Fostering Future Innovators: Shijonawate High School Students Experience NAIST’s Academic Realm

Last 27 July 2023, students from Shijonawate High School (SHS) had the opportunity to present their research to NAIST students and staff. This opportunity provided them with insight and experience on what it’s like to present in an academic setting. It is a peek at what the future might have in store for them should they continue the academic research path. The students also had the opportunity of visiting some of the labs here at NAIST where they can get a close look at the daily activities of the students as well as the professors.

Prior to the presentation, student volunteers from NAIST offered to help the SHS students rehearse their presentations. NAIST students gave feedback on how the presentations could be improved and tips on how to make presenting easier. The NAIST volunteers also gave possible questions that may come up during the actual presentation. This was the first time for the SHS students to present to an academic audience, and it was a great experience in developing their communication skills.

On the day of the presentation, the NAIST student volunteers as well as other students and staff went to Kenshu Hall to hear the SHS students’ presentations. It was treated as an academic presentation and members of the audience were free to ask questions and give feedback. There was a wide variety of research topics tackled by the students aiming to explore new technology and address existing problems here in Japan. Some groups focused on the practical application of technology, such as demonstrating the utilization of quantum computers for workshift scheduling or analyzing classroom CO2 levels to study their correlation with classroom drowsiness. Other groups delved into the realm of chemistry, exploring biodegradable alternatives to plastics by strengthening casein plastic with additives and creating safe and natural pesticides from plant emulsions for agricultural use.

At the end of the presentation, one of our own students from the Biomimetic and Technomimetic Molecular Science Laboratory introduced their research field on molecular machines. The event was capped off with laboratory tours of the Complex Molecular Systems Laboratory and the Ubiquitous Computing Systems Laboratory where members from each lab shared their lab’s research, their daily life, and their inspiration to pursue the life of research. 

This event was a mutual exchange between people years deep into the life of academic research and budding scientists and researchers – each inspiring the other and showing promising possibilities and exciting potential. This event was a remarkable outreach to the future generations of world-changing researchers.

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