I greatly appreciated having the opportunity to give a talk on astronomy to high-school students at Tsukuba Space Center of JAXA last week. They were on a Tsukuba science tour, coming from Kanazawa Izumigaoka Senior High School in Ishikawa Prefecture. I graduated from the school in 1977 March, and the school was awarded Super Science High School (SSH) status by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2003: an SSH prioritizes science, technology, and mathematics.
My talk covered interesting topics from the Big Bang to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in one hour. Particularly, I focused on why and how a star/planet system forms, a major topic in our research group. During the lecture, the young students hung on my every word and tried to take notes of everything. I was deeply impressed with their sincere attitude toward learning. I hope some of them will get jobs in astronomy.
I was optimistically talking about the Drake Equation to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way. (2009/10/15)