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Hokkaido Space School Held

On November 9, 2002, the annual Space School of ISAS was held at Sapporo Science Center in Sapporo City. It drew so many people that it was standing-room only in the hall with capacity of approx. 250 people. number of simple and yet intriguing questions were raised. The school program was divided into three main periods on Solar System and Life, Future Technology, and Astronomy. As expected, but surprising many parents, most questions raised by children in the Astronomy period were on a black hole. They come up with such unique questions one after another that we adults cannot even think of. Let me introduce one such question: “If a black hole is a celestial body that absorbs everything, then that means the whole universe will also be swallowed up sometime and become a black hole itself?”

In general, children in Hokkaido are kind and one such child asked worriedly, “Has the eft that went to space been able to adapt itself to the gravity again after coming back to the Earth?” This is what makes them different from children in Tokyo. They are so naive and not cheeky. They do not pretend they know. They do not ask anything about which they have a smattering of knowledge, but make genuine questions as they come to their mind. This is why I like children in Hokkaido so much. I left Chitose Airport wishing such children would take a leading role in building future Japan.

January 24, 2003