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. launched the "Fujieda Science Education Support Project" in 2009 to support science teachers, who are true education professionals, in cooperation with a company that has a factory in Fujieda City through industry-government-academia collaboration.
Although implementation was postponed in FY2020 due to the impact of the spread of COVID-19 infections, events held up to this point have received high praise from local government and school officials. FY2021 events was held online formats.
Here we introduce recent main activities.
Science Education Workshop — 2022
In fiscal 2021, we obtained the cooperation of Tsumura & Co., and held an online factory tour for the first time to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, introducing the manufacturing process of pharmaceuticals and herbal medicines, automation technologies, and SDG initiatives. A participating teacher commented, “I hope to use what I saw and learned in my classes to teach my students.”
Science Education Workshop — January 2020
In January 2020, the 11th Fujieda City Science Education Support Project was held at Kaken Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.’s Shizuoka Plant. A lively exchange was held among 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. Kaken Pharmaceutical introduced participants to the agrochemicals that are one major pillar of its business by combining together accurate information and practical demonstrations concerning their roles, effects, risks, and safety.
Scene of a lecture conducted in the conference room
Science Education Workshop — 2019
On January 18, 2019, the 10th Fujieda City Science Education Support Project was held at Sumitomo Bakelite’s Shizuoka Plant. As with previous years, a lively exchange was held among 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. Our company introduced how our plastic products are used, with a focus on automotive products, our SDG initiatives and activities aimed at reducing environmental impact, and the biodiversity of our biotope.
The principal in charge of the event commented, “The passion of the teachers involved in preparing the classes, which provided our students with the opportunity to conduct eye-opening experiments, was greatly impacted by the cooperation and support that we have received from our local corporations such as we have seen today.”
Scene of a lecture conducted in the conference room
Automobile Solution Gallery Showroom
Science Education Workshop — 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 — 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.
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."
The 8th Fujieda City Science Education Support Project
Automobile rear-view mirror
Science Education Workshop — 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 — 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 — 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.
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.
- Basic knowledge of genetics (including topics such as iPS cells)
- Current genetic testing, and future expectations
- Introduction of a test method using DNA chips
- 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— 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)
Welcoming Next Generation Internships and Factory Visits
In order to support the growth of the next generation of students, we proactively accept student interns and also welcome students to company briefings and site visit events (factory and online tours) to aid their understanding of our business and the work carried out at our production plants.
Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. (Head Office) From a Senior High School of the Deaf, we accepted internships with the Human Resources Division and Sumibe Information Systems.
The Kanuma Plant Manufacturing Department accepted internships from the Tochigi Prefectural Special Needs School.
Shizuoka Plant Although in-person participation was not possible due COVID-19, we accepted graduate students for online internships.
Kawasumi Laboratories (Thailand)
The government’s new COVID-19 response team came to visit the plant.
SB Kawasumi (Head Office, Tonomachi)
As an introduction to companies located at King Sky Front, the City of Kawasaki hosted an online tour, and we participated as one of the companies located there, inviting local junior high school students online.
The Belgian Ambassador made a visit to the Amagasaki Plant.
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
|Give children who take part an enjoyable experience
|Increase their understanding of plastic through participation
|Make them fans of Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd.
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