As part of the ‘Workplace Experience Learning’ program, four 8th-grade students (2nd-year junior high) from Tsukuba Gakuennomori Compulsory Education School visited JIRCAS on July 24 and 25. This marks the second time the school has visited JIRCAS, following last year's visit.
During their visit, Dr. KONDO Toshiaki, Senior Researcher in the Biological Resources and Post-harvest Division, provided insights into the characteristics and current status of tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia, the connection between tropical rainforests and oil palm plantations, and the environmental impacts caused by the latter. He also introduced ongoing research on achieving a balance between tropical rainforest conservation and sustainable oil palm industry management, with the aim of establishing a sustainable oil palm industry. In addition, he offered advice on the rewards and challenges of research work.
Dr. ARAI Takamitsu, Senior Researcher in the Biological Resources and Post-harvest Division, showcased how microorganisms can be harnessed to produce various substances, such as fuel and plastics, from biomass like oil palm waste wood. To enhance the students' understanding, he displayed actual cross-sections of oil palm trunks and explained the efficient sap extraction system from waste wood using model exhibits.
Some of the visiting students harbor aspirations to become researchers in the future. We hope that this visit will serve as a stepping stone towards realizing their dreams.