ICU-Senior High School Collaboration Project "Science Cafe at ICU 2020" Held Online

Update: April 5, 2021

Science Cafe at ICU 2020 was held online over three sessions from December 2020 as a new program of the ICU-Senior High School Collaboration Project.

Which fields of natural sciences are studied at ICU? What does it mean to learn natural sciences? The program offers high school students a chance to experience a little bit of various fields of science. Participants were welcome regardless of their depth of scientific background. The aim of the program is to have a wide range of students participate in the program, including junior and senior high school students who cannot make up their minds about which fields they should pursue in higher education, or those who are currently in a social science or humanities track but also have interest in natural science as well, so that they can deepen understanding about science and the significance of learning natural sciences in ICU's liberal arts education.

The lectures were given in the field of physics, chemistry, and biology/environmental studies. ICU faculty members shared their experience of why they decided to pursue a career in natural science, how they arrived at their current research interests, and the doubts and detours they experienced on the way. They talked about natural science research and liberal arts based on their own experience and using familiar language easy to understand even for junior and senior high school students.

In the Q&A session following the lecture, many participants asked various questions such as about the research topic of the lecturer or about liberal arts learning at ICU, leading to lively and interactive dialogue despite the online setting.

Partly because it was held online, the program attracted a wide array of participants from junior and senior high school students to high school teachers from across Japan, totaling more than 600 participants over the three sessions.

Details of Science Cafe at ICU 2020

[Physics] December 14, 2020  
"What do you do in research? Is education really necessary? - The world diamonds create"
Professor Ken Okano (Physics)

[Chemistry] January 16, 2021
"What inspirations lead to the creation of new compounds?"
Senior Associate Professor Junji Kobayashi (Chemistry)

[Biology/Environmental Studies] March 10, 2021
"The importance of paying attention to how things are related - What we can learn from liberal arts education"
Professor Tatsuo Nunoshiba (Biology/environmental studies)

Comments from participants

- "Thank you very much for explaining in detail about actual research and important things to keep in mind when engaging in research. It was most impressive to learn about the advantages of liberal arts education you explained by giving examples of actual research based on merging knowledge from different disciplines. I hope to study various disciplines not because I'm not sure what I am really interested in but because that will help develop my learning."

- "I learned that, to address issues of global scale such as global warming, it is extremely important to conduct research by collaborating with different fields and from various perspectives, without being confined to a certain form of perception. I realized anew that we could identify the true problems that need to be solved, if people around the world with diverse perspectives and values would put aside their selfish desires and look deeper into the essence of things."

- "The more I travel, get interested, and have dialogues, the more my potential grows. Nothing will be wasted even if I take the longer way around or experience failure. I agree and understand very much that being able to look at things from multiple perspectives will benefit my learning. The lecturer's words deeply encouraged me."

- "I'm taking a social science/humanities course at school. I think the four important things for a researcher that the professor mentioned at the end of the lecture are important for everyone in society as well as for researchers. It was very interesting to know that the purpose of learning is common across the border of disciplines regardless of natural science, social science, or humanities."

- "I learned that in research, it is important to take failure as an opportunity to set out on a new path by adopting a different perspective."


We are planning to hold the Science Cafe at ICU again next year.

We will continue to provide ICU-Senior high school collaboration projects that will stimulate high school students' desire to learn and increase interest for learning in higher education that awaits them.

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