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KOMEX Division of Social Outereach

The KOMEX External Relations Division was established along with the founding of KOMEX, taking the former Benesse Corporation External Relations Division at KOMED (Komaba Organization for Educational Development) as its predecessor. The Japanese junior high and high school education systems are currently at a crossroad - and for their revitalisation and reconstruction, traditional educational concepts and methods must be reconsidered. Our aim is, therefore, to promote educational research that will contribute to the improvement of junior high, high school, and university education across the country. We make use of both the highly esteemed educational resources at the College of Arts and Sciences as well as methods from a variety of disciplines. Some specific projects include 'Special Friday lectures for high school students', 'Naoshima environmental camp', and 'Science Reading Symposium'.

Special Friday lectures for high school students

The College of Arts and Sciences has been offering extension courses for high school students since April 2002, after requests from nearby high schools to provide something on Saturdays following the introduction of the five-day school week. The courses thus began as 'Special Saturday lectures for high school students', targeted mainly at high school students but also open to the general public. Since October 2003, the lectures have been held on Friday evenings as part of the 'Outreach program - wisdom for living through the 21st century', which became the current 'Special Friday lectures for high school students' in April 2004. The majority of the audience are high school students, but also includes the general public on a 7:3 ratio, whose age ranges widely from junior high students to people in their 80s.
We also started to pilot an online- and videoconferencing-based distribution of the lectures, such that high school students who live too far away to come to Tokyo can also benefit from the program. As the online system is open both ways, these students often pose sharp questions to the lecturers, and contribute to an animated discussion in the conference hall.


Naoshima environmental camp for high school students

We have been organizing the Naoshima environmental camp for high school students, held in Naoshima and Teshima islands in the Seto Inland Sea, every year since 2007. The camp is partly funded by the Benesse Cooperation, and every year, more than twenty high school students and academic staff members from the University of Tokyo participate. The camp aims to explore environmental issues from a multifaceted perspective, through a diverse program that includes lectures, visits to mass industrial wastelands in Teshima, visits to industrial waste disposal facilities in both Naoshima and Teshima, and appreciation of the modern art that has been instituted as part of a regional community revitalisation effort. A part of our new liberal arts program that encourages connection between high school and university, using the two islands of Naoshima and Teshima in the Seto Island Sea, the camp provides an opportunity for all to 'reflect'. . During the camp, high school students are able to deepen their understanding through engaging in discussion with staff and among themselves, and on the last day of the camp, they present their ideas on how to tackle environmental problems.

Science Reading Symposium

We have been organizing Science Reading Symposiums since 2008, as a place for academic staff, library staff and organizations that promote science books from across the country to gather adiscuss current issues in the reading of science books. This is in accordance with the slogan, "let's start reading science books (rikadoku wo hajimeyoo)" proposed by former project professor at the University of Tokyo Yoji Takigawa (now professor at Research Institute of Educational Development, Tokai University, and chairman of the NPO Galileo Science Workshop), which call for a need to encourage the reading of science books as a way for students to stay in touch with science outside the classroom.



| Division of Advanced Education in Science | Science Interpreter Training |
| External Relations Division | Division for Active Learning and Teaching |
| Internationalization Division: Todai Liberal Arts Program| Division for Fresh-Year Education |
| NEDO Special Division  |

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