On 12 December, 14 teams from 10 Okinawan High Schools came to OIST to decide which team would be the 2015 SCORE! champion.
4th Annual SCORE! is a science competition with a difference as the students are judged as much on their presentation skills and the potential of building a business from their project, as they are for scientific content.
It was a wonderful day as each team presented a project that was fascinating scientifically and thought provoking in its entrepreneurial potential.
It was extremely difficult for the judges to come up with winners as the quality of the projects and presentation was uniformly high amongst all the teams.
Tension mounted as the winners were finally announced late in the afternoon.
1st prize, a study tour to California, went to Kyuyo High School for their project, “The best growing method for green caviar”, 2nd prize to Yaeyama High School for "Seasonal change of Mud Crabs (Scylla tranquebarica, S.serrata ) in the Nagura Anparu, Ishigaki Island", and 3rd prize was awarded to Nago High School for “Making of a phone App for tourists in Okinawa".
A Special Prize went to Hentona High School for "The life-history of aquatic insects on a subtropical island and the challenge for perfect breeding of edible insects."
Two further prizes were given to a second team from Kyuyo High School, "Physico-chemical analysis of a thinned turban shell as a model of a light shell artifact” and to Shuri Higashi High School, "An approach to promote interests, curiosity, and inquiring mind towards science – through the use of a Scientific Calendar."
SCORE! was jointly organized by OIST, the American Consulate General Naha, and the Okinawa Prefectural Government. Many thanks also to all the sponsors whose generosity made SCORE! a special day for the young scientists of Okinawa.
Hinata Ameku, leader of the winning team, said, "I am so happy to win first prize! Many thanks to my teachers and all the people who supported this project.”
In the closing remarks, one of the judges, Yuji Miyazaki, a Postdoctoral Scholar at OIST underlined the importance of looking for research applications, “I encourage you to always keep in mind the business possibilities of your research: this competition focusses on what we can produce from our technology.“