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Report of "Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2018"
Kota Ishizeki, Tsubasa Horaguchi
(Science Club, Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology)
Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2018 (CAP2018)
March 24th~25th, 2018
Fukuoka City Science Museum (Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Pref., Japan)
- National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)
- Fukuoka City
- The International Astronomical Union (IAU) - Commision 2
Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2018 (CAP2018) is an international conference introducing idea and case studies about communicating with people who are involved in astronomy. This year, it was held in Fukuoka, Japan. We participated this event to introduce “Sugo-Haya2 Project”.
Our purpose was to share the fun of Sugo-Haya2 and have a chance to communicate with people from all over the world about Sugo-Haya2.
"Hayabusa2" is a Japanese asteroid explorer. "Project Sugo-Haya2" was created using the Japanese traditional game Sugo-Roku that simulates the Hayabusa2’s round-trip voyage to the asteroid Ryugu. It is “Sugo-Roku Hayabusa2”, whose nickname is “Sugo-Haya2.”
Click above image! You can see features of Sugo-Haya2 behind window on the board.
Through playing the game of Sugo-Haya2, one can acquire a chronological bird’s eye view of voyage, learn about the interesting mission, experience the challenges of Hayabusa2, and gain knowledge about the Hayabusa2’s missions. The degree of difficulties of the mission on the Sugo-roku simulates the actual level of challenges of the mission of Hayabusa2.
Website of “Sugo-Haya2”:
Day 1 (March 24th, 2018)
07:00 - 18:30
We were going to arrive at Fukuoka city at 10:00. However, we actually arrived at 18:30.
That day, there was an incident on a runway at Fukuoka airport.
<= Local newspaper on the next day
All of the flights using Fukuoka airport were canceled. Many participants of CAP2018 were affected. We were among them.
08:20 ANA243 Haneda -> Fukuoka (10:15) .....Canceled!
at Haneda airport, Tokyo
We had to go to Fukuoka by Shinkansen.
It took five hours by Shinkansen to Fukuoka.
So, we joined the event from evening.
at Fukuoka station with a poster of CAP2018
18:30 - 19:00 Welcome Event
* Noh Play
In Ohori Park, we listened and watched Noh lecture. A lot of people watched it intensely. It was a rare chance to see a culture of our own country. We were surprised that Dr. Yamaoka, with whom we talked with at the Junior Session, was playing the main character.
* Public Stargazing Party
We joined a stargazing party held by a regional astronomical organization. There were many exhibition booths such as astronomical observation with local people, workshop of making a star shaped dish by origami, planetarium and so on.
At 20:00, the ISS in which a Japanese Astronaut Kanai was on board had just passed above us. Then many people cheered with the large voice for him.
20:30 - 21:30 Welcome Drink
There was a party at a boat house in Ohori Park. It was meant to greet other participants and to report each other's recent activities while having some snacks.
We spent the time giving out the information on and introducing Sugo-Haya2. The people were all new to us, and it became a good practice session with having them ask about Hayabusa2 and Sugo-Haya2. We were energized by seeing people show interest. We enjoyed talking with people and did not have time to eat.
Day 2 (March 25th, 2018)
- 10:15 Preparation of Our Poster
10:15 - 10:45 Keynote 2
“Human Factors to Foster Equal Participation”
presented by Dr. Wanda Diaz Merced (Postdoctoral Researcher at the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development, Cape Town, South Africa)
We were surprised to learn that she was blind and we also learned that anything is possible with one's ingenuity. She taught us that being blind does not matter to learning astronomy, and we were encouraged. We felt as if we were encouraged that we can overcome challenges easily with ingenuity.
10:45 - 11:55 Oral Session
11:25 - 11:55 Coffee Break & Poster Session
We took coffee then did our poster session and explained about Sugo-Haya2 by using the poster. We estimated about twenty people came in front of our poster and therefore we did not have time to drink coffee. We were glad that they were interested in our project and felt fun.
These are some questions we received from the participants:
- How do you make it?
- How long does it take to make it?
- Why did you use Sugoroku?
- Can I use it for education?
- About Hayabusa2’s mission
The question which is about production is more than just about its contents. There were more questions about how to make it than the game's contents. We think that they were thinking to make it themselves.
