Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.32
Promotion of Internationalization of Grand Contest on Chemistry for High School Students and Science Education
Report from Nagoya City University
The Nagoya City University invited eight high school students and two faculty members from two Taiwanese high schools (Pingtung County Fang Liao Senior High School, Zhong He Senior High School) and one Singapore high school (Hwa Chong Institution), for a period of 7 days from the 24th to the 30th of October 2017.
<Facility tour of science, technology and culture>
The high school students were saying, “This is my first visit to Japan”, and were excited from the moment they arrived at the airport. Immediately on the next day they visited Atsuta Shrine, Nagoya Castle, and Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, and the following day they visited the JR SCMAGLEV and Railway Park and Nagoya City Science Museum. They became friends with the university student tutors and had a lively conversation during the facility tour.
At Atsuta Shrine, they drew a paper fortune for the first time. Of course, they did not understand the Japanese, but the tutor or teacher translated it to Chinese or English. The fortune was “There is effort only” in the classwork column for the high school student who said that he was not good at English, and it was “You will find the missing items” for the high school student who forgot his wallet at the cafeteria at noon and the wallet was later found by the security guard. They were deeply impressed with “God knows everything”.
In the planetarium, it was impressive to see the students watching with utmost effort though they don’t understand Japanese. At the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, the staff explained in English and everyone listened attentively.
<Exchange with the students of the international science department of Nagoya City Municipal Koyo Senior High School>
They visited the Nagoya City Municipal Koyo Senior High School and interacted with 40 first-year students of the international science department. The Japanese high school students welcomed them with a live music performance using the Japanese harp, and then had presentations to introduce each other's high school. It seemed that they got familiar very quickly, introducing Japanese games such as origami and coma during snack time.
They were then divided into small groups to present scientific and cultural research to each other, deepening exchanges. It seemed that they took lunch together and became good friends. The Singapore high school that visited Japan this time was a boys’ school and at first it seemed that the high school students were very embarrassed to talk with girls of the same generation, but it was impressive to see the students of the Japanese girls' high school talking positively to them.
All the students from the international science department, even the first-year high school students, communicated in English as expected, and they felt that the high school students of these days are wonderful.
<Visit to research and medical facilities of Nagoya City University>
They visited the advanced research and medical facilities such as Institute of Drug Discovery Science, Clinical simulation center, Medical Design Research Center of Nagoya City University, and the medicinal plant garden.
At the clinical simulation center of the School of Medicine, they experienced the application of a stethoscope on a neonatal doll, got instructions from a doctor who practiced the surgery using the internal organs of a pig, and made self-surgery while watching it on a display. Some of the Taiwanese high school students got exposed to advanced medicine such as the latest tomotherapy in the hospital, and they said that they want to aim to join a medical university in the future.
<Participation in the Grand Contest on Chemistry for High School Students>
The “Grand Contest on Chemistry for High School Students” is the “Chemistry Koshien” in which high school students from all of Japan working on chemistry research from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south gather and present their research. The high school students from Taiwan and Singapore also presented their research along with the Japanese high school students.
JST’s remarks: “Koshien” is the name of a baseball stadium located at Koshien, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture, and is the venue for the annual high school baseball tournaments in Japan. Hence this annual contest in chemistry was called “Chemistry Koshien”.
The exchange was deepened by listening to each other's presentation, trying to improve their learning from others by talking about the research contents, and having light-hearted chitchat with their fellow high school students at the social gathering places. The high school students who participated from every region of Japan always came around the overseas high school students, exchanged their LINE contacts, and took pictures with them. It was impressive to see that a high school student from Singapore, who could not talk much with girls, seemed to be quite comfortable and very happy around this time.
The overseas high school students slept well when travelling in the buses and trains, but when travelling in the train to the airport for the return journey the leading teacher said that the students actually had practiced the presentation every day until late night even after returning to their dormitory. We were very delighted to receive a heartfelt letter of thanks from them when leaving the airport.
Although it was a short period of time, it seemed very meaningful to them, and everyone answered, “I would definitely like to come to Japan again” in the questionnaire at the end of the program. It seemed that being in contact with overseas high school students was a very good stimulation for high school and college students in Japan. It is expected that they will aim to become scientific researchers, study in Japan, and further deepen the international research exchanges.
We would like to express our cordial thanks to everyone who cooperated through the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science, that provided some valuable opportunities to enable exchanges for the young generations who are responsible for future scientific development.