Since 2012, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has co-sponsored a science class with Hitachi Science Club, a nonprofit organization of mainly retired Hitachi employees based in Hitachi City, Ibaraki. The classes are held each year, alternating between Hiroshima and Hitachi City, and aim to get elementary and junior high school children interested in science and the fun of "monozukuri" (the traditional Japanese concept of craftsmanship).
MHI, who were in charge of the first lesson, used the theme "Let's make and fly airplanes - the MRJ" with the cooperation of the general incorporated association DIRECTFORCE. In the lesson, the children fabricated models of the MRJ from pattern paper. After hearing about the history and construction of airplanes, and studying the principle of flight by observing the flow of air using a hair dryer, the students further improved their paper airplanes and then took part in a contest to compete for the longest flight distance.
The next lesson was given by Hitachi Science Club on the theme of "cup motor construction." The children learned about the mechanism of motive power by moving a handmade motor using a plastic cup and experimenting with electromagnets. Finally, the children raced various racing cars produced by Hitachi Science Club on a model race track. As they cheered on their cars in the exciting races, they learned that differences in motor power make a big difference to the car's speed.
Students who attended the classes offered a variety of comments. "I understood how planes fly." "It was enjoyable in a different way to school classes." "I want to make racing cars using motors." "I like science now."
Going forward, we will continue to convey the fun of science to children through "monozukuri" as part of our contributions to our local communities and the development and support of future generations.
[Science class related news]
Wind resistance test
Flight distance contest
Experiment with electromagnets
Handmade racing car contest