For the 60 summer camp participants, who have travelled hundred or even thousand miles from home to come to City University of Hong Kong and spent 5 weeks here, mingled with some local students of Department of Electronic Engineering, to learn about mini robotic building and motion control programming as well as to feel the vibrancy of this international metropolis, where blends western and eastern cultures, the hardest thing is to say goodbye, no matter in which language, in its closing ceremony held on 31 July 2017.
Though their fellow students, whose mother tongues are not quite the same – possibly French, Korean, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Mandarin or Czech, mutual understanding and friendship grows after almost seeing each other almost every day for an entire month. Participants of CityU EE International Summer Camp are undergraduates sent off from 5 partner universities, and so each student group is diversified in terms of nationality. Students came together to design, build and programme their mini robotic cars with blue-tooth control in groups, conduct oral presentations, introduce to each other the language that they know, attend lectures and guest talks, and not to mention to tour around Hong Kong during weekends and have some midnight chats in the dormitory.
This summer it was sprinkled with something additional, making it even more energetic and lively than its previous cohorts. 20 local high-school students, who are keen in learning science, computing and engineering, got nominated by their school teachers to participate in a two-week taster programme, which was in parallel with the second part of the CityU EE International Summer camp. They joined in some training workshops and were invited to hold one of the language exchange sessions to introduce Cantonese to overseas students. The most exciting part was to compete with other groups’ mini robotic cars in the final competition. With additional coaching offered by CityU EE students, having a taste of how engineering undergraduates learn and how campus life is like in university could possibly be a life-changing experience for those who are about to enter university and select their major studies.
Learning becomes extraordinarily fun when it is embedded in an overseas vacation. However, among students sometimes the atmosphere was tense, especially when counting down the days towards the end of the programme. In the morning of the last day, all students were engaged in car-to-car combats, which were unavoidably fierce. On one side of the venue where the knockout tournament took place, they needed to prove the quality of motor control and precision of calculation by having their cars to drive through a narrow and zigzag bridge within time limit; on the other side, every four cars, whose order had been randomly picked, were placed within a square zone to kick out competitors and carry out specific tasks. Like all competitions, on-site performance, luck and preparation are equally important. Sometimes surprises come out of nowhere. At the end champion was born in a round of cheers and claps.
Time flies. It was time to say goodbye. The closing and farewell party was a casual yet heart-warming one held in the afternoon. It was the last occasion for everyone to gather before taking their departing flights for home. Professors, company sponsor representatives, high-school students and teachers, local and overseas undergraduates arrived to witness and celebrate participants’ achievements. More importantly, blessings in professors and students’ farewell speeches were delivered and many smiling faces were captured by selfies and group photos. This hot summer in Hong Kong would always be a good memory in those young hearts.
|Over 100 people gathered for a closing and farewell party|
|Students from Czech Republic and local secondary schools|
|Mini Robotic Car Competition held in the morning|