Tokyo Tech News

13th BioCon, 14th Bio-Creative Design Contest held online


Published: March 4, 2021

Tokyo Tech's School of Life Science and Technology hosted the 13th BioCon, or bio-creativity contest for high school students, and the 14th Bio-Creativity Design Contest 2021 online on January 23.

The BioCon is a competition where high schoolers from around Japan develop learning materials regarding life and the natural world for elementary and middle school students. Each team is supported by teaching assistants from Tokyo Tech. The Bio-Creativity Design Contest is the culmination of the Advanced Bio-Creative Design(External site) course for 2nd- and 3rd-year Tokyo Tech students. Heavily focused on group work, this course encourages students to develop and design a bio-related creation that addresses some current societal issue.

These two contests have been held jointly since 2020. After the high school and university teams present their creations, judges first evaluate the BioCon participants. After this, the judges evaluate both the university teams and the best high school teams joining the Bio-Creativity Design Contest.

This year, eleven high school teams and three Tokyo Tech teams participated.

Teams and presentations

Each of the following teams gave a 12-minute presentation which included a short Q&A session.

Team / school name
Presentation title
Wanna fry waffles
Sagamihara Secondary School
Excite with sight!! - How to see living things -
spread wings
Seishin Gakuen High School
Insects Fly!
Shintaro Mitani
School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Tech
Toilet's surface reflects disease
Kuro-chan and the giant colony
Atsugi Senior High School
Top Bacteria Budokai
Ocha Five
Ochanomizu University Senior High School
Virus sugoroku
Sagamihara Secondary School
Fish are people's ancestors!? - How humans came to be -
Toin Gakuen
Creating an ecological map of Toin Gakuen
School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Tech
Sustainable society with leftover cooking oil
Good friends
Yokohama Science Frontier High School
Let's learn from Toxic Crossing
Animal Kingdom
Ochanomizu University Senior High School
Coral reef
Azabu University High School
Making eco-friendly sunscreen
Hayato Mitsudome
School of Life Science and Technology, Tokyo Tech
Electricity and genes - Does electricity alter gene expression? -
You buggin?
Seishin Gakuen High School
The wonders of carnivorous plants
separated color
Azabu University High School
The challenge of color separation!

Bio-play session

After the presentations, approximately 40 young students, mostly from elementary school, were invited to test out the groups' creations during the traditional bio-play session. Despite the online environment required by COVID-19, the youngsters were able to experience bioscience and biotechnology through interesting and challenging games.

Evaluation and competition results

Two Tokyo Tech faculty members and five evaluators from outside the Institute selected winners and runners-up in the competitions. BioCon participants were judged based on four criteria — scientific nature, originality, societal impact, and expressiveness. and completeness. Bio-Creativity Design Contest were evaluated based on the four criteria above and completeness. Students, faculty members, and bio-play session participants cast their votes to determine the winners of the Audience Award and Poster Presentation Award.

This year, the Ochanomizu University Senior High School team Ocha Five, who participated for the first time, won both the BioCon and the Bio-Creativity Design Contest with their work on viruses.

BioCon results

Ocha five, Ochanomizu University Senior High School
2nd place
Spectacles, Sagamihara Secondary School
3rd place
Yokohama City Board of Education Award
Coral reef

Bio-Creativity Design Contest results

Ocha five, Ochanomizu University Senior High School
Judges' Award
E, Tokyo Tech
Animal Kingdom, Ochanomizu University Senior High School
Societal Impact Award
Ocha five, Ochanimizu University Senior High School
Experiment Award
Hayato Mitsudome, Tokyo Tech
Audience Award
Wanna fry waffles, Sagamihara Secondary School
Poster Presentation Award
Kuro-chan and the giant colony, Atsugi Senior High School

After the contest and presentation of awards, the participating students had a chance to exchange opinions freely with the judges. Despite the online environment, the final result of the event was equivalent to that of previous years — new teaching materials that will undoubtedly be useful in the future.

Team separate color's presentation

Team separate color's presentation

Winning team Ocha five presenting

Winning team Ocha five presenting

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

Tokyo Tech Fund

This event is supported by Tokyo Tech Fund

Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund


Office of Bio-Creative Design