Discovery Program for Global Learners Hosts the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science with 10 High School Students from 4 Countries

The Discovery Program for Global Learners invited ten students and four instructors from four Asian countries to take part in the Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science (SAKURA Exchange Program) funded by Japan Science and Technology Agency.

The participants were from Rajshahi Government College (People’s Republic of Bangladesh, three students and one instructor), Kasetsart University Laboratory School (The Kingdom of Thailand, three students and one instructor), High School Attached to Northeast Normal University (People’s Republic of China, two students and one instructor), and Gyeongnam Science High School (Republic of Korea, two students and one instructor).

The aim of the SAKURA Exchange Program is to enhance exchanges between the youths of Japan and other Asian countries who will be playing key roles in the future fields of science and technology. The program held at Okayama University this time was planned and implemented by professors in the Discovery Program with the support of the Center for Global Partnerships and Education at Okayama University.

During their stay (January 21 ? January 28), participants had various learning opportunities. They conducted scientific experiments titled “Knowing your genes,” “Recycling of highly pure silicon from used solar panels by floatation method,” and “Concentration measurement of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere and human breath by infrared spectroscopy,” supervised by Professors Tetsuo Kunieda, Md Azhar Uddin, and Jian Tang, respectively. In addition, they attended a Discovery Program’s class taught by Professor Haeng-ja Chung and learnt about cultural anthropology along with students of the Discovery Program. They also visited scientific and educational facilities at Okayama University’s Tsushima Campus such as Low Temperature Center and strawberry fields, and took a study tour to SPring-8, the world’s largest third-generation synchrotron radiation facility, and Himeji Castle, a national treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage site, both in Hyogo prefecture.

Numerous students from the Discovery Program also contributed to the success of the program, enjoying their interactions with the participants. The participants learnt about Okayama University and the Discovery Program through such interactions with the Discovery students, a campus tour, and a courtesy visit to Dr. Hiroshi Sano (Executive Vice President for Education) and Dr. Hiroshi Kanzaki (Executive Vice President for International Affairs).

At the closing ceremony, the participants each expressed the satisfaction and excitement they experienced through their participation in the SAKURA Exchange Program. In particular, they enjoyed the hands-on and interactive learning style employed by the professors in the Discovery Program. One participant even said that this was “a life changing program where I could discover myself in a new way.”