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11 Faculty Members and Students from Qufu Normal University in China's Shandong Province Visit the Tokyo University of Science through the JST's Sakura Science Plan--Experience-based Exchange on Methodology of Japanese-style Science and Mathematics Educat
The Tokyo University of Science's Kawamura Research Group welcomed 11 faculty members and students from Qufu Normal University in China's Shandong Province through the support of the Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science ("Sakura Science Plan") organized by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) for a seven-day period from October 3 to October 9. The objective of this program, as an experience-based course in science and technology, is to learn concrete methodology for science and mathematics education from the viewpoint of how science communication is carried out in Japan.
At "Jin Akiyama's Mathematics Museum," active discussions with the visitors were carried out regarding the actual formation of a Gaussian distribution by balls that were dropped randomly, scenarios where liquid film brilliantly formed the shortest path, and phenomena where soap bubbles remained floating in space and where they expanded on their own from a plastic cup in a soap bubble experiment by Professor Kitahara. After a workshop on the mechanism of lenses that was also held, the participants exclaimed, "We never had a chance to learn about science through experiences up until now!"
At President Fujishima's lecture on "How to enjoy science," the visitors enjoyed an exciting moment on photocatalysis, and nodded greatly in agreement with the words in the President's message, "One who knows...is no match for one who enjoys."
Differing ideas and opinions were also exchanged in mock class visits and in the Kawamura Research Group's round-tables. In particular, there was a discussion regarding differences in the awareness of disaster prevention between Japan and China in relation to the Great East Japan Earthquake from which both sides learned many things. In addition, by observing a physics experiment conducted by undergraduates, the participants raised detailed questions regarding methods for conducting experiments on fundamental physical phenomena as well as methods for running such experiments. In a lecture experiment, which is a tradition at TUS, the visitors made dye-sensitized solar cells by hand together with students in the research group, and were impressed when electronic melodies were sounded, raising their voices in cheers.
In Professor Tsai's lecture on "Superconducting Quantum Circuit," the eyes of participants who are majoring in mathematics lit up at the talk of quantum computers. In the lecture by Professor Ogawa on "Japanese Form of Science Education," the participants learned that the science education in which Japan excels has some common points with that in China, and also had a lively discussion afterwards.
At the Panasonic Center Tokyo RiSuPia, headsets were loaned out due to explanations being carried out in English. Here, the visitors were interested, particularly in a hockey game with prime numbers as well as a game related to falling raindrops. They seemed to want very much to share their excitement with someone, and kept trying to play the games many times. Many of the participants mentioned that they would like for opportunities to study abroad, or become a researcher or work at a company in Japan.
The students in the Kawamura Research Group earnestly conveyed their thoughts on the culture and science and mathematics education in Japan, using English, limited Chinese and gestures, and a worthwhile exchange was made possible. At the farewell party, the sight of the visitors waving their hands though reluctant to leave is something that is hard to forget for both parties.
See you again and have a safe trip!
The Tokyo University of Science is deeply appreciative of the JST's Sakura Science Plan, which has created such an opportunity for exchange.