To increase the general public's interest in physics, the JPS conducts various activities open to the public, such as Joyful Physics Experiment Lab, Junior Session, Science Seminar, and Public Lecture, including the support for the participation in International Physics Olympiad (IPhO). The JPS also respects and participates in the activities for gender equality promotion.
Joyful Physics Experiment Lab
The JPS performs educational events, Joyful Physics Experiment Lab, in collaboration with the Physics Education Society of Japan and National Museum of Nature and Science, for elementary school pupils and junior high school students. Interesting physics phenomena with attractive experiments are demonstrated every time by the lecturers specialized in the corresponding fields.
The JPS conducts the Junior Session for junior high school, senior high school and technical high school students. The JPS asks those students to submit the reports on their research activities to a panel of judges consisting of the JPS members. The students reporting outstanding research are given an opportunity to present their achievement at the Junior Session in the JPS annual meeting. This provides an ideal occasion for young motivated students and professional researchers to meet and stimulate each other. The left photo shows the poster session at the Junior Session in March 2016, where 102 posters were presented.
International Physics Olympiad (IPhO)
The contribution of the JPS members toward Japanese participation in the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is considerable. The Japanese physics team consisting of five students was selected in the first Physics Challenge in 2005, the national physics contest, and was sent to the 37th IPhO held in Singapore in 2006. It was the first time for Team Japan to enter the IPhO, and it won one silver medal and three bronze medals. The performances of Team Japan since 2006 are shown in the Table below. In the recent 46th International Physics Olympiad, IPhO2015, held in Mumbai, India, Team Japan was awarded with one gold medal, two silver medals, and two bronze medals.
The Committee of Japan Physics Olympiad, JPhO, which is in charge of the selection and training of the Japanese IPhO participants, is run with assistance from academic associations and cooperation organizations, and JPS members play an important role here.
Japan is planning to host the 53rd International Physics Olympiad, IPhO2022, and hence the Organizing Committee has been formed recently toward its success.
|Performance of Team Japan in IPhO|
The JPS holds Science Seminar for non-specialists of physics every year. An attractive theme is set each time and the top researchers in the selected field introduce the interest of the latest research to university students, teachers, and citizens. The selected themes for the last three years in this Seminar were "Symmetry and its breaking" in 2016, "Physics and light - from basic to advance" in 2015, and "Nonequilibrium physics - condensed matter, earthquake, economy, and life" in 2014.
The JPS conducts Public Lecture for senior high school students, university students, teachers and citizens for the popularization and enlightenment of physics. In this Lecture, the latest research work in physics is explained enthusiastically by several researchers playing an active role in the front line. The topics for the last three years in this Lecture were "Crystal and particle diffraction - 100 years from Bragg reflection" in 2015, "Plasma physics and its application - astronomy, nuclear fusion, industry, and healthcare" in 2014, and "How the Higgs Boson was discovered?" in 2013.
Activities for Gender Equality Promotion
The percentage of women members in JPS increases gradually from 2.1 % (in 1985) to 5.8 % (in 2015), although the total number of JPS members remains almost constant during these 7-8 years. It is, however, still far below 30 %, while the Gender Equality Bureau, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan announces this number (30 %) as a numerical target in 2020 in science and engineering fields in Japan. The distribution of women members in physics field shows a small dip in the ages around 35. The ages correspond to those for childcare, implying that we need some political action to release child- and/or day-care loads from women researchers. In order to increase the Japanese women researcher's ratio, there are mainly two ways. One is to improve the work environment of the women researchers and the other is to educate next generation women researchers.
JPS supports several such activities for next generation. As an example, the two-nights-three-days summer science camp for girl students has been held since 2005 at National Women's Education Center of Japan in Saitama, Japan. This has been supported by scientists, engineers, junior and high school teachers, female undergraduate and graduate students, and members in more than 30 scientific associations and academic societies. This science camp was first organized by Prof. Torikai, who was stimulated by the girl science camp held in Korea. Moreover, the spring science school was also launched in 2006 and it has continued in the five universities in Kansai area. The above summer science camp and the spring science school for girl students have been supported by public funds of Japan.
Active learning of measuring the geomagnetism in 2015 summer camps for junior-high and high-school girls.