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School of Life Science and Technology, Museum hold science workshop for families

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August 28, 2019

The School of Life Science and Technology recently teamed up with the Tokyo Tech Museum to provide elementary school students — and their guardians — with a two-day science workshop on August 3 and 4. Part of the Institute's science education support project to develop intellectual creativity among elementary, middle, and high school students, and funded by the Tokyo Tech Fund, the event brought together 29 child-and-guardian pairs over the two days. Guiding the children with their hands-on tasks were Professor Emeritus Yukihisa Hamaguchi, alumni of the Hamaguchi Lab, and staff from the Tokyo Tech Museum and Archives.

Learning about function of tree leaves

Learning about function of tree leaves

Plants, leaves, veins…bookmarks!

Day One focused on learning about plant leaves and creating "natural bookmarks." The youngsters began by altering the color of their plants using baking soda and vinegar, and then observed the relationship with pH using a red cabbage broth rich in anthocyanins. To understand the structure of leaf veins, leaves from cherry, gingko, and mulberry trees on campus were placed in a test tube containing a fluorescent dye. After the leaves absorbed the moisture and the dye spread, the students were able to observe how water is transported around the leaf. To conclude, the mesophyll tissue was removed from the leaves of cherry, holly osmanthus, and sasanqua trees, leaving only the vein structures and creating a beautiful, natural bookmark.

  • Mulberry leaf veins with fluorescent dye
    Mulberry leaf veins with fluorescent dye
  • Leaf bookmark illuminated
    Leaf bookmark illuminated
  • Illuminating bookmark using stand and candle
    Illuminating bookmark
    using stand and candle

Echinoderm movements and sea urchin lamps

On Day Two, the children learned about echinoderms and built cool sea urchin lamps. Things kicked off with a lesson on the structure and movements of echinoderms. The participants observed actual sea urchins in seawater, and watched as they dug themselves into the sand. They also witnessed how starfish soften their body to right themselves after becoming overturned, and observed sea fireflies fluorescing. To wrap up the day, the participants used the shells of Clypeaster japonicas, Scaphechinus mirabilis, and Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus urchins to build lamps.

Illuminating bookmark using stand and candle

Illuminating bookmark using stand and candle

Ambiance created by sea urchin lamps
Ambiance created by sea urchin lamps

Participants presenting their creations
Participants presenting their creations

The two days of smiles, laughter, and science ended successfully, albeit too quickly. As in the past, Tokyo Tech staff and alumni were pleased to be able to offer families a summer holiday activity to remember.

Tokyo Tech Fund

This event is supported by Tokyo Tech Fund

Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund

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

Schools, Departments, and Institute for Liberal Artsouter

Contact

Tokyo Tech Museum and Archives

Email centcafe@jim.titech.ac.jp

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