Life Science and Technology News
Suzukake Science Day 2021, an open-day event for children, prospective students, and other members of the public which focuses on activities on Tokyo Tech's Suzukakedai Campus, was successfully held online on May 15 and 16. Suzukakedai Open Campus, which included Institute-wide and School-specific graduate-level information sessions and events by the School of Life Science and Technology for high school students, also took place online over the same weekend.
Suzukake Science Day is all about sharing the joys and experiences that science and technology offer, introducing to the public the cutting-edge research conducted at Tokyo Tech laboratories, and encouraging budding scientists and engineers to find their paths at the Institute. This was the first time the event was held online. Last year's event was canceled due to COVID-19, and an in-person event this year was ruled out for the same reason. Still, the 2021 online event offered virtual visitors ample opportunities to enjoy a variety of activities conducted by participating labs, students clubs, and members of the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association.
This year, 19 research laboratories representing various fields opened their virtual doors to the public. Based on their daily research activities, members from these labs introduced to visitors a range of topics and activities that included explanations of common illnesses, experiments using microorganisms and other objects around us, and a look at the latest imaging technology. Most labs also provided real-time interactive and on-demand research introductions in addition to their Open Campus information sessions.
The new virtual environment did not stop members of the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association from holding Kurarika, an experimental science class that attracted approximately 80 elementary school students over the weekend. This year, the group created a "Cartesian diver" using a small sauce vial and a PET bottle. While receiving online guidance, participants and their guardians — even those located far away geographically — were able to learn about buoyancy through this easy hands-on experiment.
In the post-class survey, all students said they had fun and would like to try the experiment again. When asked whether the preparations and explanations were easy enough, approximately 90 percent replied affirmatively. Over 96 percent of guardians also said they would like their children to participate in online classes, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online science class Kurarika by members of Tokyo Tech
Kurarika mentor guiding online participants
Cartesian diver experiment:
sauce vial inside PET bottle
Participant at past event sends diver down
with gentle squeeze of bottle
Bio Creative Staff, a Tokyo Tech student club, also joined in the fun by creating videos of three experiments that children and guardians could easily try at home. Each video was watched approximately 120 times.
The Tokyo Tech community is already looking forward to seeing more curious participants representing all age groups at next year's Suzukake Science Day.