Students at Okutama Elementary School in the east of Ichinoseki City have been busy learning about and promoting the International Linear Collider (ILC). In March, students unveiled ILC flags they designed; in February, the school held a special class for students to learn more about the ILC and further internationalization; and in March last year, students unveiled a big ILC sign which was installed at the front entrance to the school.

On March 5th, 22 students in the sixth grade showed off flags which they made in support of the ILC and to commemorate their upcoming graduation. The flags, standing 180 cm tall and 60 cm wide, were designed by students in pairs and feature hand-drawn pictures with messages. Mayor of Ichinoseki City, Mr. Osamu Katsube, attended the unveiling ceremony and said: “I appreciate efforts which bring energy to the ILC. I want to display these flags which have your thoughts in them at meetings with researchers and so on, so that the project is definitely realized.” Ms. Hina Yoshida, one of the sixth-grade students, said: “I drew a picture of the Earth as seen from space. I want the ILC to explore secrets of the universe.”

On February 8th, employees of the ILC Promotion Division in Ichinoseki visited the school for a class about internationalization. The first part of the class was about how the area would change if the ILC is built. The second part of the class was in English and focused on how the kids could chat with foreigners at a local summer festival, such as recommending local food, asking for a photo together, and so on. Many international residents in Ichinoseki and surrounding areas come to see the numerous elaborate, traditional floats at the Senmaya Summer Festival, and last year there was even a Star Wars float.

Trey Grayson, from the U.S. and who teaches English at Okutama Elementary once a week, joined the class and introduced some expressions to use at the festival. After the class, Trey said: “I had a really great time when I went to the Senmaya Summer Festival last year, and bumped into a few of my students there, so it was good today to teach English that they can use at this year’s festival. If the ILC is built and many people move here from abroad, I think there will be more opportunities for the students to introduce local attractions.”

In March last year, students designed three signs to support the ILC and to commemorate their graduation. The biggest of these, measuring four meters wide by two meters high, was mounted at the front entrance of the school. The sign features an illustration of the universe’s “Big Bang” and people from around the world holding hands, as well as a message supporting the realization of the ILC, urging the students to spread their wings from Iwate to the world.

Shusei Fujino and Hayao Fujiwara, two boys representing the graduating students, said at the unveiling ceremony: “We think it would be wonderful if the ILC is here when we are grown up, and we can work with people from around the world in shaping the future. We’ll think about what we can do to make that day come.

Two other signs that the children designed were installed nearby – one at a local community center and the other on the grounds of a solar power facility – so that many people see the signs and feel close to the ILC.

School principal, Mr. Sakae Chiba, in front of the flags and praising the students

Two students with their ILC flag

Learning English for use at a local summer festival

One of the elaborate floats at the Senmaya Summer Festival

Students in front of their ILC sign at the entrance to the school

The ILC sign installed at a nearby solar power facility



一関市 ネイト・ヒル





また昨年3月に、児童たちが卒業記念としてILC計画の実現を願う看板3枚を制作しました。一番大きい看板が縦200センチ×横400センチで、学校正門前に設置しました。デザインは、宇宙をイメージしたもの、ビックバンが起きた瞬間や世界中の人々が手を取り合う姿が描かれ、『岩手から世界に!ILC実現へ ~世界に羽ばたけ 奥小の子ども~』とメッセージが書かれています。