20 Feb 2012

310 High School Students Enjoy Scientific Exchange

In the first of what we hope would become regular visits by all high school students on the island, OIST hosted a visit by 720 pupils from the Okinawa Prefectural Naha Kokusai Senior High School last December. On February 16, 310 juniors of the Okinawa Prefectural Kyuyo Senior High School visited the OIST campus for another day of exciting scientific exchange. The school has applied for super science school status in fiscal year 2012, a designation awarded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to high schools that place emphasis on science and mathematics. The school also places importance on English and foreign language teaching.

During the visit, the class was divided into three groups and each experienced a presentation on OIST, short talks by young researchers, and a campus tour.  In the talks, a Japanese and a non-Japanese researcher teamed up to speak about their work, why they became scientists, and about their hometown, which ranged from Okinawa, Japan, to Bangladesh to Mexico. The students listened attentively and raised questions too. The campus tour took the students to the electron microscopy room, the high-performance computing room, the mass spectrometry room, and the robot room.

Ms. Ayaka Odo, aspiring to pursue a biological or medical degree, said, “I was impressed by the enormous size of the OIST campus. I want to continue studying many subjects until I find a field that interests me most.”  Mr. Mikito Ashitomi, who wants to pursue a career in education said, “I was surprised to find out such a huge number of people who have come from all over the world is already carrying out research in Okinawa. I really enjoyed the visit today.”

OIST Staff Rina Nikawadori, a graduate of Kyuyo High School, explains her daily work




Dr. Khurshida Kumkum Hossain from Bangladesh



Mr. Ken Kinjo from Itoman, Okinawa


Dr. Violeta Lopez-Huerta from Mexico (left)