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Science Exchange Program Targeting Japanese and American High School Students

Toshiba is working in new ways to promote science in education. Since 2014, we have been working together with U.S.-Japan Council to host "TOMODACHI Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy", a special summer holiday program with the goal of scientific exchange between Japan and America. This program is held under the framework of TOMODACHI Initiative which is a public-private partnership between the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

The Third Time (FY2016)

Photo:Students and others who participated
Students and others who participated

We held our program at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo for eight days from July 31st to August 7th 2016. A number of teachers and 8 high school students each from Japan and the USA – all who have put their heart and soul into this experiential science exchange program – participated.

The participants from the USA were chosen through an essay contest. They were all initially participants in the "ExploraVision Awards (EVA)" science and technology contest established by Toshiba in the USA. The participants from Japan were selected from 3 high schools that are focused on science education and have a history of participating in Toshiba's international exchange programs in the past.

Photo:The participants who study the antiearthquake design of a tower in TOKYO SKYTREE
The participants who study the antiearthquake design of a tower in TOKYO SKYTREE

There were 4 teams made up of a combination of Japanese and American students. They were given the task of proposing how to improve a city which each team chose. And while studying the engineering design process as approach for solving such a complicated problem, visited several places as practical fieldwork, for example Toshiba science museum as learning new technology of renewable energy, accumulation of electricity, water disposal, an energy management system, TOKYO SKYTREE as learning the antiearthquake design of a tower, and Life Safety Learning Center as learning disaster refuge.

Photo:The participant who challenges making an elevator by each team
The participant who challenges making an elevator by each team

On the fifth day of the program, participants challenged creation of the elevator as practice of an engineering design process. In each team, taking communication densely, they repeated consideration about originality, creativity and improvement by using given kit parts.

Photo:The final presentation on the 7th day with the proposal of the smart community
The final presentation on the 7th day with the proposal of the smart community

In the final presentation on the seventh day, each of the team used their lively imaginations to give presentations on the planning of smart community. They defined social subjects of each city (Lesbos/Greek, Kuchinoerabu/Japan, Beijing/China, Jakarta/Indonesia) and from the viewpoint of how to be conquered social subjects to build a better city towards the future, blended renewable energy and high efficient energy management system and disaster warning system, etc.

Welcome to Tokyo, Tomodachi-Toshiba Science & Technology Leadership Academy Brings Together Students and Teachers from Japan and the United States

Welcome to Japan. TOMODACHI Toshiba Academy has a few problems for you to solve…

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Reflections from Participants

We need the ability to imagine how far to develop a subject, and communication skills to share the situation, and it was very impressive to consider it from scratch.(Japan, student)
I learned how to respect and experience different culture. I learned how to work in a team full of people with such different interests and how to come together. (American, student)
I had an absolutely incredible time as TA. It has given me the opportunity to grow, not only as a human being, but also as a member of TOMODACHI community. (American, Alumnus and Teaching Assistant)

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