On 17 April 2024 Ma Man Kei and Lo Pak Sam College (MLC) hosted a lecture by Prof. Xiaoping Zhang, Deputy Director of the State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences from Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST). As an important event of the MLC Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area International Development Forum, this lecture aims to enhance the overall scientific literacy and knowledge integration ability of MLC students, and promote their active participation in the construction of the Greater Bay Area. The lecture was chaired by MLC Master Prof. YANG Liu, the event was attended by the Associate Master, Resident Fellow and students from MLC and UM.

At the beginning of the lecture, Master YANG introduced the research career of Prof. Zhang and highlighted his significant scientific achievements in recent years. Master Yang praised Prof. Zhang’s outstanding contributions in the field of physics, particularly in lunar and planetary research, as well as his role in the successful launch of ” Macau Science Statellite-1.” Master Yang expressed the hope that this lecture would stimulate the curiosity of MLC students, ignite their passion for exploring the scientific world, inspire their research potential and encourage them to contribute to the development of the Greater Bay Area.

The deep space is indeed incredibly vast and distant from us. However, the sky becomes a captivating and poetic domain under the perspective of Prof. Zhang. He outlined China’s recent scientific achievements in deep space exploration. On 21 May 2023, the first space science satellite developed jointly by mainland China and Macau, “Macau Science Statellite-1,” was successfully launched. It officially entered service on 28 November 2023. The successful deployment of ” Macau Science Statellite-1″ is a testament to Macau’s integration into the national innovation development strategy. The State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Science at MUST became the first of its kind in China’s astronomy and planetary science field. He also showed students the exploration projects from the Moon to Mars and discussed the impacts of these endeavors on basic science, applied technology, technological progress, talent development, and long-term strategy. With the unique “one country, two systems” framework, Prof. Zhang highlighted the need for Macau’s youth to stay curious on emerging technologies, the importance of fundamental scientific principles, and actively follow the latest advancements. During the Q&A session, Prof. Zhang Xiaoping engaged in an active conversations with the students, addressing their questions regarding rocket propulsion, the integration of artificial intelligence with rocket development, space program design competitions, and more. These discussions deeply inspired the students and left a lasting impact on them.

After the lecture, Master Yang, invited Prof. Zhang to visit the college’s historical exhibition venues, teaching and activity facilities, courtyard, restaurant, café, and the college’s patriotic education base. Master Yang provided a detailed introduction to the University of Macau’s “Four-in-One” integrated education system and the college’s whole person development education. She also highlighted the four key features of the college’s “Aesthetic Academy.” Through Master Yang’s explanations, Prof. Zhang developed a deep admiration for the patriotic venture of Mr. Ma Man Kei and Ms. Lo Pak Sam, and their family, and expressed agreement with the college’s commitment to nurturing students’ passion for their country and sense of social responsibility. Prof. Zhang praised how the college seamlessly blends the poetic spirit of grand beauty with scientific and technological advancements. He specifically mentioned the renowned line from the “Lanting Xu” artwork donated by Master Yang, which reads, “Looking up, we admire the vastness of the universe,” and expressed profound appreciation for our ancestors’ early explorations of the universe. Finally, Prof. Zhang highly praised the college’s abundant educational resources and environment, and expressed great anticipation for the college’s future development.

This captivating lecture not only provided students with an understanding of China’s significant achievements in deep space exploration in recent years but also ignited their curiosity about the unknown world and their passion for scientific exploration. It enhanced the exchange and understanding between MLC and the students from MUST. The college will continue to encourage students to explore and contribute to the development of the Greater Bay Area!