Supporting the Education of the Next Generation

Supporting the Science Education of Children Who Will Play Active Roles in the Future

Fujieda Science Education Support Project

In recent years, international comparative studies addressing academic ability and awareness of scientific subjects have identified a drift away from science in developed countries. Japan is no exception to this trend. This raises the concern that Japan's strengths in manufacturing and innovation will be endangered. In order to address this situation, Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. started the Fujieda Science Education Support Project in 2009, to support science teachers who are the true education professionals. We wanted show teachers directly the significance and role of science in the real world so that they can convey this to children who will be responsible for the future of Japan. We chose Fujieda where our Shizuoka Plant is located as a model city for this project. Here we introduce our main activities in fiscal 2013.

Science Education Workshop — January 2018

On January 19, 2018, the 9th Fujieda City Science Education Support Project was held in the Tokai Plant of Meiji Corporation. As with previous years, the event drew a large number of participants that included not only science teachers from public junior high schools in Fujieda City, but also staff from the Education Department and Industrial Promotion Department of Fujieda City as well as employees from companies located in Fujieda City. Meiji Corporation gave a presentation on chocolate and explained the botany of cacao beans and the characteristics of oils used in chocolate, among other topics.

The principal in charge of the event commented, “Science education at the junior high school level has recently shifted to science in our everyday lives. This event carries with it great help and meaning for educators today. I sincerely appreciate the support we received from our corporate sponsors.”

Tokai Plant of Meiji Corporation

Presentation on chocolate

Science Education Workshop — January 2017

On January 20, 2017, the 8th Fujieda City Science Education Support Project was held at the Tsuiji Plant of Murakami Corporation. As with previous years, the event drew a large number of participants that included not only science teachers from public junior high schools in Fujieda City, but also staff from the Education Department and Industrial Promotion Department of Fujieda City as well as employees from companies located in Fujieda City.

The 8th Fujieda City Science Education Support Project

Automobile rear-view mirror

During the networking event, participants took part in a lecture about optical reflection and a tour of the automobile rear-view mirror manufacturing facility at Murakami Corporation. Feedback from science teachers included, "I learned about the principles of science utilized in everyday products," "I learned about innovations for improving productivity," and "I can use what I learned not only during science classes but also comprehensive studies classes, too."

Science Education Workshop — January 2016

We are taking the lead in providing support for the education of the next generation as part of an industry-government-academia partnership in cooperation with other companies with production plants located in and around Fujieda City.

The Fujieda City Science Education Support Project, which, being a long-term project, is uncommon in Japan, was held for a seventh year in fiscal 2015. The aim of the project is to communicate to junior high school science teachers about how science-based technology is used in familiar industries so that they can use the knowledge to stimulate students' interest in science through classes and school counselling.

In a survey of participating science teachers at a networking event, 90% of teachers were able to obtain useful information for their classes

Participants of the seventh science teacher networking event tasting different types of tea (at Mitsui Norin Co., Ltd.)

Science Education Workshop — January 2015

In January 2015, we held the sixth Fujieda Science Education Workshop at the Fujieda plant of Chugai Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

The presentation focused on how the scientific method is used in drug development, production, quality control and other processes. Participants were able to enhance their understanding by visiting the state-of-the-art factory.

The workshop gained media coverage. Shizuoka Shimbun featured an article about the workshop in its January 17, 2015 issue. The workshop was also mentioned in the newsletter of Fujieda City.

Discussion by panelists draen from industry, academia and government

Participants in front of Chugai Pharmaceutical Manufacturing's state-of-the-art plant
(Participating companies: Chugai Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Meiji Co., Ltd., Murakami Corporation, Nitivy Co., Ltd., Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Mitsui Norin Co., Ltd., Bathclin Corporation, Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd.

Science Education Workshop — January 2014

The first workshop was held in 2009 at Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd.. At that time, the workshop was targented for about ten teachers who were members of the Fujieda Science Department Supervisor's Association at the time. Thanks to the efforts of the Director of the Science Department, participation expanded to teachers other than Supervisors from the second year. Now, four years on, it has grown to include nearly all of the science teachers at the ten junior high schools in Fujieda (about 30 teachers). To mark the occasion of the fifth workshop, it was held at Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. again.

Factory Tour

Phenolic molding compounds manufacturing plant

Phenolic resin molded product manufacturing plant

Automotive solutions gallery

Introducing Advanced Technology

We presented a lecture on genetics with a simple experiment using DNA chips showing what you can learn about a person by examining their genes.

Lecture Content

  • Basic knowledge of genetics (including topics such as iPS cells)
  • Current genetic testing, and future expectations
  • Introduction of a test method using DNA chips

Experiment Content

  • Demonstration of DNA testing for alcohol resistance using the Hibri Sensei simple genetic measurement kit
  • Demonstration of sampling and DNA chip fabrication

Science Class Study Group — June 2013

We held a science class study group at Hanashi Junior High School in Fujieda. Takushi Kamiya of the Plastic Waste Management Institute gave a lecture on recycling plastic and performed an experiment. In addition, Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. provided a large lens for a mock lesson on the refrection of light by teachers from Hanashi Junior High School, which was received with much delight.

Lecture on recycling plastic

The lenses used in the lesson
(Large: Provided by Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd., Small: Magnifying glass used for reference)

Kodomo Mirai Project in Fujieda

The Shizuoka Plant participated in this event to support elementary and secondary education, as well as youngstars in Fujieda City. We presented a chemistry experiment class in which children watched decorative beads being sprinkled on liquid epoxy resin made by Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd., which was then hardened by heating and given out as straps. While we were waiting for the resin to harden, we held a quiz and exhibition, giving the children an opportunity to think about plastics.

“Having fun learning about plastic” Exhibition Concept

1. Give children who take part an enjoyable experience
2. Increase their understanding of plastic through participation
3. Make them fans of Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd.

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