Research

Tokyo Tech News

Elementary school students study botany and create natural bookmarks at online workshop

RSS

Published: March 7, 2022

Tokyo Tech's School of Life Science and Technology hosted another science workshop for elementary school children on February 6. The online event, supported by the Tokyo Tech Fund, brought together 30 child-guardian pairs to study the structure of plants and create natural bookmarks using tree leaves. Fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders from various locations across Japan participated in the hands-on session.

Before the event, participants were sent a kit of tools by mail and were asked to prepare by collecting plants and leaves from their surroundings. The workshop kicked off with a lecture by Professor Emeritus Yukihisa Hamaguchi. After Hamaguchi's informative talk on plants and leaf venation patterns, alumni from the Hamaguchi Lab joined children and guardians in five breakout rooms to assist with the experiments and craft activities on the agenda.

Hamaguchi lecturing about venation patterns in leaves
Hamaguchi lecturing about venation patterns in leaves

Experiment demonstrated by alumni of Hamaguchi’s lab
Experiment demonstrated by alumni of Hamaguchi’s lab

The children moisturized the leaves they had collected with a fluorescent dye, allowing them to grasp how water is transported around a leaf, and extracted the veins from pre-treated leaves that had been enclosed in their tool kits. While the online environment posed some challenges regarding visual instruction, organizers were able to provide detailed instructions by assisting participants in small groups, and by zooming in on their hands during experiments. After the session, the participants sent in photos of their fluorescent-dye-stained leaves and their completed leaf vein bookmarks.

Kit sent to participants beforehand
Kit sent to participants beforehand

Finished bookmarks, photo courtesy of participant
Finished bookmarks, photo courtesy of participant

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict the activities of both children and their guardians, and participants of this workshop expressed great satisfaction in being able to participate online. Despite the circumstances, Tokyo Tech continues to seek new, innovative ways through which it can share the joys of science with the broader community.

Leaves under UV light after absorbing fluorescent dye, photo courtesy of participant

Leaves under UV light after absorbing fluorescent dye, photo courtesy of participant

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

Fundamental Biology, School of Life Science and Technology

Email yasuda.s.ad@m.titech.ac.jp

RSS