Green Lab Associates in Asia – Fukushima Technical Institute, Japan
Fukushima is Japan’s largest prefecture, and is home to the National Institute of Technology, Fukushima College. There hundreds of young future mechanical engineers, chemists, and more are able to learn and develop their trades. Martin had been introduced to Associate Professor Akiko Kato, through the EAUC conference’s Asian panel, and offered to include the college as a site visit. Martin was interested in how sciences were being taught, having come from working with so many research-focused universities in the UK. There, he was introduced the Head Master, as well as a slew of students.
At the request of Akiko, Martin delivered several lectures to students in English about the importance of sustainability no matter their future vocation. Particularly with the classes of future mechanical engineers, Martin sought to convey that coming up with new ways to apply sustainable practices would help differentiate them in the future, similarly to how Green Lab practices have gained attention. The students were a fantastic audience despite slight challenges in understanding Martin’s English. One particular student showed interest in being able to modulate air change rates in accordance with CO2 in future laboratories. They couldn’t help but ask a few questions about UK’s premier league teams as well towards the end, with some commentary on their local teams’ success!
A hearty thanks to Professor Kato and her colleagues for facilitating these lectures. It was genuinely an amazing experience to meet the staff and students, begin learn how Japanese colleges teach the sciences, and make some friends along the way.