On June 6, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machinery Systems, Ltd. (MHI-MS), a Kobe-based MHI Group company, invited 18 first-year students of Daiwa Junior High School in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, to its Printing & Packaging Machinery Headquarters located within the city. Here, as part of the "Bridge to Tomorrow Project 2019," the young guests learned all about newspaper production, from the editing process to actual printing.
The Bridge to Tomorrow Project has been held every year since 2013. It consists of activities to convey the fun and appeal of monozukuri - the traditional Japanese concept of craftsmanship - to children by integrating the educational activities of "Newspapers in Education (NIE)," an international program that uses the newspaper as a teaching tool, with the products, manufacturing and technology of MHI-MS, while also forming close bonds with the local community.
To begin, the students learned about the history of printing, how printing is performed, and the processes that take place between the time a newspaper is printed and when it is delivered to the customer's door. Next, a journalist who was invited to serve as instructor explained how news is gathered and how a newspaper page is put together. After that, in the role of journalists themselves, the children went to the factory where MHI-MS's corrugating machines and printing machinery are made. This was followed by relocation to a real newspaper publisher in the nearby city of Onomichi, where the children observed a newspaper actually being printed. Several days afterward, the children wrote about what they had seen for their own class newspaper. The newspaper containing their report was then printed at the publisher's and distributed at their school.
This experience offered the participating students an opportunity to learn how the newspapers they read every day are created. Also, by putting together a news article by themselves, they learned firsthand how much fun, yet also how difficult, writing news pieces can be. We hope this will prove to be a valuable experience for all the participants.
Going forward, MHI Group will continue to promote activities to support the development of the next generation while maintaining close communications with local communities.