What is the "Science Volunteer Center" ?
In Japan, many events that are focused on science, such as science show-and-tell and extracurricular science class, are conducted by volunteers with the goal of enhancing public interest in science. Okayama University of Science (OUS) established the Science Volunteer Center (SVC) in 2008 to promote the science volunteer activities of students and teachers. SVC aims not only to contribute to the community, but also for the advancement of students’ generic skills (i.e., communication skills, problem solving ability, creative thinking, etc.). Twenty staff members contribute to SVC, including university teachers and retired teachers from elementary, junior high, and high schools.
Outline of Enterprise
- About 100 science events, as well as some international exchange activities including science demonstrations, are conducted annually by OUS students. SVC coordinates and/or supports these activities.
- SVC educates students through the Science Volunteer Leader Training Curriculum which consists of regular curriculum subjects.
- SVC aims for specific, high-quality learning outcomes using the Science Volunteer Leader Certification System.
Science Volunteer Leader Certification System
In order to obtain Science Volunteer Leader Certification, students need to complete five required credits and one elective credit in the Science Volunteer Leader Training Curriculum. The certified students are expected to actively promote science volunteer activities after graduation.
Science Volunteer Leader Training Curriculum
Introduction to Science Volunteer Activities (2 credits, required subject)
Students will understand the meaning of science volunteer activities and acquire the minimum knowledge and skills necessary for such activities. After listening to lectures by teachers, each group chooses an experiment that will be demonstrated in presentations.
Research on Teaching Materials for Science Volunteer (1 credit, elective subject)
First, teachers will conduct a course on research and development of teaching materials. Then, students will improve existing teaching materials or develop their own teaching materials, and share the results at a presentation meeting.
Science Volunteer Exercise 1 (1 credit, required subject)
Science Volunteer Exercise 2 (1 credit, required subject)
Students will carry out science volunteer activities for more than two hours in the local community. In Science Volunteer Exercise I, students run an exhibit booth at a science event. In Science Volunteer Exercise II, students conduct science classes.
Science Volunteer Activities 1 (1 credit, required subject)
Science Volunteer Activities 2 (1 credit, elective subject)
Students volunteer for over 24 hours(Activities 1) or over 30hours(Activities 2) in the community. Students also present the results of their activities at a final presentation meeting that is comprehensively judged to ensure that their leadership abilities have been acquired. (Activities 1)
About 100 science events are held annually at the university, regional schools, science halls, and so on. Students take advantage of their expertise as they carry out various events such as those related to physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics, robots, and programming. In addition, in cooperation with the affiliated high school, OUS students support high school students' booth exhibitions. We also hold international exchange science events for students who have come from abroad.
International Exchange in Mongolia
Science events and classes will be held at the Mongolian National University of Education, which has a cooperative relationship with OUS, and at junior high and high schools in Ulaanbaatar and other regions. OUS students will stay in Mongolia for one week to 10 days, including sightseeing, and deepen exchanges with Mongolian students.
Enterprise Scale in 2022
Science Volunteer Leader Training Curriculum
|Subject||Number of students*|
Science Volunteer Activities
|Science Volunteer Exercise 1||33|
|Science Volunteer Exercise 2||10|
|Research on Teaching Materials for Science Volunteer||16|
|Science Volunteer Activities||8|
|Science Volunteer Leader||5|
* This refers to the number of students completing credits
61 events were conducted by students and 13 events by teachers alone in 2022.
|Indicator of scale of science events||Number of people|
|Total instances of student participation||692|
|Number of students staffing events||168|
|Total number of event participants||7,273|
Science Volunteer Center, Okayama University of Science
1-1 Ridaicho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-0005, Japan
TEL & FAX +81-86-256-9570