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Tokyo Tech News

Science Cafe held -- What are intestinal bacteria?

May 23, 2016

The Tokyo Tech Museum and Archives and the Yamada Lab of the School of Life Science and Technology hosted the second Science Cafe on March 30. Roughly 40 members of the public, consisting mainly of elementary school children, gathered at the T-POT learning commons of Centennial Hall at Ookayama Campus to learn and play. The event focused on the theme of intestinal bacteria, which was also the focus last year.

Children and parents gather at T-POT for Science Cafe
Children and parents gather at T-POT for Science Cafe

Bacteria Go board game
Bacteria Go board game

Unlike the large venues of conventional lectures and symposia, Science Cafe aims to connect researchers and scientists with members of the public to discuss science topics in a smaller, cozier atmosphere. This type of science communication has recently increased both at Tokyo Tech and around the world.

The human intestines are said to contain a total of 100 trillion bacteria consisting of 1,000 different types. In recent years, techniques for their analysis have dramatically improved, enabling comprehensive investigation which has led to numerous significant discoveries. To help the public visualize and better understand the mechanisms and activity of bacteria, students organizing the Science Cafe developed a bacteria-themed board game which was the focus of the event. Before game time, Tokyo Tech students gave a simply explanation of intestinal bacteria mechanisms.

Youngsters' game faces
Youngsters' game faces

Associate Professor Takuji Yamada observing the action
Associate Professor Takuji Yamada observing the action

Students recorded all their activities themselves
Students recorded all their activities themselves

Game winners were all smiles
Game winners were all smiles

This was the second Science Cafe by student members of the Japanese Consortium for Human Microbiome. All planning, execution, and filming at the event were carried out by students. Many parents accompanying their children complimented the student's activities, saying that vast improvements had been made since last year.

Everyone is invited to explore the joys of science at the next Science Cafe event.

Yamada (third from left) with Science Cafe student organizers
Yamada (third from left) with Science Cafe student organizers

School of Life Science and Technology

School of Life Science and Technology
—Unravel the Complex and Diverse Phenomena of Life—

Information on School of Life Science and Technology inaugurated in April 2016

School of Life Science and Technology

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Contact

Museum and Archives

Email centcafe@jim.titech.ac.jp