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PolyU CubeSat Mission enhances secondary school students’ STEAM skills

12 May 2023

Events Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering

The Award Presentation and Closing Ceremony was held in PolyU and joint by secondary school principals, teachers and participating students. The champion team presented their winning project in the ceremony.

Prof. Chih-Yung Wen, Head of Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering and Chair Professor of Aeronautical Engineering, PolyU (1st from right) said the competition was an excellent opportunity for secondary school students to showcase their skills and creativity in a STEAM-based project. Also photographed was the champion team from St. Paul’s College.

Working closely with secondary schools in Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has been promoting science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) education. To further develop students’ STEAM skills, the University offers opportunities for them to participate in various research projects and activities.

PolyU has been deeply involved in space technology research and promoting space science education. The Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering (AAE) partnered with the Orion Astropreneur Space Academy (OASA) to launch the PolyU CubeSat Mission – Space Debris Removal competition. This was the first competition in Hong Kong with the theme of STEAM and space technology aiming to cultivate secondary school students’ interest in space science and technology research and development.

The competition attracted about 100 students from different secondary schools. To strengthen students' understanding of CubeSats (microsatellites) and the functionalities of satellites, space science principles and their practical applications, PolyU and OASA provided three-month training programmes for them to learn about and design a CubeSat that can remove space debris. Participating students also had the opportunities to attend lectures and visit PolyU space science research laboratories and other facilities, including the Aerodynamics Laboratory, Aviation Engineering Laboratory and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory to enhance their knowledge and gain design inspiration. AAE doctoral students also joined the hands-on workshops hosted by OASA instructors to provide guidance and assistance to students to build and programme their CubeSats.

Following participating students’ hard work and dedication, the programme was concluded with a final presentation held in PolyU on April 29. The Judging Panel comprising PolyU scholars and OASA Global Council carefully discussed and selected the best performing teams.




St. Paul’s College

First Runners-up

Sha Tin College - Team 1

Second Runners-up

King’s College


Sha Tin College – Team 2


Maryknoll Convent School (Secondary Section)

The champion team from St. Paul’s College created a video that elaborated on their notion of launching a 6U* CubeSat into space, orbiting to locate debris and deploying 1U of the CubeSat and a graphene net to capture objects with the help of AI. Their meticulous design also proposed how the CubeSat would de-orbit and return to Earth while the debris burned up in the atmosphere.

Prof. Chih-Yung WEN, Head of Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering and Chair Professor of Aeronautical Engineering, PolyU said, “This competition was an excellent opportunity for secondary school students to showcase their incredible skills and incomparable creativity in a STEAM-based project. We were impressed by the students’ astonishingly high-level engineering ability and talents. AAE hopes that through this competition, more students will be motivated to engage in space-related research, including those on satellite. We see limitless potential in these students to become future youth scientists and look forward to having such talents in our research teams.”

Prof. Gregg LI, President and Executive Director of OASA, remarked, “All of the participants demonstrated excellent work and enthusiasm towards the need to understand the latest space technologies. We hope that this competition inspires students to pursue further education or careers in space science, technology and engineering, and become the next generation of astropreneurs and astronautical engineering experts.”

Apart from receiving internships opportunities and free student memberships provided by OASA, the winning teams will also be awarded grants by PolyU as an incentive to help promote STEAM education at their schools. Secondary schools are encouraged to nominate students who have participated in the competition to apply for admittance to PolyU through the School Principal’s Nominations and the School Nominations Direct Admission Scheme, which may enhance students’ chances of enrolling at the University.

*“U” stands for a unit for measuring the CubeSat’s size, with 1U being a cube with a length, width, and height of 10 cm.



Press Contacts

Ms Carrie Ho

Department of Aeronautical and Aviation Engineering

Press Contacts

Ms Hazel Cheng

Communications and Public Affairs Office

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