2020.12.21 Misc. Terumo Life Science Foundation calls on Prof. Kai to hold discussions for its Life Science DOKIDOKI Laboratory for JHS and HS student researchers

The Terumo Life Science Foundation held part of their “Mysteries of Life” series encouraging junior high school and high school students
to think about life sciences through their Life Science DOKIDOKI* Laboratory in an event held at FBS titled, “Let’s talk about research!”
High school students from Ritsumeikan Junior and Senior High School and some academic staff joined the event.
Three students visited Prof. Kai to discuss frontline research, the dissection of fly ovaries, Prof. Kai’s personal journey to becoming a professor,
and other such detailed topics. 

Prof. Kai began her discussion with a phrase that shows a passion for her research field, stating, “Germ cells are the drivers for the next generation,
whereas an individual is simply the vehicle.” She then continued to fill the conversation with the essence of life science by asking questions
such as: “Why use fruit flies?” “What are chromosomes?” “What is ‘genetics?’” to the students. 
The visitors hung on her every word, eyes widening with curiosity as they regarded her laboratory and this new kind of research they had never encountered before. 

The conversation shifted to researcher career paths, and the students were able to try some hands-on research while Prof. Kai gave very specific explanations,
allowing the students to closely understand what a “real” researcher’s day-to-day life would be like.
In the Q&A session after their practical experience, one student said, “Even if I investigate something I don’t know about,
there might already be a lot of information that has already been explored. How do you know how to ask questions to discover something new?” 
Prof. Kai replied, “Finding questions is the key to research. It’s probably the difficulty and depth of this that makes research so interesting.”
She went on to explain the true pleasure of discovering and spreading those questions and the experience and knowledge that comes with that discovery. 
“Every experience you have is as important as the last if asking simple questions and setting simple research themes are developed from chance encounters
and overlaps, don’t you think?
“I hope that your interest in science, desire to become researchers, and the ideas that emerge through this event will all connect in the future.”

(Seminars with small numbers are also held in the largest seminar room available in our graduate school due to the policies surrounding COVID-19.
Groups for the practical section of this event were split in accordance with those policies.
We appreciated the understanding of all those who participated in this event.) 

Article: FBS Planning Office, OKAMOTO

Related links:
中高生と“いのちの不思議”を考えるー生命科学DOKIDOKI 研究室
(Life Science DOKIDOKI Laboratory’s “Mysteries of Life” series for junior/senior high school students [in Japanese only])

*DOKIDOKI is a Japanese onomatopoeia for a “beating” or “racing heart” which carries the nuance of excitement and anticipation.