Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Engineering Education, Applied Learning, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Secondary Schools, Engineering Aspiration


In Hong Kong, the efficacy of engineering education in secondary schools is always difficult to measure. This is mainly because there are limited engineering-oriented subjects and few teachers with backgrounds in engineering. Engineering education is often infused into the curriculum of secondary schools through science, technology and mathematics (STM) subjects. Students’ involvement in engineering related school-based and extracurricular activities are limited. Only a few technical schools in Hong Kong are offering engineering-oriented subjects such as Electronics & Electricity and Technology Fundamentals.

Some previous studies have identified that the lack of engineering education in secondary schools may affect the students’ aspiration to become engineers, while some studies have investigated the gap of engineering education at the secondary-tertiary interface. Likewise, many post-industrial societies are facing the same challenges as Hong Kong, which have strong demand for engineers but struggled with the low intake of engineering programmes in higher education and subsequent careers.

This paper responds to the addressed issues of engineering education in Hong Kong secondary schools and performs a practical study of the effectiveness of Applied Learning Courses (ApL), which are introduced to diversify the curriculum of senior secondary students by the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR government. The design of ApL emphasizes the development of fundamental skill set, career-related competencies and generic skills of students, and explore their career aspirations and orientation for lifelong learning.

The overall curriculum design and pedagogy of two selected ApL courses of engineering (electrical & energy engineering and digital construction) will be studied to investigate how the courses can instil engineering knowledge, provide practical ‘hands-on’ experiences and enhance engineering aspirations among secondary school students.

The study also provides recommendations on improving the design and structure of ApL courses as an approach of effective engineering education in secondary schools.

Source Publication

The 16th International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education