Experiencing the fun of learning science - OIST Science Festival 2022
On November 12, 2022, OIST held its annual science festival, Science Festival 2022. In its 12th year, the event welcomed children and adults with a variety of programs including science experiment shows, a science talk, campus tours, and more. After its cancellation two years ago and online-only event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was finally held in-person this year for the first time in three years, combined with online sessions as a hybrid event. While the admission was restricted, a total of about 600 people attended the event.
Magic of a giant cloud!
The program opened with a science experiment show presented by OIST PhD student, Theodoros Bouloumis, who demonstrated magic with scientific experiments of creating loud lightning bolts and cold clouds that filled the venue. The children were riveted on his demonstration througout the program. At the end of the program, Theodoros said to the children, “Scientists try to solve the mysteries of the world by repeating various experiments," and emphasized the importance of asking ourselves, "Why?”
What do you do with a -273 degree refrigerator and diamonds?
As the excitement continues to build, the screen in the venue started showing a live video from one of the OIST’s laboratories. Dr. Yuimaru Kubo and student Tatsuki Hamamoto at OIST led the virtual laboratory tours as the first attempt in the series of this event. The lasers, diamonds, and a giant refrigerator used in quantum computing experiments glued the audience, including the adults. Seeing the actual site of cutting-edge research, the children seemed intrigued and asked many questions such as, "Can you make diamonds out of pencil lead?" and “How long does it take to make liquid nitrogen using the refrigerator?”
Microbes around us
The program of Inside of the world of Microbes was presented by student Jigyasa Arora, with the history of the microscope, the story of the scientist who discovered why food goes bad, and many other wisdoms that mankind has gained through the long study of bacteria. The program also involved a hands-on activity for everyone in the audience, using pasta to learn about how the balance of bacteria living inside of our bodies is related to our health. Sharing her own experiences, Jigyasa talked about the thrill of science saying, “The invisible things may hold many mysteries and discoveries."
Don’t be afraid of sharks
“Do you think sharks are dangerous?” Fabienne Ziadi, a researcher, asks the audience while holding a specimen of a shark jaw full of sharp teeth. She revealed numbers of new facts about sharks-they can live for hundreds of years, they are endangered by overfishing, and they cause less accidents than bicycles. Fabienne, who conducts research on sharkes in the waters around Okinawa, said to the audience, “Sharks are not scary creatures, but important preservers of the marine environment. We should try to protect the sharks and that will inturn help protect the Okinawan ocean,” and stressed the importance of not only fearing sharks but also trying to understand them correctly.
Our first in-person Science Festival in three years was successful, bringing many surprises and discoveries to many people through hands-on experiences this year. Although the admission was restricted this year, we hope to be able to invite more people to this event next year and beyond!
For press enquiries, please contact email@example.com