A map of out-of-school STEM activities held in Hong Kong between June 2015 and May 2016.

Geektropolis: science learning outside the Hong Kong classroom

24 February 2017

A study published in February by the Croucher Foundation identified over a thousand STEM activities including courses, workshops and exhibitions available to Hong Kong school students over a twelve-month period. The study excluded tutorials and exam-orientated courses and focused instead on activities designed to encourage an interest in science.

Professor Tak Wah Mak, Chairman of the Croucher Foundation said, “We hope that this mapping document will be useful to students, parents and teachers as they plan extracurricular activities, and that in the longer term it will inspire more young people to follow their intellectual inclinations, and to try out curiosity-driven science.”

To compile a digital map of the STEM learning ecosystem in Hong Kong, the Croucher Foundation contacted over a hundred local organisations. “We discovered a vibrant community of people involved in running activities in Hong Kong, but without much coordination,” Professor Mak said. “Our next step is to find a way to link this community together, so that people can share ideas and resources more easily.”

This is the first study to focus on the out-of-school ecosystem for science learning in Hong Kong. The Croucher Foundation will update its mapping document so that, over time, users will see a picture of the evolving landscape. “One distinctive feature of science learning in Hong Kong is the number of activities taking place in the country parks, wetland areas and at Mai Po Nature Reserve,” Professor Mak said. “To engage in science is an adventure; from this landscape will emerge the future science leaders of Hong Kong.”

In the 2017 Policy address, the Hong Kong government underlined its commitment to promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in Hong Kong. “From a policy perspective, our mapping document shows what is available outside the classroom,” Professor Mak said. “It is only one piece of the jigsaw, but a useful piece we hope.”

To download the report and digital maps, please click here.