ISHIGAKI – Fukutomi Akira (17), a third-year student at Yaeyama High School, was chosen as one of the three “most outstanding” students in “Stanford e-Japan,” Stanford University’s distance-learning course for Japanese high school students. The course was conducted entirely in English in 90-minute sessions held every Saturday from February through July. Fukutomi and 27 other students took the course and deepened their learning by discussing lecture content with each other and making presentations. Fukutomi wrote a paper on cultural differences between Japan and the U.S. as his final project and won third place.
Fukutomi met with Yaeyama High School Principal Kuroshima Naoto on Aug. 27 to present his course completion certificate and report his experience in the course. He told the principal: “Initially, it took me about six hours to finish the homework! I earned a perfect score on all my assignments, though, and I could feel that my English skills were gradually improving. I’m so happy that I won third place!” The top three students will be invited to Stanford next summer to present their papers in front of the university’s professors. “I’m really looking forward to it,” said Fukutomi with a sparkle in his eye. (Abridged)