To help local high school students make the most of their summer break, the University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Health Science (FHS) organised the fifth and the sixth of its science popularisation activity “The Pursuit of Research” for over 70 students and teachers from 11 local secondary schools on the occasion of its tenth anniversary. The activity provided an opportunity for students to visit the core facilities of FHS and conduct a series of hands-on experiments, with the aim of enhancing their interest in health sciences and inspiring them to pursue their dreams in science.
FHS Assistant Professor Wakam CHANG and UM Macao Fellow Chon Lok LEI warmly welcomed the students and teachers from Macau Baptist College, Fong Chong School of Taipa, Yuet Wah College, Kao Yip Middle School, Colégio Mateus Ricci, Hou Kong Middle School, Sacred Heart Canossian College, Choi Nong Chi Tai School, Xin Hua School and Lou Hau High School. They introduced the academic and research achievements of FHS over the past decade and its structure and academic programmes. Prof. Chang and Dr. Lei encouraged the students to enjoy the activity, learn more about university research, and experience the fun of research.
Led by Senior Instructor Li WANG and Research Assistant Professor Heng SUN, the students and teachers visited the core facilities of FHS and learned about the research outcomes of UM in the areas such as precision oncology, stem cells and development, and aging and related diseases. Students were also guided to conduct a series of experiments related to biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences and bioinformatics to learn about the scientific theories and acquire experimental skills.
Fong Chi Ieng, a form 5 student at Sacred Heart Canossian College, appreciated FHS for choreographing the experiments of health sciences for high school students, allowing her to conduct experiments from scratch, and rejoice at the success of the experiments at the end. She pointed out that the FHS members gave her clear instructions, and reminded her not to allow the tip of the pipette to come into contact with anything else except the bacterial culture to ensure proper asepsis. From which, she realised that researchers must be strict, serious and conscientious towards their research work.
Chi Long UN, a form 4 student at Kao Yip Middle School, is interested in biomedical sciences. Upon the recommendation of his school, he is delighted to join this activity in which he can conduct experiments related to biomedical sciences. It was also his first exposure to bioinformatics. He only came to learn that bioinformatics is a multidisciplinary area of scientific study, that makes use of the computing knowledge for processing and analysing biological data, which was new to him.
Mei Kam IAO, a form 5 student at Hou Kong Middle School, said that she is glad to gain more scientific knowledge outside the classroom during the summer break. She believes that an early exposure to university research would help her decide the direction of her studies. “What surprises me most during the visit to the Animal Research Core of FHS are the various types of mice. There are grey, black and yellow mice aside from white and some mice are even hairless. The small mice are much bigger than I expect,” she said. According to her, conducting an experiment by herself was both challenging and interesting. She looks forward to participating in more university experiments in the future.
FHS has been actively promoting science education to secondary school students for the past decade, aiming to raise their awareness of science and improve their scientific literacy. FHS regularly organises various science popularisation activities, including science talks, the Health Sciences Summer Camp, and a one-day camp for students in the Principals’ Recommended Admission Scheme. These activities align with the philosophy of FHS in these 10 years to pursue the sustainable development of scientific research and promote a close integration of science popularisation and education.