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Go Up, Stay High! Science Design Competition
( 沖上雲霄設計比賽 )


Date: 22 May 2003
Time: 2:30-6:00 p.m.
Venue: SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
Address: Wo Che Estate, Shatin

2:15 p.m.
Arrival of students and registration for guests
2:30 p.m. Welcome speech by Dr. Allan Yuen
2:35 a.m. Showcase for demonstrating the result of the semi-final competitions
2:45 a.m. Competition
5:15 p.m. Competition finished
Preparation for Award Ceremony
5:30 p.m.
Presentation of awards & address by Guest of Honour
5:55 p.m. Wrapping-up
6:00 p.m. Closing

Limited seats are reserved for public who is interested in the competition. To reserve seats, please e-mail knowledge.building@cite.hku.hk

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Instruction to Students

Co-organized by:

The Centre for Information Technology for Education (CITE), the University of Hong Kong
The Education and Manpower Bureau
The HK Edcity

The Centre for Information Technology for Education (CITE), the University of Hong Kong The Education and Manpower Bureau The HK Edcity

Sponsored by:

Oxford University Press
Aristo Educational Press Ltd
EagleTec (Asia) Ltd

Oxford University Press Aristo Educational Press Ltd EagleTec (Asia) Ltd

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What goes up must come down - so the saying goes. Your mission is to design a system whereby you can launch a device to go up into the air, stay there as long as possible before touching ground again. The device that can stay in the air for the longest duration would be the winner.

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    The flight device and launcher

  1. The maximum weight of the flight device at launch cannot be heavier than 0.3 kg.
  2. The density of the device must be greater than air.
  3. The minimum height reached by the device must be at least 1 metre above the launcher and the maximum height reached must not exceed 7 metres.
  4. All parts of the device must touch down within a circle of 2.5 meters from the launch location.
  5. The maximum height of the launcher must not exceed 1 metre.
  6. As a safety precaution, each team must attach a 7.38-metre light string to the device before launch to constrain it. A string and a hook will be given to each team in advance for use in constraining the device at the competition.
  7. Except for the string provided by the organizers, no other constraints or guiding mechanism can be attached to the flight device.
  8. The materials used to build the system, including the device and the launcher, should not exceed HKD $100. Keep all receipts for materials that you have purchased.
  9. All energy imparted to the device must be made through mechanical means. No chemical explosives or electrical components are permitted. No throwing of devices is allowed. There cannot be direct contact of the hand on the device at launch.
  10. Violation of any of the above regulations will lead to disqualification of the entry.

  11. The flight competition

  12. Each device will undergo a safety check and the judges have the right to disqualify any system that is deemed unsafe. If you are not sure if your system will pass the safety inspection, contact your teachers or judges in advance.
  13. As soon as your device leaves the launcher (not the moment you trigger the launching machine) the judge will start the stopwatch, and will stop the watch when the largest part of the device touches the ground. You will not be disqualified if small parts of the device come off and land inside the landing zone, but it will be at the judge's discretion to decide which is the largest part of the device.
  14. There will be up to two trials in which to attempt the longest flight duration. Each group will take turn to launch their device and the judges will time your flight. The longest time duration achieved among the attempted flights will be taken as the flight time for the entry.
  15. The design of the launcher and the device must be the same in the two trials. Groups may prepare back-ups, but back-ups should be identical to the original device. The groups which apply any back-up device would not be considered for the most consistent flight prize.
  16. In the event that the flight times for two or more entries are the same, then the device with the heaviest weight on return to ground will be the winner.
  17. Students can only improve on the design of launcher and device after the semi-final competition, but not to alter the basic design.
  18. The judges' decision is final.

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Discussions and weekly reflection journals on the design and fabrication issues in KF

It is an important goal for this competition to encourage students to exercise their creativity in applying what they learn to solve difficult practical technological challenges. It has been found that important advances in science and technology have always been made through collaborative efforts where even competing teams will benefit from discussing and learning from each other during the process of creative problem solving. You will brainstorm and discuss the working principles, rationale and design of your system on the Knowledge Forum (KF). You are encouraged to also read the notes written by other students from different schools in helping you improve your design. You are also encouraged to contribute to other groups' efforts by building on and responding to others' notes. We learn not only through being given answers, but also from being asked questions.

