On August 22 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) held the "27th MHI Summer School" at the Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works, an annual event timed to coincide with the summer holidays from school. Conducted by MHI as part of its CSR activities and organized in cooperation with the incorporated association Port of Kobe Japan, the MHI Summer School aims to instill interest in monozukuri—the traditional Japanese concept of craftsmanship—and advanced technology among children, the next generation, through science classes and factory visits. This year approximately 130 elementary school students in grades 4 through 6 and their guardians took part.
The program began with a science class taught by Shigeru Inaba of the NPO Kodomo Uchu Mirai Association. He explained how heavy rockets manage to fly and why satellites stay in orbit without falling to earth. After that, the children were instructed how to make "syringe rockets." In a syringe rocket, air is fed by dropper into a syringe and then forced out, causing it to fly. It's the same principle as used for launching a real rocket, so in this way the children learned how rockets fly.
One child who participated said he was amazed to learn how many different technologies went into making a rocket fly. Another said making and experimenting with a syringe rocket was a lot of fun.
After the rocket class, the children next visited the factory and saw how remote-controlled robots perform inspection in places where humans can't enter. They also saw where MHI's large refrigeration systems are manufactured. We hope that by directly observing how things are made in the factory, the children will develop interest in monozukuri.
Going forward, MHI Group will continue to convey the fun of science (and science classes!) as its way of developing the next generation and contributing to its local communities.