12:00 - 12:15 Keynote 3
“Dark Side of the Universe for Everybody”
presented by Dr. Hitoshi Murayama (Director Kavli IPMU, University of Tokyo)
We found a delightful important point in his presentation. In this keynote talk, Dr. Murayama showed us a method to communicate to the general public the results of his research which is advanced and difficult to understand. The characteristics that the aforementioned method should have is as follows:
- It has some entertainment value
- It can be taken home
- One can learn on his/her own
These are the characteristics that “Sugo-Haya2” also possesses. In addition, one more important message is “the metaphor to be used to explain should not lack the scientific accuracy.” These things that Dr. Murayama suggests are what we stuck with when we made Sugo-Haya2. Because our opinions were the same with Dr. Murayama's, we felt like Dr. Murayama acknowledged Sugo-Haya2 and it made us very happy. We wanted to shout out, “there are people who practice what you are talking about at the very back of the audience area!"
12:25 - 13:05 Oral Session
13:05 Group Photo
There was a group photo session but we were at the back of a large hall and sadly could not be recognizable.
=> The photo on Twitter
13:15 - 14:15 Lunch time with Professor Handa
We had lunch with Professor Handa of Kagoshima University.
He showed an interest in a strange phenomenon and result about our cansat. He gave us many advices about our cansat. We had little knowledge about the strange phenomenon of our cansat, so Professor Handa's advice will helps us very much.
If we have a chance, we want to learn many subjects from him again.
14:15 - 15:45 Parallel Sessions
Four oral sessions were conducted at the same time. We joined “Best Practices in Outreach Using Entertainment to communicate science; When science meets art”
Even in the middle of the presentation, participants asked questions. It was very different from what we do at our school. It was nice but we wondered if we could do it.
15:45 - 16:15 Coffee Break & Poster Session
We explained about Sugo-Haya2 using a poster again.
This time we put on a Hayabusa2 hat, which was paper crafted. Maybe because the hat stood out, many people came in front of our poster.
We handed out the Sugo-Haya2 game board that we prepared to give out.
The people who talked at the welcome drink visited us and it made us happy.
There also came a graduate student who creates and does research on games for astronomy learning. She showed a very strong interest in Sugo-Haya2 and complimented us very much.
We also had the person visited us who made the Hayabusa 2's snow dome in the movie. And an astronomer who had Hayabusa2’s T-shirt on also visited us. They told us that they are interested in Sugo-Haya2. We were pleased that those people who visited us shared the same feeling with us that Sugo-Hayabusa2 is interesting. Some participants introduced Sugo-Haya2 in Twitter and we were happy.
Many of the participants were telling others their opinions. Through this, we learned that it is important to advocate our opinions.
17:00 Departure from Fukuoka City Science Museum
19:45 ANA270 Fukuoka -> Hanada(21:25)
The reason why we participated CAP 2018 was to share interest about experiencing voyage of Hayabusa2 by the game. Most of participants from foreign countries did not to know about Sugoroku, so we had them play it. They told us “this is a good idea” and “I want to make it”. They were interested in it. We were so glad to present them Sugo-roku to take home. We could tell them what we wanted to share, so I gained confidence through this experience.
In this event, when I was asked by the audience some questions as the presenter, I could enjoy talking and communicating in English which I could not do before. It was such a new experience for us. Even though our English is not perfect, we were pleased to interact positively with people who have various opinions, people with a same interest with us about Hayabusa2, and a group of people whom we exchanged opinions at the welcome drink.
Through this experience, we became interested in practicing speaking and listening English.
Most people heard our presentation with interest and gave us feedbacks that it’s interesting when they see our Sugoroku. It was also understood that Sugo-Haya2 is not only just a game but also have a scientific meaning. While I was talking with the participants, I found various things such as the difference in the impression of Sugoroku felt by different people. I was pleased that we just had a nice conversation. Doing our presentation, we saw many participants. We are glad that we share the interest of Hayabusa2 with them.
This Sugo-Haya2 project was supported by the Fund for Science Education Support of Tokyo Institute of Technology.
We would like to thank the LOC, SOC of CAP 2018. Especially Dr. Lina Canas who gave us generous support. Deep thanks for continued English coaching of McGahan-sensei and Mika-san. With their warm support we could gain fruitful time in CAP 2018.
For those people who cooperated and showed interest, we will continue and expand Sugo-Haya2 Project.
We thank all members of wonderful Hayabusa2 Project. We wish Hayabusa2's greater success in every situations of its Voyage!
This work was supported by the Fund for the Science Education Support of Tokyo Institute of Technology.
“Project Sugo-Haya2” is produced by