UK-Japan Young Scientists

Aims

The UK-Japan Young Scientists -project is a School-Scientist Partnerships between Britain and Japan that aims to offer to young people an experience of science as a creative, questioning enterprise where students use school knowledge to address real life issues.
In addition the project aims to create links and exchanges between the UK and Japan at all levels from the young participants to teachers, scientists and professionals.

Argument for inclusion

UK-Japan Young Scientist

Lab work in Kyoto 2004

The UK-Japan Young Scientists project addresses the internationally shared problem of many young people’s reluctance to enter into science careers.
The project aims to show the young participants that science can truly question the knowledge we have and be used to resolve the issues that we face in our lives.

Relevant information in short

Main Research Partners

Clifton Scientific Trust, Bristol, UK; Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

Educational partners

Drayton Manor High School (London), George Abbot School (Guildford), Rakuhoku Prefectural Senior School (Kyoto), Horikawa Municipal Senior School (Kyoto), University of Education Attached Senior High School (Kyoto), Ritsumeikan High School (Kyoto).

Other partners

University of Surrey, Imperial College, University of Bristol

Age classes

16+
30 places per country. Selection through an application process.
NB: 2/3 of applicants in both countries were female.

Thematic orientation

Archaeology, Chemistry, Earthquake Engineering, Environment, Space Science, Science trough theatre, Vulcanology, Wildlife conservation.

Main Focus

Showing to young people how exciting and engaging science careers can be.

Duration of activity

Intensive 5-8 day workshops in international locations in 2001, 2004 and 2006. Potential for additional work subject to funding.

Resources

Funding has been provided for specific workshops from different organizations including the Embassy of Japan, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Sasakawa Foundation and the Chemical Society of Japan.

Website

www.clifton-scientific.org/uk-japan

Contact person

Eric Albone, Clifton Scientific Trust


Context and conditions

Studying the bones by day…

Studying the bones by day….

The UK-Japan Young Scientists programme grew out of the UK-Japan Science, Creativity and the Young Mind Workshops for young people. These were an earlier initiative by Clifton Scientific Trust and Japanese colleagues, and took place at Bristol University (1994, 1996) and in Tokyo (1998).

…exchanging cultural traditions by night

…exchanging cultural traditions by night,
in Bristol 2001

In these workshops scientists and science teachers from the two countries shared experiences of and ideas of how to bring school science to life for young people. Currently, there is ongoing collaboration between Clifton and a range of academic and educational bodies in Japan, as well as with international schools following a Japanese curriculum in the UK.

Activities and Contents

Students are grouped in project teams each consisting of 3 UK and 3 Japanese students.
Each team is supported by a scientist who is a specialist in the topic area, as well as by a Japanese facilitator to ease linguistic and cultural communication.
Student projects at the 2006 workshop at University of Surrey UK included, among others, work on: nanotechnology, global warming, monitoring by satellite and clock gene research.
The groups work on their projects and present about their findings at the end of the week.

Methodologies

The group work introduces young people to real science research in topic areas relevant to life. This opens up new aspects of science that are not limited by the boundaries of school curriculum subjects. Young people discover what they can do with science and why society needs scientific research. They also gain confidence in their own ability to succeed in a science career and widen their horizons through intense communication with peers from the other side of the world.

Curriculum relevance

During the group work young people must use the science competencies gained through school science teaching and push themselves beyond, to entirely new topic areas and applications.

Other outcomes

Personal friendships among the teachers, researchers and young people develop enriching the personal and professional lives of all involved.

Mutual benefits

The involvement of schools and academic institutions across an occidental/oriental axis allows teachers and academics to better understand the challenges involved with promoting education in different contexts across Japan and the UK. This leads to a richer international perspective for all parties involved.

Evaluation /feedbacks  

Feedback from Kyoto 2004

"I am very impressed by the incisive and insightful questioning of the students... by the enthusiasm of the staff... the quality of the facilities are extraordinary... investing in the scientists of the future", Dr Malcolm von Schantz, University of Surrey.

"an unbelievable experience I will never forget", student.

"they were all surprised by what they could accomplish in such a short time" , teacher.

These and more comments can be seen on http://www.clifton-scientific.org/uk-japan/kyoto2004.html

Feedback from students, Bristol 2001

When at school, I was learning the science without being able to apply it; now I know what real science is like; I love it!”
I managed to do a written report and presentation on a subject I knew nothing about with people I did not know, and yet to enjoy myself at the same time. I feel so proud to have taken part. I will never forget it.”
I have learnt loads, not just about science but an awareness of the world
It has changed my attitude a lot. I thought the Japanese were lovely people and I have realised there is so much to learn about the world

These and more comments can be seen on www.clifton-scientific.org/J2001/report.htm

Limits and possibilities

There is the possibility of developing, subject to funding constraints, further workshops and related activities, drawing on the experience to date. This could also include further developments on school-academic links in relation to science teaching in the UK and Europe.

The images were originally published on the website http://www.clifton-scientific.org

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