MHI Group regularly invites elementary school students to visit its launch site in Tanegashima, an island south of Kyushu, as well as its launch vehicle manufacturing plant in Aichi Prefecture. This program is conducted as a CSR (corporate social responsibility) activity of a kind possible only by MHI Group, which is involved in the development, manufacture and launching of satellite launch vehicles. The invited students attend special science classes on aerospace taught by our engineers, with emphasis on hands-on experience rather than simply listening to lectures.
On November 16, MHI Group invited 30 fifth and sixth graders to attend "Tobishima Aerospace Classroom 2019" at the Tobishima Plant of the Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works in Tobishima Village, Aichi Prefecture. This was the second classroom of its kind at Tobishima, following the inaugural event conducted in 2018.
To begin, the students attended a class in which they focused on learning, through actual experiments, how rockets are launched into space and how man-made satellites operate. The experiments involved the use of liquid nitrogen, oxygen/hydrogen gas, gyro technology, etc.
Next, the students visited the plant where the large launch vehicles are manufactured and assembled. Here they viewed the H-IIA and H-IIB in the process of being assembled, and were given the opportunity to touch a display model made of the same materials as the real launch vehicles. They were astonished by the launch vehicles' huge size.
After this, the students made mini pencil water rockets, and a contest was held to launch them. Their colorful rockets flew remarkably high, generating a lot of excitement among the participants.
The final part of the program was a talk by an MHI engineer. "In the near future, the time will come when man will travel to the moon and Mars," he told the children. "For any of you who are interested in doing work related to aerospace, I would encourage you to think about precisely what you want to do, and to study hard. To make your dreams come true, you need to learn many different ways of approaching a task, which you can do by meeting a wide diversity of people." With this message, the day's events drew to a close.
MHI hopes that what the students learned this day will inspire them when they consider what to do in the future.
Going forward, through a variety of opportunities like the "Tobishima Aerospace Classroom," MHI Group will continue to actively support the development of the children of the next generation.
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