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Planting the seeds of change
Sunny Tse
update on Saturday, August 14, 2010

This summer, technology giant Siemens welcomed 17 students from Form Five to Seven to its youth programme, showing them how the firm puts sustainability into practice by addressing its social, economic and environmental responsibilities.

Denis Leung, CEO of Siemens Hong Kong and Macau, says the focus of the programme this year was corporate sustainability.

"By showing participants the importance of environmentally friendly innovations and technologies, we hope to inspire them to take the lead in living green," he says.

The youth programme is part of "Generation 21", an educational initiative launched by Siemens to keep students informed of the latest developments in science and technology.

Participants in the youth programme took part in activities over a two-week period last month, ranging from observing the multinational company's daily operations, through to interactive presentations and "sharing sessions" hosted by Siemens' staff, and visiting the firm's projects and business partners.

Douglas Ng, a business development consultant at Siemens and who helped with the programme this summer, says the group's visit to the Hong Kong Jockey Club was a highlight.

"We were allowed into the restricted area to look at their advanced security system and automatic billing management system," he says. Students also visited a commercial clinical laboratory, where they had a close look at state-of-the-art medical equipment.

A trip to Siemens' industrial centre at Polytechnic University (PolyU) gave students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the basic programming and use of hi-tech machinery. "The centre was very impressive, with all the latest technology," says Form Seven student Michael Hung Chung-bong.

"We tried programming with the traffic light system and played with an automated car-park system model developed by PolyU students," he says.

Hung says he is impressed by Siemens' efforts to finance the development of the student car-park system in Shanghai.

Students also joined Siemens' volunteer team to take part in an activity with the Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong, aimed at teaching young children the importance of living green.

To complete the programme, students delivered presentations on topics related to sustainability.

Rodney Chu, general manager for Hong Kong and Taiwan at Siemens Health Care Diagnostics, and a youth programme mentor this year, says he hopes the programme planted the idea of sustainability in students' minds, and that participants will lead by example in future.

Chu is optimistic that they will do just that. "I'm surprised by the quality of the presentations, which were well researched," he says.

"Students even came up with suggestions on how to further achieve sustainability."

Generation 21  

  • The Siemens Training Centre at PolyU provides full facilities with the latest automation technology to students. Siemens also offers training to academics and technicians.
  • Every year, Siemens' student project funds an innovative university student's application for automation technology. The project allows students to gain real-world experience.
  • Siemens Discovery Box workshops let primary school students experience and explore science and technology in an interactive way.

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