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Matama Middle School (Oita prefecture)
A visit and class session was held at Matama Middle School in Bungotakada, Oita prefecture. The session was attended by middle-school students from all three years, as well as year-six students from the nearby Matama and Usui elementary schools.
This visit was held as part of the school's "World Seminar" series devised by principal Yutaka Hiramatsu, who used to work at Hitachi. This session was held in collaboration with nearby elementary schools for the first time in the seminar series.
The class introduced electron microscopes to students, allowing them to observe samples they brought along. Seeing things like the pores that covered the surface of a strawberry's fruit clearly surprised them.
(The fleshy part of a strawberry, usually referred to as the fruit, is technically from a part of the plant called the "receptacle." The real "fruits" are the small seed-like growths on the outside.)
Reporters from the local newspaper and cable TV station came to cover the event, and one student remarked on how "twisted up" the edge of a pencil lead looked close-up.
Electron-microscope image of a broken-off pencil lead, observed in class
The children and students who experienced this world were amazed at what they saw, saying things like "I had no idea it looked like this!" One of the employees guiding them remarked that "I was nervous when the event got started, but when I saw all the children's smiling faces, I started to have fun too, it really energized me."
Electron-microscope image of a strawberry fruit, observed in class