Australian Student Participation in the Japanese International Science Schools

A project undertaken at The Science Foundation for Physics at The University of Sydney, and supervised by RE Collins

In 1994 the first of a series of Japanese International Science Schools was organized by the Association of International Education, Japan under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Science, Sport and Culture.  The aim of the Japanese International Science Schools was to enable participants to study the current status of Japanese scientific endeavour in the areas of biology and high energy physics, while promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other Asia-Pacific countries. The participants were senior high school (or equivalent) students, and the programs were a mix of lectures, tours, experiments and cultural events, ending in a three-day home-stay program in which each international participant was billeted in a Japanese home.

In 1999, two Australian students were chosen to attend the School on the basis of an essay entitled “My Dreams for Science”, their academic and extracurricular school record and reference letters from their school principals and heads of science. The selection process was administered by The University of Sydney and the costs associated with Australia’s participation in the program were met jointly by the University’s Science Foundation for Physics, and the Hermon Slade Foundation.

The reports by the Australian students upon their return to Australia clearly demonstrated the benefits they had derived from their participation in the School, both in terms of exposure to science beyond their school curriculum and the cultural diversity they experienced in Japan.

Unfortunately, due to economic circumstances, the 6th Japanese International Science School was the last held.