Swarms of Students Visit OIST in 2013

Over 3000 junior and senior high school students from across Okinawa and mainland Japan visited OIST between April and December, 2013.

As part of a constant effort to reach out to the community, OIST invites school students to come for campus tours. In December, we had a particularly high number, as more than 800 junior and senior high school students from across Okinawa came to visit.

Tours for students began in 2011. This year, 23 schools from Okinawa and mainland Japan have come to visit OIST. The total number of students visiting OIST between April and December in 2013 is expected to reach as many as 3015 students.

Many of the students took a look inside OIST for the first time. The students were fascinated by the cutting-edge research equipment at OIST. After the tours, the students commented, “I was under the impression that OIST was more locked up like a fortress. OIST was much more open than I thought.” One student even said, “It’s a really attractive place. My dream is to become a researcher in immunology, so I’d love to come here as a graduate student.”

Junior high school students in Onna-son, where OIST is located, were also exposed to OIST research. On December 20, Dr. Larisa Kiseleva introduced the students from Nakadomari JHS to a wastewater treatment project currently undertaken in the Biological Systems Unit. The student representative said, “It was interesting to learn that such a project was going on. I hope that research projects like these lead to a more sustainable future.”

In another scientific talk to Onna schoolchildren, Dr. Gueorgui Nikiforov in the Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit visited Yamada JHS on December 24. In his talk “Will Plastic Save the Planet!?” the Bulgarian researcher showed a cleanroom suit and conducted a scientific demonstration using liquid nitrogen – two items he uses to develop organic solar cells.

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