Samsung Officially Launches Solve for Tomorrow 2018 Calling All Students to Come Up with Innovative Solutions To Benefit over 45,000 Special Education Needs Students in Hong Kong

Jul 09. 2018

With the theme “Imaginations that Connect the World”, endless creativity and STREAM learning,

design a tool that helps out SEN students, their families and friends 

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Photo 1: (From left to right) Albert Wong, Chairman of Association of I.T. Leaders in Education; Paulona Cheung, Head of Marketing, Samsung Electronics H.K. Co. Ltd.; Andy Ho, Executive Director of Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups; and Ling Hung, Senior Development Manager, Hong Kong Education City, officiated the kick-off ceremony for Samsung Solve for Tomorrow 2018 to promote the brand new educational philosophy of “STREAM4CARE” through the competition.

Hong Kong – 9 July, 2018 – Samsung Electronics H.K. Co. Ltd. announced today the launch of the annual Solve for Tomorrow competition. Based on the theme “Imaginations that Connect the World”, the competition calls on the endless creativity of all students in Hong Kong. Inviting students to apply their knowledge of STREAM – Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics – to develop innovative tools that address the needs of students with Special Education Needs (SEN), the initiative strives to build a more inclusive community in Hong Kong.

“As a leading technology company dedicated to bringing innovative solutions to the market and a better future for all people, Samsung continues to contribute back to the society,” said Yiyin Zhao, Vice President and Head of IT and Mobile Communication Business for Samsung Electronics H.K. Co. Ltd. “In 2013, we introduced the meaningful Solve for Tomorrow competition to Hong Kong. Over the past years, the competition has inspired creativity as well as the passion for new technologies among tens of thousands of young people, who have in turn developed innovative solutions that address multiple social issues in Hong Kong. This year, we hope to once again assemble Hong Kong’s academia and create new opportunities for of the growing number of SEN students who face hardships in their everyday lives.”

“Many leading education professionals in Hong Kong have promoted the STREAM learning model, one that combines multi-disciplinary subjects, in past years,” she continued. “Samsung takes this further by promoting the educational philosophy of ‘STREAM4CARE’. We hope that all students can combine their knowledge and innovative ideas to actively contribute to society through real-life applications. Through this idea, we hope to cultivate thought leaders of tomorrow in Hong Kong and the rest of the world, equipping them with both technological knowledge and empathy for those in need.”  

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Photo 2: (From left to right) Helen Siu, Supervisor of Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and a registered social worker; Leung Chi Hung, Associate Professor, Department of Special Education and Counselling Co-Director of Integrated Centre for Wellbeing, The Education University of Hong Kong; Chu Tsz Wing, Educator; and Viola Lam, Founder of Find Solution AI Limited, shared their views and experiences on applying technology to help out SEN students with host Ryan Lau and the audience, with the vision to inspire teachers and students to think about the needs of SEN students from multiple perspectives.

Fostering Public Awareness for the Severe Problems Related to SEN Students

SEN has a broad definition with main categories including dyslexia, attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical disabilities and more. SEN students diagnosed with multiple learning difficulties are also prevalent. According to the data from the Census and Statistics Department and the Education Bureau, there are over 45,000 SEN students currently studying in mainstream primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong, which is 34% higher than the figure from five years ago (Table I) and is 1.6 times more than a decade ago (Table II). This means that of the 1,083 primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong, each institution averages nearly 42 SEN students. Coupled with an increasing number of confirmed cases each year, the difficulties faced by SEN students is increasingly severe.

SEN students differ from their peers in terms of learning, communication, social interaction, emotional management and in mundane situations. In addition to affecting the personal development of the SEN students, these differences can also have an adverse impact on families, caregivers, teachers, classmates and others. For example, students with dyslexia generally encounter difficulties with reading and writing, and their teachers may need to be more patient when guiding them; those with ADHD may find it hard to stay focused, this may lead to conflicts with their classmates because of misunderstanding; autistic students are less comfortable with communicating and interacting with others, and it be may be hard for them to understand the words and feelings of even their families.

