[Visit Report] First-year students from Shizugawa Junior High School experience the learning program

On July 5th, first-year students from Shizugawa Junior High School in the town visited the Minamisanriku 3/11 Memorial as part of their classes.

This year marks the third year that students from Shizugawa Junior High School have visited the museum every year since it opened in October 2022. In particular, the students who visited this year are the generation that was born during the earthquake disaster.

Shizugawa Junior High School is working on the "Forest, Village, and Sea Linkage Study" as an inquiry-based study rooted in community development and local industry. Students will learn about the sea and fishing industry in Minamisanriku Town, the forests and forestry industry, the earthquake disaster, and the changes that have taken place in Sakai, and connect this to the research themes they will be working on in the future.

What you saw this time was regular program 2, "Can your life be saved at that moment?"

In this program, junior high school students and Shizugawa High School students at the time of the disaster talk about their experiences, the decisions and actions they took at the time, what they felt from the experience, and what they have been thinking about now, 12 years later. Witnessing the actions taken by their predecessors and the events that are happening in the town where they live right now, many students were surprised, but at the same time, they also felt that there is something that even junior high school students can do by utilizing their training and experience.

The learning program included questions based on the participants' own experiences of disasters, and time for discussion among participants to think about them. During the discussion, participants seemed to be thinking about how they would make decisions and act if they were in a situation like this, such as, "We might be able to get to higher ground quickly if we're behind the house," "My grandmother is here, so we'll need her to help us," and "If we can't get through that road, we won't be able to escape, right? What will we do?"

We received a variety of feedback from the students who participated, such as, "I wasn't born when the earthquake occurred, so I don't remember it, but I still felt a strong sense of need to protect lives," and "I couldn't imagine that this town was such a terrible place in the past, but knowing that, I think it will help us think about what we can do."

Since its opening, many elementary and junior high schools in the town have visited the memorial every year as part of their earthquake and disaster prevention studies. We believe that one of the roles of the Minamisanriku 3/11 Memorial is to pass on the experiences of Minamisanriku to local children born and raised in Minamisanriku, as well as to children of generations who do not know about the earthquake.

And it's not just about conveying information, but also about thinking together about what is needed to protect lives. I thought that this might be one of the things we can do in Minamisanriku for the future of our children.

Thank you very much to everyone at Shizugawa Junior High School for visiting us.