Japanese 30 female students from high schools or national colleges of technology participated in the TYL Science Camp, which was held on April 3rd - 4th at KEK Tsukuba campus. The TYL Science Camp has been organized every year since 2012 by the KEK Gender Equality Office, the TYL-FJPPL (Toshiko Yuasa Laboratory‐France-Japan Particle Physics Laboratory), Ochanomizu University and Nara Women’s University.
The TYL-FJPPL was created by CNRS/IN2P3, CEA/Irfu and KEK in 2006 to promote collaboration between French and Japanese teams of researchers working in subatomic physics and related areas. It was named after Dr. Toshiko Yuasa (1909-1980), a pioneering Japanese female physicist who stayed in France many years to pursue research in nuclear physics. The TYL-FJPPL uses limited funds from the 3 institutes to support staff exchanges and joint training initiatives for students and junior staff. A general workshop is also organized annually to bring together the teams involved. Topical workshops, schools and other special events like the TYL Science Camp are moreover regularly sponsored both in France and in Japan. Such grass-roots efforts have a big impact on shaping activities in the field both in France and in Japan: recently they for instance played a role in helping France become the 24th participating country in the Belle II Experiment.
At the opening ceremony of Day 1, the TYL-FJPPL Co-director for Japan (KEK Executive Director), Dr. Junji Haba commented, “We decided to start this Science Camp 6 years ago because we want to encourage female high school students to major in science at university. I think that the more female members join our physics groups, the more reliable our research becomes.” TYL-FJPPL Co-director for France (CEA/Irfu), Dr. Marc Besançon also remarked, “Welcome to the Rikejo Camp! We hope you’ll enjoy our program and have fun in the next few days, especially the Eggs Drop game and the lectures by female scientists.”
The first part of the program was dedicated to the Eggs Drop game, taking place in the staircase of the KEK 4th research building. The 30 students were divided into 10 groups of 3, each asked to drop raw eggs without breaking them, successively from the 2nd floor (height of 5 meters), 3rd floor (9 meters) and 4th floor (13 meters). Each group was equipped with some materials such as chop sticks, paper cups, aluminum foil, clay, tape, woolen socks and more to create dampers preventing the eggs from bumping hard on the floor. Although the students had never met before they spontaneously pooled ideas and enjoyed creating some most elaborate protections.
The 2nd year student from Hiroogakuen High School in Tokyo, Ms. Yuuki Murata, who succeeded dropping as many as three eggs from the 4th floor (height of 13 meters) without breaking them, said smiling, “We met for the first time today but had a good discussion how to create a parachute. I am very excited to try the Egg Drop.” The 3rd year student from Tsukushigaoka High School, Ms. Asahi Haraguchi, whose group used tapes and clay as well as pieces of paper as shock absorbers, and succeeded dropping eggs from every floor without breaking them, said, “I wanted to have a female colleague and came here today. It is fun and I am very happy to be here. I’d like to become an astronaut in the future.”
In the morning of the second day, the students attended several lectures from female scientists. The first one was on the three-body forces acting on the three nucleons inside the atomic nucleus, by Dr. Kimiko Sekiguchi, Prof. at Tohoku University, while the second one was on the relation between social media and group knowledge, by Yukie Sano, Assistant Prof. at Tsukuba University. The third lecture was given by Dr. Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille, Senior Scientist of CEA/Irfu, on her research modeling the impact of neutrinos on the evolution of the Universe, tackling the nature of dark matter. She also mentioned how exciting it is to meet and collaborate with new people and to lead investigations. Dr. Palanque-Delabrouille concluded her lecture, saying, “Science is a place for men and women. Research is exciting, both a scientific and a human adventure. There is room for you all.”
In the afternoon of Day 2, the student visited the Photon Factory, the Accelerator Test Facility, the Superconducting RF Test Facility and the Energy Recovery Linac at the KEK Tsukuba campus.
- KEK/IPNS news French Ambassador Visits KEK Tsukuba to Attend a Ceremony of Raising French National Flag, Commemorating 24th National Participation in Belle II
- TYL-FJPPL:“Toshiko Yuasa” France Japan Particle Physics Laboratory(French Side)
- TYL-FJPPL:“Toshiko Yuasa” France Japan Particle Physics Laboratory(Japanese Side)
Sites of Related Institutions
- CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique
- IN2P3: Institut national de physique nucléaire et de physique des particules
- CEA/Irfu: Institut de recherche sur les lois fondamentales de l’Univers
- LAL: Laboratoire de l’Accélérateur Linéaire
- IPHC: Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert CURIEN
- CERN: European Organization for Nuclear Research