More than 400 teams of secondary students put their imagination and creativity to full use and built 'swings' with drinking straws at a competition. The Hong Kong Inter-school Straw Swing Making Competition, organised by the Physics and Materials Science Department Society of City University of Hong Kong, aimed to encourage students to put their knowledge of physics into practice and to develop creativity and critical thinking. Each team was required to build a 'swing' with 100 plastic straws and a roll of thread within a certain amount of time. The model had to be able to support a can of coke. George Leung Chi-on, 20, president of the organising society, said the competition was very successful, drawing about 430 entries this year. 'Many of the participants were junior formers, but they were really intelligent,' he said. Standing at 237 centimetres tall, the model built by the CUHKFAA Thomas Cheung Secondary School team won the championship in the senior sec tion. The team comprised four Form Six science students - Lee Sze-nga, 17, Cheung Wai-man, 18, O Kwan-tang, 17, and Fok Kin-hang, 18. Last year, another team from the school also won the competition. The four students attributed their success to their school's emphasis on science and to the guidance of their physics teacher. Sze-nga, who is chairman of the Science Society, said the competition gave students the chance to use their theoretical knowledge. Wai-man said the contest showed them the importance of co-operation and team spirit. Although they failed many times, they did not give up and finally succeeded.