To Inspire. To Be Inspired. – 30 Stories on HKUST Faculty, Alumni and Students

Chemistry is at the core of everything Prof. Jason Chan does, whether it’s studying the reactions between elements or relishing the feeling of engaging with others. And he has found unique and inspiring ways to share his love of science with a new generation. Like a sorcerer poised over a cauldron, Dr. Fire holds solutions of metal salts over the flickering fire before him. With an elegant swish, he sprays the solutions over the flame, making them spark and glow in a kaleidoscope of colors. It might look like magic, but it’s chemistry — and how he earned the "Dr. Fire" moniker. Known to students and colleagues at HKUST as Prof. Jason Chan, Dr. Fire is more than a beloved faculty member, he’s a sought-after popular-science 17 speaker. His famous experiments and exciting demonstrations have rippled out far beyond the HKUST campus, to TV shows, social media, and museum seminars. But Dr. Fire’s rising star power hasn’t diminished his down-to-earth, approachable, and open demeanor. Students are more motivated to learn when they find a subject interesting, and making science interesting is exactly what Dr. Fire aims to do. In "Chemistry in Everyday Life", a foundational course for students with little to no background in chemistry, he encourages students to carry out their own everyday chemical experiments in groups. From growing crystals to making tofu pudding, these demonstrate scientific principles in a relaxed, safe and fun learning environment. The demonstrations bring the content to life in a way that truly engages young minds with the potential and significance of chemistry.