Although it is impossible to change these symptoms, through understanding the characteristics and needs of SEN students, and providing the appropriate education, training, counselling and support for them, there are opportunities to improve their learning and social performance, ultimately helping to develop their full potential and contribute to the future together.

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Photo 3: Paulona Cheung, Head of Marketing, Samsung Electronics H.K. Co. Ltd, hopes that with their creativity and passion, students of Hong Kong can develop innovative tools that address the particular needs of SEN students and beyond.

Attractive Rewards to Encourage Full Support and Participation by Students

Organized by Samsung and co-organized by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Association of I.T. Leaders in Education and Hong Kong Education City, Solve for Tomorrow 2018 will be held from September to October 2018. All primary, secondary and college students from Hong Kong are welcomed to form teams and participate in the competition. Teams are encouraged to apply their knowledge in STREAM combined with their creativity to help alleviate the problems faced by SEN students. The competition is divided into three sectors – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary; the Primary sector features a “Creative Idea Award”, while a total of 30 winning teams from the Secondary and Tertiary sectors will be awarded as “Champion”, “1st runner up” or “2nd runner up”, or receive the “Merit Award” or “Creative Idea Award”, with the total value of cash prizes and product prizes exceeding HK$460,000. The competition will be open for application from 1 to 30 September 2018, while the designs by students must be submitted before 6pm on 31 October.

Furthermore, consultation workshops will be held for the first time ever for this year’s competition. Students will be able to consult professionals from the technology, education and social welfare industries at the workshops to receive advice on their semi-finished prototypes or designs, so that they can make further adjustment before they submit their works. Samsung hopes that this can help students to develop the potential of their concept, as well as design more innovative tools that meet the needs of SEN students and the people around them. The consultation workshops will be held in October and more details will be announced soon.

Please visit the below website to apply for or learn more details of Samsung Solve for Tomorrow 2018 – Imaginations that Connect the World: https://www.samsung.com/hk/offer/solvefortomorrow2018/

About Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is an annual competition that brings together the creativity and passion for new technologies of young people around the world, to solve social problems in local communities. In 2013, Samsung introduced this meaningful event to Hong Kong and inspired tens of thousands of students to come up with innovative solutions that address social issues in Hong Kong. For the 2018 edition, Samsung is promoting the new educational philosophy of “STREAM4CARE”. Besides encouraging Hong Kong students to increase their knowledge of STREAM – Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics – Samsung hopes that they can develop empathy and sense of responsibility and apply their STREAM knowledge to contribute to the society. Through the competition, Samsung hopes to cultivate thought leaders of tomorrow, equipping them with both technological knowledge and the sense of responsibility of a global citizen. To learn more about Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, please visit: https://www.samsung.com/hk/offer/solvefortomorrow2018/

About Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com/.

(Table I) Number of Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) Studying in Public Sector Mainstream Primary and Secondary Schools in Past Five Years

 

School Year

 

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

 

Primary School

Secondary School

Primary School

Secondary School

Primary School

Secondary School

Primary School

Secondary School

Primary School

Secondary School

Specific Learning Difficulties

8,190

9,890

8,090

10,520

8,370

11,020

8,860

11,260

9,250

11,460

Autism Spectrum Disorders

3,310

1,660

3,800

1,990

4,420

2,380

5,020

2,800

5,430

3,280

Attention

Deficit /

Hyperactivity

Disorder

2,850

3,010

3,270

3,640

3,850

4,350

4,350

5,090

4,670

5,860

Speech & Language Impairment

1,880

210

1,890

240

2,100

300

2,520

350

2,430

370

Intellectual Disability

750

930

740

910

660

930

670

910

690

830

Hearing Impairment

260

400

270

380

280

390

300

350

350

340

Physical Disability

120

240

110

220

120

190

110

190

120

170

Visual Impairment

30

100

30

90

30

80

30

80

40

70

Total

17,390

16,440

18,200

17,990

19,830

19,640

21,860

21,030

22,980

22,380

 

33,830

36,190

39,470

42,890

45,360

(Source: Replies to initial written questions raised by Finance Committee Members in examining the Estimates of Expenditure 2017-18 (Secretary for Education) https://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/about-edb/press/legco/others/17-18-EDB-2-e1.pdf (Page 529))

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