Summer vacation for elementary school students often means spending time with friends and visiting the beach. But how about making a superball? Or a battery from slime? Hundreds of local children can now add those to their lists of summer experiences thanks to a workshop organized by Kyushu University faculty and students to expose children to science.
As part of the events celebrating the first anniversary of the opening of the Onojo Cocoro-no-furusato-kan City Museum, members of Kyushu University’s Chikushi Campus, which is partially located in Onojo City, held a science fair for children on July 23. Nearly 1,000 children and parents participated in the workshop, which took place the first week just after the elementary schools in the area had entered summer vacation.
While science can often be intimidating at a young age, the workshop made it fun and accessible through two exhibitions named “Try to make a slime battery” and “Play with Science: Let’s make superballs,” which were both organized by labs associated with the Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering. Members from the lab of Prof. Shigeto Okada assisted 400 participants in creating their own slime batteries, and 600 participants made superballs with the help of members from the labs of Prof. Hideo Nagashima and Prof. Yoichiro Kuninobu.
Just after the inauguration at 10:00 am, the visitors started to make long queues which lasted until 4:30—thirty minutes past the scheduled closing time.
“It was wonderful to see all of the smiling faces and our graduate school students working hard until the very end to make it all happen,” says Prof. Akihiko Takada, Science workshop coordinator of the Chikushi Campus. “We hope to continue to connect with the local community through such events in the future to make science part of the most important hometown memories for the children of Onojo City.”