SOTY 21/22: How a student weathered pandemic challenges to win Grand Prize and Scientist and Mathematician awards

  • Nathan Ng Leong-hang of St Paul’s Co-educational College says he hopes to share his experiences with others to inspire them to study science
  • The Student of the Year Awards is organised by the South China Morning Post, sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club and supported by the Education Bureau

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Nathan Ng joined the awards ceremony via videoconferencing as he is taking a summer course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. Photo: Dickson Lee

Nathan Ng Leong-hang, of St Paul’s Co-educational College, who excelled in academics as well as community work, emerged as the Grand Prize winner of the 2021/22 Student of the Year (SOTY) Awards last month.

The 17-year-old, who has been granted a four-year scholarship to Cambridge University, is also this year’s Scientist and Mathematician winner.

Nathan said his hard work during the pandemic, such as actively joining online courses and conferences, helped him reap the rewards.

“There is always a better opportunity to explore and learn. I had more time to learn and study different fields of science,” he said.

SOTY 2021/22: Meet Hong Kong’s outstanding students of the year

The star student said he would like to share his experiences with others so they would be inspired to study science. He taught science to secondary school students with the help of non-governmental organisations such as The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education.

“I always make sure that I convey the messages of [what] a researcher does and allow the students to explore,” he explained.

Nathan said science would shape Hong Kong’s future, adding, “this generation has the capability to build another Silicon Valley in Hong Kong”.

Last year, Nathan Ng was the Linguist (English) winner in the Student of the Year Awards. Photo: SCMP

“We have resources, we just need more locals to devote themselves to this field,” he said.

“Hopefully, my career as a researcher is to encourage the next generation to devote themselves to science, the same way I was inspired.”

The SOTY Awards is organised by the South China Morning Post, sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club and supported by the Education Bureau.

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