To help you plan and manage your group's progress in preparing for the competition, you are given a list of topics for you to work through from now until the final championship competition (see section on problem of the week below). In addition to the free discussion activities, you are asked to complete the following structured tasks in KF to help you to advance your knowledge building process as you engage in the competition process:

  • As a group - each group should
    • Build a rise-above note at the end of each week to summarize the main issues the group had attempted during that week, what have learnt and what are the main difficulties (if any) that the group need to overcome in advancing to the next stage of the work.
    • Just before the semi-final competition, write up a note to identify the notes (minimum three notes) that the group has found to have contributed most to their design and fabrication task and explain how these notes actually helped them.

  • As an individual, each student should
    • Keep a reflection diary. At least one journal entry must be contributed each week to identify what you personally think is the most significant learning and how that learning actually comes about.

Problem of the week
A list of six themes have been identified as "problems of the week" to be introduced to the students sequentially during the competition period to help them to focus their discussion and to work towards their final design.

List of "problem of the week" for the KF discussion
Week 1 Launching mechanisms and launching principles
Week 2 What determines the time taken for an object to reach the top of its flight? What determines the time for an object to fall to the ground?
Week 3 How can one ensure that the object will fall back to the same location?
Week 4 Design rocket and launcher to maximize the height
Week 5 Design features of the rocket to maximize the fall time
Week 6 Fabricate the model during the Easter holiday period

Semi-finals and the Final Championship Competition

Each team will build the actual flight system (both device and launcher) to participate in the semi-finals competition to be held within their own school on a class basis. Each team must provide a description of their system design in a rise-above note no later than April 12. Any group that fails to submit their system design will be disqualified from the competition. The rules and regulations for the competition as listed above apply to both the final and the semi-finals. The two devices with the two longest flight times in each semi-final competition will take part in the final championship competition. The semi-finalists will have an opportunity to further improve their inventions with the support of their fellow classmates. The discussions on further theory refinement and product improvement will be done on KF.

Polling on the Best Design Entry
Each finalist team will have to produce a rise-above note on the design features of the system they build for their final competition, with drawings and text illustration where appropriate to describe the main improvements made on the system they used in their semi-final competition. This rise-above note must be submitted to the "Polling" view latest by April 28. All students will then have an opportunity to review all finalist designs and notes for the system they think will have the best chance of being the champion in the final competition and clearly state the rationale of that anticipation on KF. Each student can only vote for one system, and polling ends by mid-night of May 3. In order to encourage students to help each other to work on improving ideas, there will be different awards for outstanding performance in the knowledge building process as well as for the winning entries in the final competition.

Official FAQs site
Students will be briefed by their teachers about the regulations and details for the competition and there will not be any information session held by the Organizers for the students. Instead, students will be encouraged to visit the view titled "Official FAQs Site" to find out more details about the regulations and safety measures for the competition and to use this site to ask the organizers for advice in case of ambiguities.

We will start a new database for the competition-related discussion on KF and the server entry of the new database is cite-kf.cite.hku.hk:40040. Please update the server address on the KF client in your machine accordingly. For the update procedure, please make reference to the installation guide already given to you. The username and password for KF are the same as before. In case you have any technical questions, please e-mail

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Before March 1 Pre-test on misconceptions
March –12 April Discussion on KF
13-16 April Semi-final competitions
16-17 April Result announcement of semi-final competitions, Post-test 1 on misconceptions
17-25 April Discussion on KF for theories refinement and devices improvement
26-28 April
Finalize product design and post rise-above note and drawing
29 April-3May Polling on the best design entry
8 May Final competition
10-14 May Submit final reflection journal and / or report, post-test 2 on misconceptions

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   Quality Education Fund (QEF), Research Grants Council (RGC) & University Grants Committee (UGC) 
CITE, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
E-mail: lcp @cite.hku.hk Tel: (852) 28578540 / 22415325 Fax: (852) 25177194
© 2004 Centre for Information Technology in Education, The University of Hong Kong. All rights reserved.