary school students who have applied for the admissions to the FHS’ bachelor programmes under the “Principal’s Recommendation Admission Scheme”. In addition to the guided tours of research laboratories and meeting with the professors, the students also experienced hands-on research by conducting experiments related to health sciences with the aid of the advanced equipment.
Led by FHS Chair Professor and Department Head of Department of Biomedical Sciences Hanming SHEN, Associate Professor Terence Chuen Wai POON and Assistant Professor Wakam CHANG, the students visited the core facilities of FHS and interacted with the professors to learn more about FHS. Under the guidance of the FHS technicians and students, the participants conducted a series of experiments related to biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, and bioinformatics to understand the scientific theories and master the experimental skills.
Ian Ieong LEONG from Yuet Wah College said that the camp was fruitful, in which he was most impressed with the last step of the experiment of bioinformatics. Through the simulated experiment, he obtained the gene sequence of an organism and compared the data to find out the species of the organism. Although he realised that the letters “ATCG” showed on the screen represented nitrogenous bases of DNA, he could hardly identify the organism with the naked eye, and finally he used the software to compare with the published data in the database. He was amazed to find that the software deciphered the gene in just a few minutes. He then realised the importance of a computer programming in data interpretation and analysis.
Alfaro Hanna Rose BELZA, a student from Saint John De Brito School, has long been interested in biomedical science due to the influence of her parents who are medical professionals. Her interest drives her to choose biomedical science for her undergraduate studies. She affirmed her choice after her participation in this camp. She hoped that she could develop effective therapies for major human diseases through scientific research, contributing to the health of mankind in the future.
Ieok Lam CHOI from Sacred Heart Canossian College (Chinese Section) has been interested in pharmaceutical science since she was a child. She said that the camp provided her with a prior experience of university research, and deepened her understanding of FHS. According to Ieok Lam CHOI, the state-of-art equipment in the Animal Research Core was indeed an eye-opener to her. Her experience in conducing the experiments taught her that researchers should be bold and meticulous in jumping over scientific hurdles.
The one-day camp for students under “Principals’ Recommended Admission Scheme” combined with experiments, lab visit, and activities for teacher-and-student interaction, allowing participants to experience university life, and igniting their enthusiasm for science.