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  • Knowledge Capital Workshop Fes, Summer 2016: Sugoroku Board Game ‘Hands-On with Stem Cells!’

Knowledge Capital Workshop Fes, Summer 2016: Sugoroku Board Game ‘Hands-On with Stem Cells!’

On August 14, iCeMS held a workshop entitled “Sugoroku Board Game ‘Hands-On with Stem Cells!’”. Participants included 18 individuals from eight families, including elementary school children (grades 3–6) and their parents.

“Hands-On with Stem Cells!” is a board game, similar to Chutes, in which each player takes on the role of a researcher and is permitted to move his or her piece, a “single cell.” The cell changes its state between pluripotent and somatic depending on where it is placed on the board. Some sentences frequently used by scientists appear at various places on the game board, such as “It’s time to apply for research grants! Miss one turn.” or “Contamination was found! Miss one turn.” By playing the game, anyone can get a glimpse of the daily life of scientists.

Dr Hiromi Shimojo (iCeMS Program-Specific Research Center Assistant Professor, Kageyama Lab) answered the children’s questions after the game. The children asked many interesting questions, such as “Why do you use mice for cell research?,” “How much time do you spend on taking care of mice?,” and “How much money do you have to spend on mice food?” When some children asked why there were so many ‘Miss one turn’ areas on the board. Dr. Shimojo explained, “Scientists must do many things besides conducting their research, such as writing applications for research grants or describing their work to the public. That is probably why this sentence appeared on the game board so often.”

iCeMS Science Communication Group, who organized the event, hopes that the children became interested in cells and scientific work.

Text and Photo: iCeMS Science Communication Group

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