On Thursday last week, we had students from Japan come and visit us. They presented some of their projects that they do in outstanding English. We then gave them a short tour of our school and what we do, and then they were off to see UC Berkeley.

They came back on the next day, and we had them design their own keychains on Autodesk Inventor, and test water samples from different spots in the Bay Area. Ms. Oropallo printed out an instruction sheet for us on how to design our own keychain, and the Japanese kids picked it up quicker than we did!

The idea with the keychains was that they would be able to print them out on the 3D printer, and take them back to Japan. With the short amount of time we had though, Ms. Oropallo will be printing them all week, and we will mail them back to Japan. We did manage to print one out in time for one of them to take home. His keychain was of the American flag, with his name engraved in the corner. One of the girls designed an anchor, another a star, and one of the guys designed a car keychain.

Then in the second activity, Mr. Madsen collected water samples from the Civic Center, San Anselmo Creek, and the San Francisco Bay. Each group of about five Japanese students and five of us tested the water for pH level, phosphates, and dissolved oxygen in ppm (parts per million). We were going to test nitrates, but we ran out of the little pills needed to test that.

On both Thursday and Friday they came and shadowed us in our 4th period classes, and saw what it was like to go to school in America. The difference between our culture and theirs is astounding, but they really seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.

Then at the end of their time with us, we all took hundreds of selfies, and pictures with them. It was truly amazing having students from Japan come and visit our program and our school. Hopefully we will be able to continue communicating with them and working with them on one of their projects surrounding the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. We will miss them and we all hope that they have a wonderful rest of their trip in California as well as a safe flight home.


  1. I am glad you wrote about our time with the Japanese exchange students because it was a special and valuable experience that we were able to have. It’s good for people to know about the unique opportunities we get to experience while in MSEL.

  2. I feel like I’ve commented on this several times.. but anyways! I am so glad you wrote about this because it was an amazing experience and opportunity and it needs to be shared with everyone! It was SO cool how they presented their projects and spoke IN ENGLISH..we should have learned Japanese. I miss them, but it was so much fun πŸ™‚ Great job explaining everything!

  3. Nice blog Dorian. You managed to capture everything we did with the students from Japan in great detail as well as how fun the experience was. Hopefully we can work with them again in the future and maybe even go to Japan!

  4. Great job Dorian! Having the Japanese students visit us was definitely one of the coolest things I have ever experiences through MSEL. It was so cool when they did their presentations and talking about renewable energy sources in Japan! I hope we can visit them one day.

  5. Dorian-
    I am so glad you decided to write about this, because I think everyone should hear about this amazing experience we had! I don’t think I really realized how amazing that opportunity would be..towards the end I wanted them to stay! πŸ™ Great job describing their stay, and remembering all those important details. Hopefully we can go to Japan and see them in our bio fuel plane!!

  6. Great blog Bby! Having Japanese students shadow us was truly amazing! I never thought I would even her this opportunity until maybe college. Friday was bitter sweet because we got to do water testing, designing key chains with our friends and have a wonderful brunch with our friends. I will never forget this experience!

  7. Oh my gosh I’ve been so confused all week about all of this ‘keychain’ talk, but now I finally understand! It sounds like you had a great time with them! I hope we take a trip to Japan sometime to visit them.

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