JAXA offers a program called “Aerospace School” to high school students as a form of informal education. Participants are divided into teams and work together to come up with a theme for their mission at various JAXA facilities. They also allocate roles and responsibilities among themselves. The goal is not only to provide Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) knowledge, but also to build their confidence. We hope this experience will help young adults think about their future career paths, and we strive to actively help them realize their potential. This paper presents the methods, specific examples of, and changes to the Aerospace School program that occurred between 2014 and 2017.
Japanese teachers are mentally and physically burdened with various work stressors. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between depressive symptoms and perceived individual level occupational stress including role problems among Japanese schoolteachers. This study included 1,006 teachers working in public schools in a Japanese city. The Japanese version of Zung's Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) was used to evaluate depressive symptoms, and the Generic Job Stress Questionnaire was used to evaluate occupational stress and three measures of social support. Subjects with SDS scores of more than 50 were categorized into the "depressive group." We examined the relationship between depressive symptoms and perceived individual level occupational stress using multiple logistic regression analyses. A total of 202 (20.1%) teachers belonged to the depressive group. We found that high role ambiguity, high role conflict, high quantitative workload, and low social support from family or friends were significantly related to depressive symptoms. To moderate role ambiguity and role conflict experienced by teachers, it is necessary to clarify the priority order of teachers' work. Furthermore, it is necessary to reduce workload by focusing on the content of teachers' work and the setting of education itself. Focusing on these elements will reduce teachers' depressive symptoms.
Objective: To describe the Indian school meal program (Mid-Day Meal: MDM) with the aim of improving the nutritional status of children.
Method: This study investigated the Indian central government's reports and articles about the school meal program.
Results: In India, the MDM has been institutionalized, along with compulsory education. In 2015~2016, MDM coverage was 81%, with a high proportion of MDM working days. However, the school attendance rate was low, with many absent children. Despite established nutritional standards for school meals and hygiene management guidelines, there were no data on school compliance rates. To evaluate processes, each school reported to the central government, as part of a national system of monitoring system operational situations (e.g., coverage). The expected improvement in children's nutritional status after the introduction of the MDM has never been confirmed because no national health survey has been carried out to evaluate outcomes. By introducing the MDM and promoting compulsory education, the central government has triggered a rise in school enrollment rates. A plan-do-check-act (PDCA) system is in place, with a Steering-cum-Monitoring Committee assuming a key role in this system.
Conclusions: When the MDM was institutionalized in India, along with compulsory education, it represented the world's largest school meal program. The Japanese experience of introducing a children's national health surveillance system could be useful in evaluating the success of the MDM program in improving children's nutrition.
Background: The relationship between airborne particulate matter (PM) and pulmonary function in children has not been consistent among studies, potentially owing to differences in the inflammatory response to PM, based on PM types and sources. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of airborne PM on pulmonary function in schoolchildren and its potential for an inflammatory response. Methods: Daily morning peak expiratory flow (PEF) was measured in 339 schoolchildren in February 2015. Interleukin (IL)-8 production was assessed in THP1 cells stimulated by airborne PM collected every day during the study period, and these IL-8 concentrations are described as the daily IL-8 levels. A linear mixed model was used to estimate the association between PEF values and the daily levels of suspended PM (SPM), PM diameters smaller than 2.5 mm (PM2.5), and IL-8.
Results: The daily IL-8 levels were significantly associated with those of SPM and PM2.5. A 0.83 mg/mL increase in IL-8 levels was significantly associated with a -1.07 L/min (95% confidence interval, -2.05 to -0.08) decrease in PEF. A 12.0 mg/m3 increase in SPM and a 10.0 mg/m3 increase in PM2.5 were associated with a -1.36 L/min (-2.93 to 0.22) and -1.72 L/min (-3.82 to 0.36) decreases in PEF, respectively. There were no significant relationships between PEF, SPM, and PM2.5.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that the effects of airborne PM on pulmonary function in school- children might depend more on the pro-inflammatory response than the mass concentration of the PM.