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KAWASAKI — The fourth annual Science and Technology Festival for Young People was held Wednesday in Kanagawa Science Park with the participation of 213 students and parents.

The event, aimed at increasing interest in math and the sciences, was started by the Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology to combat students’ decreasing enthusiasm in the subjects and help them find ways of applying their classroom knowledge to tasks in daily life.

The hosts of the daylong festival ranged from the academy’s researchers, who used experiments to explain the principles of photochemistry, to foreign resident Peter Frankl, a Keio University mathematics teacher who also teaches juggling at the University of Tokyo.

“It is imperative that students learn to think logically and critically, to find what is true and useful in the information age,” Frankl told his audience, which was alternately laughing at his jokes or frowning as they struggled to solve his brainteasers on probability and number theory.

A knowledge of mathematics is essential in gaining a command of problem-solving skills, he said.

“Schools must stop teaching students to think along set patterns just to solve entrance exam problems,” he said.

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