The new public high school in Yokohama, located within the Yokohama Science Frontier area, a research and development base on the city’s waterfront, was inaugurated in April 2009. The school which emphasizes the teaching of advanced science and technology is already drawing a lot of public interest and attention. Students at the school are slated to study fields such as biological science, environment, nanotechnologies and information and communication before specializing in an area of their choice. The school also appears to have high English language standards — its students are expected to write up their study results in English.
According to news reports, the city of Yokohama has provided the school with advanced equipment and facilities. The school’s seeks to provide its students with “science literacy curriculums” focusing on experiment-based science subjects. In pursuit of this goal, the school has tied up with universities, institutions and corporations so that top-class academics and scientists can act as special advisers. Headed by by Principal Haruo Sato, the school is said to aim at nurturing Japanese scientists who will be active around the world. The school’s inauguration day ceremony was attended by 2002 Nobel Physics Prize laureate Masatoshi Koshiba who gave a special lecture the 237 students present.
Source: Yokohama inaugurates high school focusing on science and technology April 5 2009
The blog post 受験シーズン (juken sizun) : Season of Entrance Examinations tells us additional details like: “the school provides 20 laboratories, 400 personal computers, dome for observation of the heavenly bodies, and so on. Some of the Super Advisors are Nobel Prize winners! The capacity is 6 classes for 240 students.” The blog also mentions that the freshly inaugurated new school showed up as the most competitive school, in terms of numbers of high school students who tried to apply for the school.
Parents living in Kanagawa prefecture with kids going to public schools there, will also find other very useful information at this blog. It mentions the drastic changes in the entrance exams system that have taken place between 2004 and 2005:
“Now there are two chances for candidates to apply for public high schools. At the first selection about 30% of the fixed number will be chosen by application, self-PR essay, school academic records, interview and either essay examination or skill examination or self-expression activity. At the latter selection about 70% of the fixed number will be chosen by application, school academic records, and achievement tests of 3 to 5 subjects. … There was the first selection today(i.e. Jan 27, 2009). The fixed number of all Kanagawa high schools for the first selection is 18,698 and the number of applicants was 41,335, which is 2.21 times as many as the fixed number. However Yokohama Science Frontier High School had the highest competition rate of 5.24, more than double of average. How popular! The result will be published on Feb. 3.”