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MHI Employees Teach Science Classes about Airplanes and the MRJ at Minami-kanon Elementary School in Hiroshima

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On December 14 and 15 MHI employees taught science classes attended by a total of 131 sixth graders at Minami-kanon Elementary School in Hiroshima. Employees at the Hiroshima Machinery Works have been teaching science classes of this kind, targeted at local primary school students, every year since 2008 and they have always been well received. This time the topic of the classes was airplanes and the MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet), Japan's first passenger jet currently under development and manufacture by the MHI Group.

Each class began with a general introduction to the Hiroshima Machinery Works and the products manufactured there. This was followed by a message from the father of one of the school's pupils who is an employee at the Hiroshima Machinery Works. Next, the children were divided into small groups and, while receiving advice from the employees in charge of the respective groups, they proceeded to each make a model of the MRJ from pattern paper.

When the children tried to fly their paper planes, they discovered just how difficult it is to make it fly straight and far. Then, after a follow-up lecture and experimental session relating to an airplane's balance and how to fly it, the children made improvements to their paper constructions. After that, each group selected a representative and a contest was held to see whose plane could fly the longest distance. Each contestant was given two chances, and the longer of the two flights was recorded. The contest got very exciting after one team's entry did very poorly on the first flight but then flew far enough on the second attempt to win the day. An award certificate was presented to all members of the winning team.

Later, the students wrote their impressions of what they had experienced that day. "I learned a lot about the history of airplanes, how they are put together, and how they fly," said one. "The employees' explanations were easy to understand and the class was lots of fun," commented another. Another child wrote that she now wanted to know much more about airplanes.

Going forward, MHI will continue to convey the fun and appeal of "monozukuri" to children as part of our way of making contributions to our local communities and supporting the development of the next generation.

Cutting airplanes from pattern paper

Receiving advice from an employee

The contest generated lots of excitement

The winning team