The Student Experience

Utilizing Our Campus as a Learning Laboratory

HKUST’s setting provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate real-world lessons by utilizing our campus as a “Learning Laboratory.” In the past year, different students went beyond the classroom to address real sustainability problems on campus.

Planting a New Orchard

What’s better than building a new HKUST orchard to get fresh fruits and enjoy the fun of gardening within the touch of nature? A group of EVMT students started their capstone project by reaching out to departments and gardening partners with the goals that the orchard should play an important role in campus community for providing fresh fruits, creating a resting, relaxing area, and a social and learning space for garden lovers.

In doing so, the students also learned more than they ever thought possible about horticulture and the importance of sustainable management. At the end of the project, an Orchard was built in May by a group of UST students and staff in LG7 grassland planting with seedlings of Papaya, Kumquat, Lemon, Guava and Pineapple. They also formed a new Gardening Club to recruit volunteers and garden enthusiasts nurturing the orchard and enjoying the harvests. The club now has over 80 members of staff and students and organized a number of planting events and workshop.

Applying Psychology to Promote Pro-environmental Behavior

Having passionate students on campus, why not have them contribute to campus sustainability by engaging their peers through the study?

Instead of theoretical learning, a new undergraduate course “Psychology of Environmental Sustainability” gathered students from different schools to work in groups, design and implement campaigns to promote behavior in addressing on-campus environmental issues by applying concepts in psychology of environmental sustainability. Six groups of students worked closely with staff from the canteen, library and ITSC to design their campaigns to promote less rice option; reduce excessive printing in the computer barns; and encourage recycling behaviors in the Refreshment Zone of Library.

The course was unique in turning our campus into a learning laboratory for students to apply their knowledge on real-campus issues, and by testing various psychological techniques and evaluating their effectiveness.

Design Thinking Workshop for Underutilized Space

The Sustainability Unit and MBA group Net Impact joined hands with NGO Pocket Parks Collective to hold a Sustainable Design Thinking Workshop on Earth Day focusing on designing underutilized space on campus. A group of UG and PG students attended the workshop to learn about the most innovative way to find creative solutions to real-world sustainability challenge through user research, empathy, ideation and prototyping of their ideas.

The innovative journey of students brought us a list of great ideas of how to redesign the open space of LSK Business Building as to engage the users connecting with natural environment.

Ocean Plastic Waste Awareness Campaign

The challenge of raising the awareness of Ocean Plastic Waste issue to our students is how to make them care and act on addressing the issue. The EVMT capstone project group has done a great job in designing and implementing their campaign of “Ocean Plastic Waste” to outreach to hundreds of UST students through surveys, focus group study, exhibition with games and pledges, and social media engagement.

They successfully linked the plastic waste issue to source of food and health, and what individuals can do to help. The group also developed a set of teaching kit for primary and secondary school teachers to hold the campaign in their own schools.