Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

July 17, 2018 Visitors from USA and Malaysia

We had two groups of visitors on July 6. One was a group of KIT-Summer Program in Japanese (SPJ) students from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Rochester Institute of Technology, USA, and the other was a group of students from Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT). Eleven SPJ students and thirteen MJIIT students visited Hakusanroku campus as a part of their field trip learning about Hakusan city's "Smart Satoyama City" project. ICT teachers prepared a workshop and twelve of our students joined in the intercultural activities.

Eleven SPJ students and thirteen MJIIT students

International visitor have become common at Hakusanroku lately. However, this group was truly divers in that the all three groups spoke different main languages, Japanese, English, and Malay. The language that they are currently learning is also differed. Teachers designing the activities took this into account. In the first activity, students broke up into groups of six (two of each group) and played the "broken telephone game". In this game, students choose a sentence other than their main language and take turns whispering it to each other in a straight line. If the last student can recite the sentence correctly, it is a success and the group rotates. This was a fun icebreaking game that articulated the diversity of the group.

Students playing "broken telephone game"

In the second activity, students were divided into groups of three (one of each group), and took turns explaining their country. The catch was that they had to use the language that they were studying. Also, the listener was responsible for correcting the speakers mistakes. This was an excellent activity because participants could learn about other cultures while improving their own skill. Students teaching other students is a perfect example of active learning. Teaching other students creates a deep understanding for language in general (even if it is your main language), which is surprisingly important when learning another language.

Explaining my culture in a another language is difficult

The third activity involved a ball of newspaper. Students were encouraged to communicate in the language they were learning and take turns passing the ball. The student catching the ball had to correct the mistakes and return the ball until the sentence was perfect. This was similar to the previous activity but there were no restrictions on topic.

Students taking turns passing a newspaper ball

The final stage was simple free conversation. Nearby groups were merged together and could talk about whatever they liked with no restrictions. The whole flow of the activities was a calculated guide to this stage and worked perfectly. I saw students lively talking about their hobbies, sports, animation, video games, and generally anything. It was a very relaxed environment with young adults from all over the world just chatting together. There was nothing necessary for the teachers to do and they simply walked around sometimes joining a conversation.

After the activity, the SPJ and MJIIT students returned to KIT by bus after doing a little shopping at the Michi no eki across the street. I believe the program was a success. In a few quick hours, students experienced intercultural interaction, improved their language skills and had a lot of fun. I am especially happy that there was time for students to speak freely with each other. I felt this was lacking in previous visits. Thanks for coming!









July 13, 2018

“Asslamo Alikom”, this is an Arabic greeting means peace be upon you all. I am Alaa Hussien, one of the ICT teachers. This year, I teach 2 days a week at Hakusanroku campus and 3 days at Kanazawa campus. Although, the place of Hakusanroku campus is far away from my home, I really feel happy to commute twice a week, because my hobby is driving, especially the way to Hakusanroku campus is very beautiful, surrounded by green mountains, rivers and water streams. This spiritual environment helps me to wash my brain and refresh myself, arriving my office full of energy to start a productive working day. The very beautiful green fields on both sides of the road remind me of my home town where the fields of the Egyptian cotton, the best cotton in the world with a long staple.

This semester, I teach Fundamental Mathematics with Prof. Kihara, an experienced math teacher. As an engineer, I connect many of the topics to real world applications in order to show the students how mathematics is useful for our life. Students also realized that mathematics is not a subject of memorizing some formulas to answer some worksheet questions, but it an essential knowledge to solve many daily life problems to make life easier and more comfortable

In order to foster collaboration and communication skills among students, the lesson plan is designed so that students get involved all the class time. The class topic is explained at the beginning of the class in a short period, and then the students are given the rest of class time to solve many problems, where some of the problems are related to practical applications. During this session, the students who need help are encouraged to ask and acquire knowledge. On the other hand, the students who could understand the topic and solve all the problems are encouraged to gain the skills of leadership and being responsible by helping their mates, so that all students learn and understand the topic well.

The environment in the class is a very good model of active learning, where you find a student teaches a group of his/her mates at one of the corners using a small whiteboard, a teacher explains something to some students on the main board, a group of students tries to teach another group,.., and so on. I feel proud of my students when I find one of them tries his/her best to find an easy way and simple examples to teach his/her mates and get them finally understand.

The teaching staff at Hakusanroku campus is a mixture of different backgrounds and different cultures. They are very enthusiastic to create a global educational environment. A lot of discussions and group meetings are done for exchanging ideas and suggestions to make the best use of their experience and knowledge to teach the students the way of thinking and gain different skills. I am happy to work and collaborate with them towards the mission of making the leaders of global innovation.

