With their thorough understanding of the competition topic and outstanding presentation techniques, three Year 3 students of the Department of Chemistry, Liu Wei, Zhao Danyue and Ng Tak-mei, won the first runner-up prize in the recent Hong Kong Chemistry Olympiad organised by the Hong Kong Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The theme for this year's competition was "Chemistry for Good Health". Teams from six tertiary institutions had to work out the best solutions to given some chemistry problems and participate in a 20-minute presentation and Q&A session on an optional topic - pharmaceuticals, diagnostics or functional food. The HKBU team chose to elaborate on the contribution of chemistry to curing cancer through three diagnostic methods: Iron nanoparticles, fluorescent Lanthanide complex and green fluorescent protein.
Zhao Danyue said: "The great challenge for us is that we were given the topic just 50 hours before the competition. After that, we had to decide which topic to present, what content to be included and how to organise and analyse a large volume of materials." She said the contest allowed them to gain not just academic knowledge. More importantly, she found that there were indeed no barriers between Mainlanders and Hong Kong people, and that she had made friends with local students through the competition.
Liu Wei acknowledged the guidance of Dr. Hu Di and Dr. Karen Mak, Lecturers I of Chemistry, and the support of the team, which comprised Chemistry students from all years. He also thanked Dr. Li Hung-wing and Dr. Edmond Ma, Assistant Professors of Chemistry, for the sound advice they provided throughout the competition.