Hong Kong Charity and Firm Add Arts, Sustainability Twist to STEM Education For Underprivileged Children

December 18, 2022
  • Electric model car-making session is held jointly by Segantii Capital Management and NGO as part of charity campaign Operation Santa Claus
  • Young students such as 11-year-old Wong Hau-tung relish chance to explore their creativity through hands-on workshops
Young students taking part in the electric vehicle model workshop. Photo: Edmond So


Brimming with excitement, a group of young children in festive headwear in Hong Kong are in high spirits as they design and make electric model cars at a workshop with an arts, science and sustainability twist.

It exceeds my expectations. I thought I would learn some theories here, but today I actually have the chance to assemble an electric model car myself,” said Wong Hau-tung, an 11-year-old Primary Six student attending the STEAM session. “I think it’ll help develop my creativity.”

STEAM is the STEM educational model – an approach that integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics – but with the arts incorporated.

The workshop was hosted on December 9 at the Central office of Hong Kong-based institutional asset management firm Segantii Capital Management for 10 students from the CCC Chuen Yuen Second Primary School.

The sessions encourage children to embrace their creativity. Photo: Edmond So

The school is one of the beneficiaries of a STEM education project run by Hong Kong Children In Need Foundation, a charity aiming to help disadvantaged youngsters realise their full potential and gain access to higher-quality learning.

The project is funded by Operation Santa Claus (OSC), an annual fundraising drive by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK.

Marking its 35th anniversary this year, OSC has raised HK$353 million (US$45 million) since its launch in 1988 to support the Hong Kong community through 323 projects. A total of 15 charities are being funded this year.

The STEAM workshop started with an introduction to renewable energy, sustainable living and city design, before the students learned to design and assemble electric model cars.

The latest tally of donations. Photo: SCMP

“It was fun, and I’ve learned that we can protect the environment by using solar energy,” said eight-year-old Primary Three student Lee Hoi-to, while holding the colourful, eye-catching model car she had just created. “It imitates a birthday cake, because my birthday was just a few days ago.”

Other participants also let their creativity shine, each coming up with a different design.

“Covid-19 has disrupted education everywhere. I think giving kids an opportunity for extra education, particularly in science and in new subjects such as sustainability, is really important,” Segantii CEO Kurt Ersoy said.

“They’ve been locked at home for a long time. So to get them all together in a group, in a class, working with their hands, working with their brains, with a bit of learning, a bit of fun, a bit of creativity – it’s really good.”

The workshop was conducted by volunteers from Segantii together with the foundation.

“Annually, we ask our staff for ideas on which community projects the firm should support. This particular event was initiated and run by our staff and everyone here has been looking forward to it,” Ersoy said.

This year marked the 12th anniversary of Segantii’s support for OSC, he noted.

We are especially glad to be hosting a special event this year in conjunction with the firm’s 15th anniversary. OSC’s reach is truly incredible. They are one of our key local community partners. The work that OSC does in highlighting local community initiatives is invaluable, and we are very happy to be able to support this effort.

“We believe in giving locally to assist Hong Kong communities in need. Operation Santa Claus helps us do exactly that,” he said.

“As an example, [the foundation] shared with us that their journey and growth – especially as they were founded in 2019 ahead of the challenging pandemic – would not have been possible without the support of Operation Santa Claus.”

Established in Hong Kong in 2007, Segantii has subsidiary offices in London and New York.

This article was originally published by  SCMP on December 18, 2022.