Hong Kong Inter-School City Nature Challenge (HKISCNC)
Ong Kai Yuan Eriko DP1B
When I first heard about the Hong Kong Inter-School City Nature Challenge, I felt very eager to learn about the biodiversity around us. I thought that this was an enriching experience to allow us to look at biology from a different perspective, instead of learning in an enclosed environment. As someone who enjoys photography, my first thought was that not only was this was going to be fun, it was also going to help enhance my creativity.
On the 6th November 2018, SISHK science teachers brought us out to walk along Nam Long Shan road. It was not about completing this task individually as fast as possible to find the highest number of species, but to work in teams, collaborate to share knowledge and learn more about the natural environment. During the photo taking sessions, many of us shared information on the species that were found. Some species that we found were Scarlet powder-puffs, Allamandas, Ixoras and much more!
Everyone was very engaged in this competition. Many of us were observant and attempted to search for smaller species like ants and caterpillars as we walked up the streets. We got a wide range of them, from bugs to plants and birds and butterflies. To get to these insects, we dug through bushes and branches because we realised that many were buried into soils or on the underside of leaves. We even had transparent containers to trap insects for close-ups shots, although the challenges faced were that they were hard to trap since some could fly, so we were afraid that they would be harmed. To capture long distance ones like the Eurasian tree sparrows, we had professional cameras which allowed us to snap wide and long-range shots.
The images were uploaded on the iNaturalist app where people could view and comment on. Being out in nature enabled us to learn to adapt to a healthy lifestyle and taught us to preserve this planet. It provides us with inspiration and brings out our curiosity. This competition enriched my knowledge by allowing me to learn about the ecosystems in our environment. Every species has an impact on this ecosystem, whether it is on the carbon or nitrogen cycle or the formation of food webs.
The school sincerely hopes to see active participation in the upcoming global city nature challenge in April 2019. Firstly, participants will take pictures of wild animals and plants, then identify them. My experience was a fulfilling and enjoyable one, and I am very sure that the DP1 cohort will say the same thing. The upcoming competition will undoubtedly be a memorable experience especially to those who show interest in science or photography. Therefore, we strongly encourage our students to participate next year!