La Salle College won a science quiz and cleared its name following accusations that prestigious schools did not meet the academic standards expected of them. The college beat St Francis Xavier's College, Queen's College and SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School in the Joint School Science Quiz 2000 held at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The teams were made up of five Form Four students from 20 secondary schools. The La Salle team were confident from the start. 'We are proud to be able to glorify our school,' said Dennis Ho Sze-lung, the team's mathematics expert. 'A school ranking survey says prestigious schools do not live up to their reputation. Winning this competition proves that we have substantial quality,' he said. Sam Yu Sam-yee, who was one of the strongest in the team, and team captain Brian Chiu Pui-him, had both participated last year. Sam-yee said losing last year had made them even more determined to win this time. The pair knew that their strongest area was general knowledge. Therefore they teamed up with three students who were very familiar with the science syllabuses. The competition consisted of three sections: compulsory questions, a case study and first-on- the-buzzer questions. There were also open questions for family members and friends of the participants. One of the judges, Tso Wung- wai, senior lecturer at the department of biochemistry, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the competition was good fun for students and gave those in the organising committee some experience. He said this year the competition focused on the link between science and social issues. 'It shows that students nowadays are considerably more socially aware and are able to see how science can help solve social problems,' Mr Tso said. The case study section included topics such as solutions to rubbish disposal and Third World famine, as well as the environmental impact of landfills. The case studies tested their scientific knowledge, common sense, analytical thinking and presentation skills. The other two judges were the university's associate professor at the Department of Physics Tam Wing-yim and associate professor Leung Wa-hung from the Department of Chemistry. An executive committee member of the Joint School Science Society which organised the quiz, Cleo Leong U-man, said the committee intended to attach more importance to the relationship between science and society. 'Through observations about our daily life, we can learn about science. I now know why I am so enthusiastic about studying science,' a Form Six student from Ming Kei College said.