On December 6 MHI employees taught a science class to third graders at Akunoura Elementary School in Nagasaki, part of an ongoing program by MHI Group designed to arouse the interest of today's children — the next generation of adults — in ”monozukuri,” the traditional Japanese concept of craftsmanship. This program of science classes, specifically targeted at elementary school students, has been carried out every year since 2012. The topic of this latest class, part of the students' social studies curriculum, was ”work performed in a factory where ships are made.” The classroom instruction was combined with the children crafting ”pop-pop boats” that run on steam.
The class began with an employee introducing the work performed at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, which is located in the Akunoura area of Nagasaki. This was followed by explanations of the principles that enable a vessel to float on water, how a ship is actually constructed, and what takes place during a launch ceremony. Next, the children were assisted in making pop-pop boats. Specifically, they learned how to craft a boat shaped so that it will go straight when placed in water.
After this, the children were escorted to the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works to observe real ships under construction. Here, they got a true sense of a ship's size and the expansive scale of the factory and its facilities. The children also viewed the Mitsubishi No.3 Dry Dock, Mitsubishi Senshokaku Guest House, the Former Pattern Shop (Shipyard History Museum) and the Giant Cantilever Crane — all component parts of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage Site listing. The children viewed these historical structures of Nagasaki with great interest.
Going forward, MHI Group will continue to convey the wondrous appeal of "monozukuri" and the magnificent sense of accomplishment derived from working as part of our way of contributing to our local communities and supporting development of the next generation.