Alaa Hussein







July 9, 2018

Matsushita from the science and technology department here. Today, I would like to give you a brief look into our Engineering Design class. The first semester is ending; and students are working actively to finish their project.
Since the second half of this semester, students are working in groups of three. First, they discussed inconveniences and problems within their studies, everyday life, and methods of communication. Next, they designed ways to solve them.
Now, students are creating prototypes of their solution. Not only do they use paper, pens, tape and magnets to create simple prototypes, but different tools and material such as the handsaw for woodwork, 3D printer, sticker cutting, compact motherboards and sensors to realize their ideas. In addition to what they learned in the class, they are applying knowledge and skill that they have accumulated from Compute Skills, afterschool activities, and personal projects. However, this knowledge and skill is never enough. During the process, there are many mistakes and things they do not know yet. When this happens, students revise their strategy by asking teachers or learning from trial-and-error. That is the spirit of conscious prototyping.
I am very excited for the final presentation where they will display their creation/user experience.

Omihito Matsushita



July 5, 2018 Visitors from Missouri, USA

On Thursday, we had a group of visitors from the city of Columbia, Missouri USA. Hakusan and Columbia are sister cities and this group visited our Hakusanroku campus as part of their trip to Japan. The group consisted of three high school students studying Japanese and their teacher.
They ate lunch with our ICT students, viewed the Engineering Design class, and took a tour of the Hakusanroku campus. I think the first-year students have become quite comfortable interacting with visitors since they get so much practice. They have overcome the shyness; and take the opportunity to enjoy and improve their communication skills.
Currently in Engineering Design, ICT students are creating prototypes in groups. The visitors were not engineers, so the students had to explain their projects in an understandable way. It was a good exercise to practice word selection in English.
After viewing the Hakusanroku campus, the Columbia students departed to visit the Hakusan Hime Shrine and meet with their homestay families. We thank them for visiting us and wish they enjoy their experience in Japan.




June 27, 2018 Visitors from Hong Kong.

On Tuesday, we had some guests from Hong Kong. 30 students from HKCWC Fung Yiu King Memorial Secondary School visited ICT Hakusanroku Campus as a part of their school trip. Students of both schools broke up into fourteen teams to play the SDGs card game.

The SDGs (sustainable development goals) are a set of seventeen goals agreed upon by all 193 nations of the UN to make a better and sustainable world by 2030. They include goals not only focused on developing countries such as “no poverty” and “zero hunger”, but also goals targeting social needs in developed countries and the environment. The SDGs card game is designed to give the players the experience of developing the world.

In the SDGs card game, each group is given a primary goal, specific smaller goals, and money and time cards. Primary goals are general goals such as “make a lot of money” or “live a leisure life.” Specific goals are goals such as “build a highway” or “set a limit to fish taken each year.” They require money and time to complete and reward a different amount of money and time. When completed, each goal effects the world parameter, which is shown on the whiteboard in ratings of environment, society and industry. The goal of the game is for each group to complete goals and negotiate with other groups to trade cards to fulfil their primary goal and develop the world.

Most groups had two Hong Kong students and one ICT student, and were very shy at first. English was not their primary language and they had only just met each other five minutes ago. However, this ceased to be a concern as soon as the game began. There were students discussing their next move, rushing to complete their goal and receive the rewards, and negotiating vigorously. When the dust settled at half time and everyone looked at the world parameter, our jaws dropped. The world that had started at an even four points each for environment, society and industry, was now one point each for environment and society, and eighteen points for industry. We had reproduced the Industrial Revolution!

The instructor explained that the world we had created probably had horrible child labor and species going extinct every year. Each group had taken the most profitable actions and this world was the result. The second half was our test if we could bring the world back. The results are as you can see in the picture. Although we could not reach even, the environment and society improved compared to the first half. During reflection, several students said that they tried to improve the society and environment, but could not always find the sufficient money, time, or goals. Other students complained that the objective of the game was difficult to understand. I think this is interestingly similar to the world we live in today.

I asked the instructor about the results later and she explained that this is how the game commonly plays out. I was surprised how well it replicated the real world, especially for an educational game. There were groups with skillful players who fulfilled their goals in no time while other group struggled to negotiate and were casted aside. It seemed like a miniature version of the real world like the book “If the world were a village of 100 people.” The moment at halftime of “oh my god” was my favorite and I hope it remains in the students memory that provokes them to become conscious and take action to create a better world.










June 26, 2018

Hello. It's KTB, the Japanese teacher. I teach Japanese Language Expression and Japanese Literature at Hakusanroku. Today, I'd like to introduce the extracurricular activity of Kento Nomura, a Science and Technology department first-year student. That activity is skateboarding, which he first started during sixth grade. Last year, Kento won third prize in an under15 tournament held in Toyama. This year, he plans to compete in an open tournament in Kanazawa in August and is practicing hard.

Usually Kento practices on Hakusanroku campus's outdoor basketball court. However, today we drove to the skateboard park in Yoshino. First, we said hello to the man in charge of the skateboard park (who runs a Japanese oban-yaki shop nearby). There were two others already practicing when we arrived at the park. One in his twenties (a pro-skater!) and the other a junior high school student. Both of them knew Kento and exchanged greetings. Soon after, skateboard school boys arrived and began to warmup.

I asked Kento why skateboarding appeals to him. He told me that he likes how people from elementary school to adults in their forties can enjoy it together and the feeling of unity when the skater pulls off a street trick and the crowd goes wild. Also, he said that it taught him to respect his elders and rules of society, such as following proper procedure.

