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Tokyo Campus
May 27, 2018

Nature observation in Mitaka City

On May 27, during a nice summer-like day, second-year senior high school students took part in a nature observation event. This annual event is part of the basic geography course and is offered for students interested in the event. This year, a total of 27 boys and girls participated in the event.

In the morning, the participants visited Osawa no Sato, which features spring water oozing through the terrace cliffs, and they met a farmer who operates the waterwheel. The participants learned how ancient peoples lived using waterwheels from a volunteer guide.

In the afternoon, the students moved to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). Along the way, they spent a valuable time finding kingfishers and picking and eating mulberries. At the NAOJ, they observed sunspots at the 20-cm Telescope Dome, designated as a Tangible Cultural Property. They listened attentively to the staff, who explained to the students that the number of sunspots is periodically increasing or decreasing and that now the number is decreasing, while taking notes.

One of the participating students commented, "I was deeply impressed with the wisdom of ancient peoples, who discovered how to operate waterwheels without electricity. I was surprised at the extremely efficient structure regarding every detail." Another student stated, "It was very productive for me to learn from this experience something that I cannot study in a classroom."