As the world continues to battle with the spread of Covid-19, it is regrettable that all overseas study trips were put on hold. However, Mishima-Kita High School recognizes the importance of providing learning opportunities beyond the classroom to broaden student perspective and to encourage students to take on new challenges. A series of learning trips was organized as an alternative for students taking elective programs to complement their learning in class.
Study trip to Nagasaki (Mar. 2021)
Due to the spread of Covid-19, a study trip to Nagasaki was organized in lieu of the annual trip to Hanoi, Vietnam for students taking the “Global Studies” elective and the Minnesota trip planned for “STEM for SDGs” students.
11 first-year students and 8 second-year students taking the “Global Studies” and "STEM for SDGs" electives respectively, joined by 1 teacher from each of our WWL partner schools in Shizuoka, took part in this study trip.
- 21 March, Sun B&S Program - Language exchange (Exploring Nagasaki with International Students of Nagasaki University)
- 22 March, Mon School exchange and poster session (Nagasaki Higashi High School (WWL partner school), Lecture on SDGs by Area-Environment Laboratory Corporation, Lecture and Site Visit at Kyowakiden Industry Co., Ltd.)
- 23 March, Tue Independent learning day in Nagasaki City
- 24 March, Wed Introduction to Iki City’s “Society 5.0” Project (Visit to Iki City’s telework center, solar park, wind power plant, Nakahara Fugu farm)
- When interacting with foreign students during the B & S program, I was worried about my English ability at first, but I was encouraged by how others were patiently trying to understand me when I was trying to express myself with the limited English I had. I was very happy to hear that they could understand me and that they enjoyed our conversation. It was also interesting to find out the regional differences in dialects and culture between Nagasaki and Shizuoka during our visit to Nagasaki Higashi High School. Our independent learning day was also full of discoveries for me. When I visited Glover Street, Dejima, Chinatown and so on, I experienced how daily life in Nagasaki and its culture have been shaped by their frequent foreign interaction, given its closer proximity with other countries. Furthermore, I was able to enjoy the streets of Nagasaki, with sights unseen in Shizuoka, such as the trams, many shopping streets, and the steep terrain with many slopes. I’m not good at communication, so I was very worried before the trip, however everyone I met in Nagasaki and everyone who was on this study trip with me were very kind to me. I was relieved because conversations went well and were lively and I was able to talk with them with courage. I have come to appreciate the importance in asking questions to deepen my learning, and to keep trying at communication despite how difficult it could be. It was the first time for me and it was a very exciting study trip. I think I will be able to grow more now, both academically and personally. I want to use this precious experience in my future life and for my future dreams. To that end, I will find out more about what I have got interested on this trip, deepen my learning, and think more concretely about my future dreams.
- I think it was a study trip that has allowed me to cooperate with my peers and demonstrate the ability we gained from our daily classes and STEM research. Especially in the B & S program, I was able to communicate freely and even make jokes in English, so it has helped me understand my English ability and it was a lot of fun. I was impressed to see many companies in Iki City that are seriously working towards achieving the goals of the SDGs. I want to make good use of what I have learned on this trip.
- Unlike Shizuoka, Nagasaki has a tram running in the city and it was very interesting for me. After spending a few days in Nagasaki, I realized the differences between Nagasaki and Shizuoka, such as how hilly Nagasaki is. I had many opportunities to talk about the SDGs, and now I want to think more about SDGs issues. I also had the opportunity to talk with many people, such as international students and people from Nagasaki Higashi High School, and I was able to see things that I wouldn't normally see, which has made this study trip especially fulfilling and meaningful.
- I have come to see how big our world is. There are so many people who are going on with their lives and business with the SDGs in mind even in places I have never been to or heard of. And this has led me to want to deepen my research. In the B & S program, I went around the city with international students and experienced the charm of Nagasaki as well as learned about the culture of their country. This study trip is the best!
Study trip to Tokyo (in lieu of Vietnam) (Nov.2021)
As a course requirement, students taking the "Global Studies" elective program were to go on a study trip in Vietnam in December. However, the trip was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and a learning journey to Tokyo was organized for them as an alternative on Nov 15, in which they visited JICA and Meidensha.
