Students of Gymnázium Vyškov in Japan or fortune favours the brave!

In mid-October, we had the opportunity, together with other students of Gymnázium and SOŠZE Vyškov, to experience an unusual school week. From 12th to 17th October 2015, we participated in an exchange study stay in Hiroshima, Japan, at our partner Hiroshima University Highschool. Under the supervision of our headmaster Mr Václav Klement, and teachers Ms Jitka Hrežová and Ms Petra Nedomová, we worked on the project of Biomass as a renewable source of energy within the SSH (Super Science High School) programme.

The flight itself was a premiere for some of us.  We flew from Prague to Moscow and then through the night sky to Tokio. In Tokio we got on the Shinkansen high speed train, where we had our first encounter with the chopsticks and Japanese lunchboxes. Our struggle eating must have looked funny.

Japanese tourists are famous for their always charged and ready-to-use cameras. However, when we were in Japan in the role of Czech tourists, we realized that we were taking pictures of virtually everything and the worst threat was a flat battery. The whole stay was about one surprise after another and we were perceiving details that we take for granted and as a common part of life here, in the Czech Republic. As an illustrating example, let us mention a cleaner, who was polishing a single small tile for more than half an hour while we were administrating our travel passes at the train station. We were equally fascinated by the Japanese discipline – manifested for example in the way the Hiroshima locals queue for the tram. There is nothing like the chaotic pushing around the door, so typical in Czech.  We realized that the local people were very friendly, helpful and modest. These were typical qualities for our partner students of the Hiroshima University Highschool who warmly welcomed us in their homes, as their homes became ours for a week.   

Even though we were always expected to perform well and do our best, the professional side of the project did not lack its magic. Thanks to our programme, we could attend an excellent and instructive professional lecture at Hiroshima University given by an unforgettable professor, visit Maniwa city, which is powered mostly by biomass and also visit the local biomass power plant. Within the project, we did a chemical experiment to compare the heat values of various materials and we also saw a number of experiments performed by Japanese professionals. Another intensive experience was, apart from others, a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Park and Peace Memorial, which reminded us of the importance of the world peace and made understand the tragedy and painful history that the Hiroshima city went through

We are all very grateful for having had the chance to be a part of the SSH project this year, which would not exist without a long-term communication and cooperation though. We sincerely hope that our work will motivate other students and will be beneficial to them. Above all, we hope that one day we will return to the beautiful country of Japan.

Tereza Nedomová, Jakub Nedoma a Eva Šenková, students of 4. A