Five Shawnigan students combined their love of science with a unique cross-cultural experience this month when they travelled across the Pacific for the Japan Super Science Fair as part of our commitment to academic excellence.
This was the ninth year the School has participated in the prestigious international science fair, hosted by Ritsumeikan High School in Kyoto on November 3-7. The Shawnigan contingent, supervised by Senior Master and Executive Director of Organizational Effectiveness Mrs. Wendy Milne, joined students representing 42 schools from 21 countries. Shawnigan was one of two schools from Canada to take part after being the lone institution from our country in 2022.
The five students presented on a total of four topics at the JSSF:
• Zoë B. and Bea H. – Coho Salmon Hatchery Enrichment Experiment
• Jacob L. – Testing the Adaptivity of Neural Networks Through the Snake Game
• Jaelyn M. – Can A High School Telescope Locate Exoplanets?
• Shelby H. – The Synthesis and Decomposition of Bioplastics
“Participating in the Japan Super Science Fair was eye-opening,” Bea commented. “Meeting other students who are passionate about the sciences and hearing about different projects and experiments opened up a world of possibilities. We made new friendships and created memories that will last a lifetime. Between designing foam airplanes and hearing professors speak about their research, the fair was the ultimate trade of knowledge; I learnt so much from interacting with other students and listening to talks.”
“JSSF was an unforgettable experience,” Zoë added. “We met people from all over the world and collaborated with them on a variety of science activities. It was so cool to learn about all the different projects and experiments that everyone conducted. The students were so welcoming and I definitely made some new friendships that will last my whole life.”
As both scholars and tourists, the students experienced Japan’s famous vending machines (particularly enjoying those that dispensed hot lattes), and tasted new foods in a series of “culinary adventures.” They were welcomed to Japan by some familiar faces from Ritsumeikan who visited Shawnigan last spring, as well as their assigned “Student Buddies,” Maho, Suzie and Koki.
“The kindness of the students at Ritsumeikan was exceptional, even when compared to the stereotypical kindness of Canada,” Jacob said. “The Japanese students all embraced and took honour in their school and student body, presenting the school as well as themselves with unparalleled polish and pridefulness.”
This is the ninth year that Shawnigan has participated in the Japan Super Science Fair, including seven times in-person and twice virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two students and a staff member made the trip last year as the JSFF returned to in-person events.
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent co-educational boarding school for ages 13 –18 on Canada’s beautiful West Coast. Our diverse, interdisciplinary and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.