Students explore cutting-edge research and the impact of science on society
25 bachelor’s and master’s students joined Science Challenge 2023 at OIST
From March 11 to 18, 2023, the Graduate School at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) welcomed students from universities across Japan to participate in Science Challenge 2023. Science Challenge is a one-week workshop for undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields that focuses on honing scientific skills and allowing students to experience life at OIST. This year, 25 students from Japan, China, Korea, and Myanmar participated.
Since its beginning in 2015, each Science Challenge workshop has had a different theme. This year's was “How will your research impact future society?”. On the final day of the workshop, participants were required to give a four-minute presentation on the theme.
Throughout the week, the participants, who came from different research fields, had many opportunities to experience cutting-edge research on OIST campus while exchanging opinions on how their research will impact future society.
Besides discussing their work and experiencing research being done at OIST, participants received advice and expertise from OIST PhD students and staff on how to refine their presentations. These were judged on clarity, creativity, passion, and “curiosity for science”.
On the last day, there was a presentation competition. The judges were Ms. Keely Marie Brandon, Admissions and Agreement Coordinator; Mr. Rhett Register, Internal Communications Lead; and Ms. Aleksandra Gavrilova, PhD student.
Tomoka Kashiwabara, a first-year master’s student at Kyushu University, received the “Best Presentation Award”. Kashiwabara studies biophysics and elaborated on the impact of great transportation in the cell for future society in her presentation. Additionally, Yuto Nakajima, Akito Shima and Mizuho Kawahata received honorable mentions for their presentations on electromagnetic waves, extremophiles, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.
“I am honored to have received this award, but I believe that the experience of the entire OIST Science Challenge was valuable to me beyond just this award,” said Kashiwabara. “During the week spent with OIST professors, PhD students, and workshop participants, I was inspired to learn more and become more articulate about what I aspire to achieve. I am deeply grateful to everyone who supported me and to the OIST Science Challenge 2023 crew.”