Students from Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Secondary School soared above fellow contestants to win a regional straw aeroplane competition last weekend. More than 1,300 students from more than 130 schools in Hong Kong and Macau took part in the annual Inter-secondary School Straw Competition, organised by City University. Working in teams of four, students were given 150 straws, 80 metres of string and some Play-Doh to build an airplane in 90 minutes. Kung Yik She Secondary School dominated the junior category for Form One to Three students, scooping the championship, first runners-up and second runners-up prizes. The winning plane achieved a distance of 23.62 metres. The school also triumphed in the senior category, for Form Four to Six students, although their winning distance of 18.63 metres would not have been enough to earn them a podium place among the juniors. Physics teacher and team coach Li Shun-ching said the teams had benefited from weeks of practice. 'Since we heard about the theme of this year's competition two months ago the students have been practising after class, experimenting with more than a dozen different designs,' Mr Li said. 'The juniors had good throwing technique while some of the younger students had two years of competition experience to draw on. The seniors may have suffered a bit as it was their first time,' he said of the surprise results. Winning teams were awarded with trophies and book coupons worth HK$1,500, HK$1,000 and HK$500 for first, second and third place respectively. Now in its 10th year, the competition aims to foster students' interest in physics through real-life applications. Professor Henry Chung Shu-hung, associate dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: 'The competition helps strengthen students' knowledge about physics and encourages them to apply theories in a more creative way.'