Kento practiced the trick “50 50 grind late shove-it out” for about an hour and a half before we said goodbye and returned to ICT. The junior high school student even bowed slightly to me. After dinner, it's time for Evening School. Extracurricular activities are a precious peak to refresh our minds in between study time.

Yutaka Katabe



1時間半くらい、“フィフティ フィフティ グラインド レイト ショービット アウト”という技を繰り返し練習して、最後にもう一度挨拶して学校に帰ります。中学生が私にもちょこんとお辞儀してくれました。夕食が終わったらNight Schoolです。課外活動は勉強と勉強の間の、頭の中を真っ白にしてリフレッシュする貴重な時間です。

潟辺 豊

June 25, 2018 News from an Alumnus

The other day, one of our alumni, Gen Ueda called and gave me some fantastic news about him. The news really made me happy. The news he told me was that he got full marks (990 points) on the TOEIC he recently took. Wow, it's marvelous! Everyone who has taken the English Test knows it is so difficult to get full marks on the test. I truly admire his super English skills and comprehension.

I remember that he was working so hard to improve his English when he was at KTC (now ICT). The biggest thing I remember about him was that he participated in all of the international and English programs that we offered. He always tried to make good use of the chances that were in front of him. As a result, his English was improved as he was participating in these programs. He acquired great English skills from his experiences, not only from books or classrooms. I am proud of him and respect his great achievement.

I'm certain that I will share Gen's success story with ICT students. I will tell the students about the importance of taking chances. At ICT, on both Kanazawa and Hakusanroku campuses, students enjoy an excellent atmosphere and a lot of chances. I honestly hope ICT students will learn and acquire a great deal from them and be ready for launching out into the world in the future.

Mamoru Mukai
ICT Vice-president





国際高専 副校長
向井 守

June 20, 2018 Engineering Context


On Monday, I visited ICT’s Engineering Context class. Engineering Context and Engineering Design are the two courses that teach students design thinking and problem solving, the core of ICT’s education to create global innovators. Engineering Context teaches specific methods to create things and utilize resources in a global environment.

This week, students were learning to draw combined three-dimensional shapes. Kodaka sensei, the Engineering Context teacher first demonstrated how to draw a plan for three-dimensional shapes. The plan consisted of a diagonal view of the combined shape and diagrams of the shape from different angles.

In the next part of the class, students were given an assignment. The assignment was to choose and combine two solids of rotation and one rectangular cube, and draw a plan of the combined shape. Some students had little trouble reproducing their image on paper, while others struggled. However, all students were very concentrated on their task, as you can see in the video.

Some people may have similar questions I had. What is the purpose of this class and why are we practicing such an old fashion method? Kodaka sensei explained to me that it is important to be able to draw an accurate plan or prototype, especially when brainstorming in an international team. Visuals can be a universal tool when language is not the most efficient method of communication.

Some people may have similar questions I had. What is the purpose of this class and why are we practicing such an old fashion method? Kodaka sensei explained to me that it is important to be able to draw an accurate plan or prototype, especially when brainstorming in an international team. Visuals can be a universal tool when language is not the most efficient method of communication.








June 20, 2018 Tedori Canyon Road

“What do you do out there,” I get asked that question a lot when I tell people I work out in Hakusanroku. Then they say, “There’s nothing to do out there!”

I disagree there is lots to do out here – it just takes a little effort, because it’s not immediately obvious. I have been doing lots of exploring on the Tedori Canyon Road. The road starts across the street at Sena Roadside Station and goes all the way to Jyuhachigawara Park for a total of 20km. On the way you can stop off and visit Bird Humming Torigoe, Lake Kobo and Tedori Gorge. Besides that, the road goes past lots of rice paddies and mountains, so the scenery is very nice.

The one problem is that from ICT to Jyuhachigawara Park, the road goes downhill. Getting back to ICT takes more work. If you are tired when you start back to ICT, then you will be really tired when you get back.

Ian Stevenson







June 19, 2018

Hello, my name is Tsuda. I teach two English classes at the Hakusanroku campus.
Did you know that KTC (ICT’s former name) has many proud legacies? One of them is the boys’ basketball team. There used to be a golden age when we won the Hokuriku regional tournament for ten consecutive years, and multiple national championship titles. Sadly, this record has broken off and members have decreased in numbers. However, the basketball team is a tightly bonded group that practices hard every day.

This year, a new gymnasium equipped with air conditioning and an outdoor basketball court were built at our Hakusanroku campus. We did not have enough players to compete in the high school championship qualifiers this year. However, I believe these resources will contribute in the future for basketball and other sports teams.

Apart from sports, there are opportunities for students to test themselves in various fields such as robot contests, design contests, English speech contests, etc. This is important for creating good character within a school community. I believe rivalry between students increases the spirit of competition and motivation.

I hope that these activities generate the hunger to learn and cultivate proactive behavior to become independent and highly sociable. I look forward to the day our students compete on the highest stage of national/international competitions in a variety of fields.


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