It was a busy week for participants and organisers of the sixth annual Onna/OIST Children’s School of Science. However, if children’s happy smiles are an indicator of success it has been time well spent.
Over 100 young science adventurers and 100 volunteers — OIST researchers, Onna village and OIST's administration staff, school teachers, and parents — gathered together on 17-21 August to explore the science in a fun and relaxing atmosphere.
Depending on age children were enrolled in one of the following programmes:
- Pre-school (4-6 years old): Fun Science
- Grades 1-2: Life in Water
- Grades 1-3: Okinawan Terrestrial Animals and Nature
- Grades 3-4: Let's Take a Look at Things Scientifically
- Grades 5-6: Mechanism of Brain and Programming
- Junior High School: The Science of Energy
Mamiko Asato and Miki Seragaki, enrolled in the"Let's Take a Look at Things Scientifically" programme, said they enjoyed their classes in the Children's School of Science: "It was a lot of fun to experiment with things!”
Takaki Namizato, a participant of the “Okinawa Terrestrial Animals and Nature” programme, was also very excited about the time spent in the School of Science: “I saw birds that I hadn’t seen before! I am very glad I came here.” He wants to come back next year to learn about sea animals living on the islands.
Older children were entrusted with a more challenging task — programming robots. After half an hour of hard work, creatures built of Lego blocks were brought to life.
Everybody was having fun, but the widest smiles could be found in the pre-schooler’s room. What can be better than playing with slime? Only doing it together with mum or dad! Blue pizzas, orange worms, yellow jellyfish, and green mochi, a kind of traditional Japanese sweets, — the youngest of the science explorers let their imaginations go wild.
Unfortunately, everything comes to an end, and the Children’s School of Science is no exception. But it will be back next year with more fun stuff to do, more experiments, and more things to learn.