New Opportunities in High School Classrooms
September 26, 2012 – Peace Winds is supporting students and faculty at Koyo Maritime High School, the only Kesennuma High School destroyed by the March 2011 tsunami. Most recently Peace Winds upgraded the chemistry and cooking laboratories. With funding from The Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation, Peace Winds installed a fume hood, a vacuum freeze-dry machine, two hot water heaters, and plumbing to ensure safe and functional laboratories for the 360 Koyo students.
In the chemistry lab, the fume hood limits exposure to hazardous and odorous chemicals. Before installation, a window fan ventilated the chemistry lab. Chemistry teacher Yusuke Funabiki remarked that, “With the fume hood installed in the lab, students have a much safer classroom environment.” Also in the chemistry lab, the vacuum freeze-dry machine now provides students the opportunity to study and experiment with food processing and packaging techniques.
Peace Winds installed hot water heaters and plumbing in the cooking lab and in the chemistry lab. Prior to installation both labs had sinks and faucets, but no running water, hot or cold.
Koyo students display freeze-dried vegetables
In the autumn 2012 term, over 50 students are using the chemistry lab daily. Students receive hands-on training in nutrition, food development, canning and other food processing methods in both laboratories.
The equipment enables vocational training to prepare students for maritime careers, particularly girls. Ninety percent of the Koyo students in the Business and Industry Department are women who gain employment at Kesennuma’s numerous seafood processing plants. Without the support of Peace Winds and The Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation these students would not receive proper training in chemistry and food processing.
Koyo Maritime High School is a vocational school located in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture. The school prepares its students for careers in the fishing industry and other maritime careers. About 360 students enroll at Koyo High School every year.
The March 2011 tsunami devastated Koyo Maritime High School, destroying the school building, training equipment, and educational supplies. Fortunately students and faculty had retreated to the school rooftop and suffered no casualties.
In November 2011 the Japan Government constructed a new Koyo Maritime High School building. Peace Winds is supplying classrooms with equipment to properly educate and train Koyo students.
Left: Chemistry students observe experiment. Middle: Koyo Administrator Masahiro Onodera shows running water in the chemistry lab.
Right: Chemistry teacher Yusuke Funabiki sits at the chemistry lab fume hood.