MHI Employees Teach a Science Class at Enoura Elementary School in Shimonoseki on How to Make a Pop-pop Boat that Goes Fast
On November 30 MHI employees taught a science class attended by 60 fifth graders at the Enoura Elementary School in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Group employees have been teaching science classes of this kind every year since 2009 with the aims of conveying the appeal of science and technology to children who will make up the next generation, and arousing their interest in "monozukuri"-the traditional Japanese concept of craftsmanship. The classes are always well received. The latest class in Shimonoseki was taught by nine young employees from the Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works. The theme was making a "pop-pop boat" that runs on steam.
The class began with an introduction to products manufactured at the Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works and an explanation of how a ship is built. Next, the children were given an explanation of how a pop-pop boat works and how to make one. After that, the children began actual construction. A pop-pop boat runs on the steam discharged when an aluminum tube placed in water is heated. Though simple in structure, a pop-pop boat involves profound scientific principles, and getting one to go fast and straight is surprisingly difficult. The children proceeded to make their boats while receiving advice from the instructors. They repeatedly improved them until they were finally completed. The pop-pop boats that were so painstakingly made then took part in races, with the children cheering their boats on in great delight.
The children seemed to truly enjoy the whole day's experience. "I learned how a boat is put together and how to make it go fast," said one. "The teachers were really thorough in how they taught us," offered another, adding, "and it was a lot of fun!"
Going forward, MHI will continue to convey the fun and enjoyment of science to children through "monozukuri," as part of our way of making contributions to our local communities and supporting the development of the next generation.