Tokyo Tech News
On May 12 and 13, 2018, the Suzukake Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary with a record number of visitors to Suzukakedai Campus — 3,865. The annual event, which aims to deepen engagement with the local community not only through education and research but also with cultural and sports activities, was again combined with Open Campus, which was held for three days from May 11 to 13.
The most anticipated feature of the festival for many is the lab walk-in. This year, over 50 Tokyo Tech labs opened their doors to the public to display their cutting-edge capabilities in fields such as advanced materials, energy, architecture, mechatronics, biotechnology, and information science. Through a variety of experiments and hands-on experiences, professors and students took time out to explain the joys and applications of science and technology to visitors of all ages, including elementary and middle schools students.
Each year, the festival also includes events organized by local community members. This year, one resident put together a photo exhibition documenting the various forms of wildlife living in and around campus. Other highlights included a gateball competition, an introduction to regional boy scout activities, and a chance for children to experience running a coffee shop at Mototeca Coffee. As in previous years, a number of Suzukake Peripatos Ekiden relay race runners were also acknowledged.
Tokyo Tech's joint efforts with Joshibi University of Art and Design to promote synergy between the arts and sciences continue to engage and motivate the community. This year's Joshibi Picnic again consisted of two parts — Gallery Talk and Body Art. The former provided budding artists a chance to introduce their paintings to visitors at the Peripatos Open Gallery. "Why did you paint this picture?" "What does the title of your painting mean?" As always, the questions from the audience encouraged the artists to revisit their sources of inspiration. Body Art, a face and body painting session, was once again fully booked.
Due to an increase in demand, this year's Kurarika, a science class for elementary students organized by the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association (Kuramae Kogyokai), expanded from one to two groups. Roughly 230 youngsters created either a card-type microscope or homemade slime using the materials they were provided. Many participants came from nearby communities, but several families made the trip from further away to immerse themselves in Tokyo Tech science.
Experiments conducted by student clubs such as ScienceTechno and Bio Creative Staff entertained some 1,000 visitors. As in previous years, visitors were treated to concerts by Tokyo Tech piano ensemble Platanus and the Tokyo Institute of Technology Orchestra, juggling performances by student club JugTech, student-run food and drink tents, and many other attractions.
Tokyo Tech looks forward to seeing many new faces at the next Suzukake Festival.