Moved by passion

Hans Lau (high school student at UCF)

In January 2011 when I was busy preparing my research project for Orange County Ying Expo Science Fair, I questioned myself why I spent extra time and efforts in addition to my overloaded junior IB schoolwork to participate in a science fair.  One night when I was watching President Obama’s state of the union speech, I was drawn by his message on education – winning our future by research and innovation.  When he said, “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair”, I felt I was reaffirmed about my passion in science.

My passion of research was influenced by many but especially UCF Physics Professor, Dr. Chow who gave me an opportunity starting 10th grade to research in the field of nanoparticles. He introduced me to the many research methods and equipment in the lab such as the grinding machine and microscope. In addition, Dr.Chow guided me in my research topic which explored how air flow rate and particle size affect the amount of particles transferred. During my research experience, I encountered numerous struggles. However, Dr.Chow kept encouraging me and placed grad students who helped me out. I must thank Dr. Chow and his grad students for teaching me and helping me throughout my research experience in UCF.

I was overjoyed when I won the first prize in the Physics category of the Orange County Ying Expo Science Fair in February and had a chance to participate in the Florida State Science Fair in March.  It was such a memorable experience when I was awarded a second prize in the “Physics and Astronomy” category and a $40,000 scholarship from the Florida Institute of Technology in the Florida State Science Fair in March 2011.  I felt so deeply that all my hard work and perseverance were paid off and recognized by others