28 Nov, 2023
17 : 00
To promote young students' understanding of developments at the forefront of deep-sea exploration, YCYW hosted a lecture "Explore the Unexplored" at YCIS Hong Kong on 28 November. Dr Wu Xin, Director of HADALX, and Professor Qiu Jianwen, Associate Head of the Department of Biology at Hong Kong Baptist University, were the guest speakers. Students from various institutions in Hong Kong, as well as YCYW teachers and students, and other guests embarked on a journey of deep-sea exploration.
The two speakers come from different professional fields. Dr Wu is a civil and marine engineer, an urban planning designer, and a senior member of the China Association for Scientific Expedition. He has travelled extensively around the world. In 2015, Dr Wu founded the HADALX club, which is dedicated to conducting scientific research and exploring the unknown world of the deep sea through innovative scientific techniques and engineering. His goal is to promote public awareness of the ocean and provide marine science education for young people.
On the other hand, Professor Qiu is a biology expert. He has discovered 17 new species in just ten years. When numerous fireworms appeared on a Hong Kong beach in 2018, he led a research team to identify the species, and discovered and named a new species. In 2021-2022, Professor Qiu and his team published about four new species of sun coral, demonstrating the high biodiversity of corals in Chinese waters.
After exploring the deep-sea, Professor Qiu introduced discoveries of marine species. For almost 20 years, Professor Qiu and his research team have dedicated themselves to protecting marine biodiversity. He discussed the new species that they have discovered in the deep waters of the South China Sea and the shallow waters of Hong Kong, such as rare beard worms without a mouth or a digestive tract, Catillopecten margaritatus, and new species of box jellyfish. He also elaborated on the research team's in-depth studies regarding the population connection and conservation values associated with these newly discovered species.
The Q&A session after a seminar is always very popular, and the students showed great curiosity and interest. Their questions covered a wide range of topics, including hot topics in marine science, future career opportunities, the technology for mapping deep-sea terrain, and biodiversity conservation. Dr Wu and Professor Qiu both noted that our understanding of the deep sea is still very limited. There are many unknown species yet to be discovered, and numerous disciplines can be applied to ocean exploration. Dr Wu and Professor Qiu strongly encouraged the students to pay close attention to the oceans, as well as the development of marine science and technology, and to consider exploring the oceans in the future.
Dr Esther Chan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of YCYW, delivered a speech after the lecture. She expressed her gratitude to Dr Wu and Professor Qiu for sharing their expertise about deep-sea exploration and marine species, thereby enriching our understanding of various scientific fields and sparking everyone's curiosity. "This year, we have established a new programme called the 'The Seeds for the Future'. Here, we are dedicated to collaborating with institutions around the world, just like HADALX and Hong Kong Baptist University, to enrich our school curriculum, as well as develop super-curricular programmes that extends our students learning beyond the classroom."
As early as 2018, HADALX and YCYW formed an inseparable bond. At that time, students from the Lin-gang campus visited Shen Kuo, HADALX's research vessel, to explore the marine trials and scientific expeditions of the Marianna Trench in 2018, immersing themselves into the world of deep-sea exploration. Later, the school collaborated with HADALX to offer STEAM courses, which helped students interested in marine technology to learn about the history of human exploration of the oceans.
From 30 November to 3 December 2023, with the support of the Innovation, Technology, and Industry Bureau, the Government of the Hong Kong SAR of the People's Republic of China, and Harbour City Estates Limited, the organiser, Hua Xia Foundation and the co-organiser B & P Foundation Limited, will host the "HADALX Shen Kuo Research Vessel Deep Sea Expedition Open Day & Exhibition". YCYW is one of the event's supporting organisations.
This is the first time that the Shen Kuo Research Vessel has docked in Hong Kong; demonstrated the HADALX Manned Submersible, the model of Rainbowfish - HADALX HOV6000 6,000-metre Manned Submersible to the public; and offered a sea cruise. The organisers hope to immerse the public in the captivating world of marine science and stimulate their interest in this field. These activities will provide a comprehensive perspective on the development process and achievements of the popularisation of marine science in China.