Hong Kong’s First Ever International Geography Olympiad
The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) held today (31 July) the opening ceremony for the International Geography Olympiad (iGeo), an annual event intended to arouse interest in geographical and environmental studies among the young people around the world. The seven-day event, organised by the Department of Social Sciences of EdUHK, is being held in Hong Kong for the first time.
The Olympiad has brought together 166 top geography students and over 80 education practitioners from 43 countries. At the Olympiad, students will showcase their map, inquiry and graphicacy skills in the component tests to compete for top honours. To recognise the efforts and accomplishments of the participants, medals will be awarded to students who achieve a strong performance at the Olympiad.
Officiating at the Opening Ceremony were Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung, President of EdUHK, Mrs Sue Lomas and Dr Shen Su-min, co-chairs of the International Geographical Union (IGU) Olympiad Task Force, and Ms Gloria Chan Pik Wa , Principal Assistant Secretary of the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government.
Professor Cheung said, ‘Education is the key to a smart future. Equipping students with geography-related knowledge, such as climate change, natural hazards, globalisation and international cooperation, will enable the development of a smarter future as these skills and competences can drive progress and innovation in the teaching profession and different sectors of society.’
The theme of this year’s Olympiad is ‘Discovering a vibrant city for our smart future’. A lion dance show was performed at the opening ceremony to introduce traditional Chinese art and culture to the world. A Chinese couplet, “Familiarising astronomy and Understanding geography; Knowing seven continents and Learning five oceans”, was written to convey the best wishes for iGeo 2019.
At the Olympiad, a series of activities, including poster presentations on smart cities and sustainable development, cultural exchange programs, excursions to Ap Chau and Lai Chi Wo in Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, and a Victoria Harbour tour, will be held for participants to discover Hong Kong’s fascinating blend of East and West, unique geological features and glamorous night view.
Another event highlight will be the Missing Maps (Mapathon) on 5 August, which is an innovative and interactive volunteer event co-organised by EdUHK and Médecins Sans Frontières. Over 200 students will gather to develop online maps of the most vulnerable places in developing countries, in an effort to raise the students’ awareness of current global and humanitarian issues.
The 16th International Geography Olympiad is co-organised by the local organising committee and Hong Kong Geographical Association. Key members of the local organizing committee include Professor John Lee Chi-kin, Dr Alice Chow Sin-yin, Dr Irene Cheng Nga-yee, Dr Lewis Cheung Ting-on and Dr Lincoln Fok. For event details, please visit https://www.eduhk.hk/igeo2019/