A group of 20 second-year students and two teachers from Fukuoka Prefectural Yahata High School visited JIRCAS on August 2, 2023 as part of the “Tsukuba Science Tour” program.
Yahata High School has been fostering greater enthusiasm for science and mathematics among its students by providing them with the opportunity to visit various research institutes in Tsukuba City to directly experience advanced Japanese science and technology through the "Tsukuba Science Tour” program.
First, the students were given an overview of JICAS research activities, the challenges of food and environmental issues in developing regions, and the research programs and contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Next, Dr. TSUTSUI Isao (Senior Researcher, Fisheries Division) gave a presentation entitled "Beyond the shrimp we eat," which covered the current status and problems of shrimp farming (intensive methods) in Southeast Asia. He also introduced a low-cost, simple and sustainable technology using a type of seaweed called "juzumo" and clams for economically disadvantaged small and medium-scale shrimp farming, and talked about the importance of overcoming various obstacles in research and collaborating with researchers from different fields.
After the visit to JIRCAS, the students went to the Tsukuba Business-Academia Cooperation Support Center to visit the Discovering the Wonders of Superfood Quinoa exhibit. At the exhibit, the students were able to learn about quinoa ecology, observe quinoa plants and seeds, and learn about ongoing quinoa research in Bolivia.
Ultimately, the goal of this effort is to spark a lasting curiosity in students about global food security and environmental issues. In addition, it is hoped that exposure to these scientific endeavors will ignite a lasting passion for future studies in science and technology-related disciplines.