JICA GLOBAL SQUARE
Students attended a SDGs workshop and visited the special exhibition "Securing basic needs of people". At the workshop, they were divided into three teams for an activity that required them to use their creativity to create a story from a photo that encouraged them to think about the challenges in life and the connection with the SDGs.
In another activity, students attempted to evaluate the SDGs progress and attainment of Japan, leading them to discover that Japan is ranked 18th in the world for sustainable development achievement.
Students also had fun with the interactive exhibits in the special exhibition, and were particularly impressed by how the exhibition helped people understand global issues in a visual and experiential way.
At the headquarters of Meidensha, one of the corporate sponsors of the "Global Studies" program, students presented their research to the president of Meidensha, Ken Mitsuida, and staff. Despite the students being nervous at explaining their research, they successfully presented what they have found and their subsequent research plans, and received useful advice from the audience.
- It was a very good experience because I have gained so much and I believe I can make use of what I have learned not only in my own research but also in my future. I think it's a really valuable experience for a high school student like me to give a presentation to the president of Meidensha, so I will remember this experience. As President Mitsuida said, there were many things that could not be learned at the desk alone, and I think this is so true for this training in Tokyo. I had a very meaningful time.
- The JICA Global Plaza exhibition tour was particularly informative, with content that was not only directly related to our research, but also offered us new ideas to explore. In addition, there were many examples of application which helped me to better understand the problems of other countries, and to appreciate that in many cases the situation was much more difficult than I had imagined. At the workshop, I was surprised that with just our imagination we were able to think of so many things from just one photo. It has taught me that even though we may be all looking at the same photo, the way we look at it, the things we focus on could be so different. I hope to develop my ability to analyze details and gain more perspective. Given that not all the goals of the SDGs have been achieved yet, I feel that we should consider more and develop more measures for the environmental problems we face today. Goals are met largely due to individual efforts, which is why it is important for individuals to raise their awareness of social issues, and it is important to do what they can do little by little.
Study trip to Tsukuba (Dec. 2021)
A study trip to Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture was planned for students taking the “STEM for SDGs” elective as a replacement for a study trip to Minnesota, USA.
JICA TSUKUBA CENTER
The role of the SDGs in creating greater international understanding and cooperation was introduced at the workshop at JICA Tsukuba Center. An experienced Japan Overseas Cooperation volunteer was also at the workshop to share his experience. Until now, students have been thinking about the SDGs from a science and mathematics perspective, but through this workshop, they have come to understand the importance of thinking about social issues from a broader perspective.
NATIONAL INSTITUTES FOR QUANTUM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY , NAKA RESEARCH CENTER
Students visited Japan's most advanced nuclear fusion experimental facility and attended a lecture on nuclear fusion from the director. They were excited to get a better understanding of nuclear fusion, which was what they were investigating for their participation at the “Energy Pitch” tournament.
JAXA TSUKUBA SPACE CENTER
At Tsukuba space center, students got the opportunity to see a full-scale rocket and the most advanced facilities of space research in Japan. They also learned about the history and development of technology of Japanese space research.
MUSEUM OF AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRESS
In this facility, students learned about the research institutes responsible for agriculture in Japan, and the current state of Japanese agriculture and cutting-edge technology. Students who were researching on hydroponics were particularly enthusiastic and participated actively in asking questions.
This study trip to Tsukuba provided opportunities for students to visit cutting-edge research facilities, stimulating them to venture into and explore new areas of research. It is hoped that this experience will be put to good use when they are making their career choices in the future.
- I realised that some things are just so different when you actually get to see it, no matter how much you know about it from your research. I have so many questions and I am curious about so many things after this study trip. I look forward to finding out the answers.
- It was a very valuable experience in the sense that I was able to deepen my understanding and gain a lot of knowledge. It was great to get to see and experience things that others would only see in pictures or read on the Internet. In addition, I think that the attitude and cooperation of everyone has been improved through this learning trip and our friendship has also been deepened. These two days has been an important learning experience for us!
- I think it was a very intense two days. I was very impressed, especially with regard to fusion research, by the fact that by working together for a common goal, it is possible to achieve what no one has achieved.
