On 29 July, the Institute for Chemical Research (ICR) hosted the 20th "Chemical Research for High School Students" workshop.
The annual summer workshop invites motivated high school students to experience cutting-edge research at ICR so that they may deepen their appreciation of the depth and joy of chemistry and science, and even develop an interest in joining the institute as a researcher. Despite the scorching sun, the event attracted 83 participants from across the country.
The morning program started with a briefing on the ten research sites hosting the day's activities. Participants divided into ten groups, and toured large-scale research facilities before taking part in chemical experiments at these sites under the guidance of experts. The experiments included synthesizing odorants via ion-catalyzed cross coupling reaction, and inducing chemical reactions using a firefly-derived bioluminescent enzyme as a catalyst. One of the sites featured a "reverse teaching" session -- a first in the workshop series -- requiring the participants to prepare for the class by watching specified video clips beforehand.
In the afternoon, the students completed their experiments and wrote reports on their experiences. They then attended a lecture by Professor Yuichi Shimakawa of ICR, entitled "Creating new materials to make the world more convenient".
Finally, honorary certificates and additional prizes were awarded to the participant with the best report along with two runner-ups.
Professor Shimakawa lecturing
Working on a chemical experiment
Another group of participants conducting an experiment