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PolyU to pick the gifted through Science and Mathematics competitions 2010/09/30

With a view to enriching the Student Learning Profile of New Senior Secondary (NSS) students, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) will launch Secondary School Mathematics and Science Competition (SSMSC). This large-scale event is expected to benefit at least 3,500 NSS students.

Professor Walter W. Yuen, Vice President (Academic Development), said the competition aims at promoting students' interests in Mathematics and Science, and fostering the habits of broadened learning and reading. It also helps to enhance their generic skills of creativity, problem solving, communication and collaboration. The competition will be divided into four subject areas, namely Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

To provide timely feedbacks, each participating student and their schools will be given assessment reports on their performances. This arrangement will help students and teachers to better understand their capabilities, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of teaching and learning.

The competition is open to all current Secondary Five students. Outstanding junior students may also enter the event regardless of their current level of study through school nominations. Each school can nominate up to three teams, each comprising three students, to take part in the competition. PolyU will automatically accept the first team for each subject nominated by each school. If more teams are joining, preferences will be given to the early birds. A maximum of 1,000 teams is allowed for the competition in Mathematics and 750 teams for other subjects. It is free of charge and is open for application until 31 December 2010.

The competitions will be conducted in two rounds. The first round will be held in the end of April 2011 in paper and pencil format of Multiple Choice and Short Answer questions. Time allowed for each subject is one hour and fifteen minutes, and the results will be announced by the end of May. The aggregate score of each team will be taken as the qualifying score for admission to the final round of the competitions to be held in June 2011.

Outstanding competitors will be given a three-day intensive training programme at PolyU in preparation for the ultimate challenge. The top two percent of contestants (based on their teams’ performance in the first round) will be invited to enter the final round and join free summer gifted programmes offered by PolyU. Upon completion of the programmes, each participating student would be granted academic credits. 

Earlier this year, four gifted programmes in English Language, Applied Social Sciences, Mechanical Engineering and Electronic Engineering have been launched and they are progressing well with the first round completed. A total of four gifted programmes in Science and Mathematics will be introduced later this year and the finalists are entitled to join these programmes. Together with programmes in English Language and Applied Social Sciences, six free programmes will be offered to local gifted students.

In addition, students who have attained excellent results in local and international competitions are invited to join PolyU's "High Achievers Club" (HAC). Presently, we offer memberships free of charge to outstanding performers in Mathematics. High achievers in well recognized competitions such as International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO), Hong Kong Mathematics Olympiad (HKMO), World Youth Mathematics Intercity Competition (WYMIC), International Mathematics Tournament of the Towns (IMTT), Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC), Joint Primary School Mathematics Competition (JPSMC) hosted by PolyU, may apply for HAC membership. Club members are entitled to join gifted programmes offered by PolyU. The scheme will be extended to other subjects such as Science, English Language.

Local and overseas experts have been invited to serve as advisors of the competition. Among them include Professor Peter Taylor, Executive Director of Australia Mathematics Trust which runs the largest international mathematics competition, the Australian Mathematics Competition. Renowned mathematics educator and publisher Dr SUEN Wen-xian from Taiwan has also agreed to serve as Advisor.

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