- I am truly grateful to the people who have taken the time for us, and I think this training has broadened my horizons.
- It felt like 2 days were over in just a blink of an eye because it was a really fun trip. Before I went on this trip, I wasn't really interested, and in fact I was a little disappointed with the itinerary, but when I went there, it turned out to be really fun and I was able to learn a lot of new things with easy-to-understand explanations given. I'm glad I was given such an opportunity because I wouldn't be able to go to these places and facilities on a personal trip. I learned that there are still many issues left unresolved in Japan, that there are problems in the world that can only be solved through cooperation, and that it is important for me to make small personal efforts to solve them. I also learned that Japan has many of the latest technologies that we can be proud of, and that was amazing. It was a learning experience where I had lots of fun and accomplish a lot.
- Knowing that what we have been researching is also what the country and large organizations are working hard on, I have come to appreciate the importance and scale of the issues.
- This was a valuable experience that I would never have had if not for taking the “STEM for SDGs” elective.
- From what I have learned at JICA, I really feel that it is possible to solve many of the world's environmental problems using the technology we have in Japan. The field trips to various facilities have also made me realize that even though the problems we have now may look like problems in one field, they can be solved by integrating knowledge from various fields such as biology, quantum mechanics, and mechanical engineering.
Online exchange with Vietnam (Dec. 2021)
Students taking the "Global Studies" elective were to go on a study trip to Vietnam in December, however it was cancelled due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic. In lieu of on-site learning, an online learning experience was organized on 22-23 Mar, following their study trip to Tokyo on 12 Nov.
DAY 1 ONLINE LEARNING
An online learning experience, titled “Save the world’s food supply!”, was organized for students to learn more about fisheries, the ecosystem and sustainable business in Vietnam. As the camera moved from site to site, students were introduced to the city of Ho Chi Minh, Tackle Berry Ho Chi Minh store, Goo On Fishing Resort, and Little Rose Shelter.
Tackle Berry is currently working hard toward SDG#2 Zero Hunger, SDG#6 Clean Water & Sanitation, and SDG#14 Life Below Water. In addition to handling highly trusted Japanese import products, Tackle Berry is very active in improving local production. By introducing an ultra-high-speed centrifugal device, Tackle Berry reduces the amount of sludge in farms and turns it into fertilizer. The company is also involved in a “Catch and Give” project in which it organizes donations of fish caught to temples and orphanages.
During the live broadcast from the Goo On Fishing Resort, the local staff demonstrated their skill at catching fish; the students cheered in surprise when a sea bass of about 40 cm was caught almost immediately after the fishing rod was cast. Large-scale fish farms there supplied fish for Aeon's house brand in Japan and Filet-O-Fish in McDonald's in the United States.
The fish caught from the resort were donated to Little Rose Shelter, an orphanage for girls aged 12 to 18 years old. Some of the girls from the shelter gathered after school to introduce us to the facility. At first, students were both shy and nervous, but gradually they were able to interact and converse with a smile over the camera.
DAY 2 ONLINE LEARNING
8 students from Vietnam’s Foreign Trade University joined us online for a day of cultural exchange and presentations in English and Japanese. Using the online quiz platform Kahoot, our students introduced Mishima and our school in Japanese to break the ice. The 3 research teams subsequently presented their research in English, to which valuable opinions and ideas for further research were given by the university students. Our students were clearly motivated by the warm comments. At the pair discussion, there was a free exchange of opinions on marriage and career planning issues, allowing young people from both countries to appreciate the similarities and differences in their way of thinking.
- When I heard that a company was donating fish to an orphanage, I was taken aback at first. But when I actually looked at how it was done, it seemed like it was something that could continue for a long time. There was a neighbourly spirit about this project and it did not feel like the company was merely giving handouts. I was impressed that this worked well for everyone involved. And I have learned a lot from this trip.
- I was disappointed that I couldn't go to Vietnam, but it was a really good experience to be able to interact with the locals in Vietnam online. It was also very insightful to learn about Vietnam from Japanese who knew a lot about Vietnam as it offered us perspective.
- Our group discussed about childbirth and same-sex marriage issues. It was good to be able to discuss with people with different opinions and to understand their viewpoint and values.