Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

March 12, 2019

Hello everyone. I’m James Taylor, one of the English teachers at ICT.

We’re just a few days away from the end of the academic year – our first as ICT and our first at Hakusanroku Campus. I’m sure all the students, staff and faculty are eager for the spring vacation to start, but the end of the year is the perfect time to look back on what we have done and achieved over the past 12 months, as well as to consider how we can improve in our future efforts.

Personally, I have experienced many new things during the past year. I have taught a writing course; shared a class with three other teachers; helped facilitate an international conference; participated in a Design Thinking workshop for visiting students; been a guest on a live radio show; started recording my own radio show; seen monkeys, snakes and birds of prey from my living room window – all for the first time. I’ve also had the chance to work closely with colleagues from other disciplines, with whom I don’t think I would’ve had much interaction with on any other campus.

I’m looking forward to the holiday, but I’m also looking forward to meeting our new first year students at the end of March and seeing how our second year students get on as they prepare to go to New Zealand. It’ll be interesting to see how they, and ICT in general, develop over the next year.








March 12, 2019 Harvest Season

It is that time of the year when all students all over Japan are busy taking exams and tests of all kinds. Taking tests is not a fun experience to go through for anyone. Especially when the results of what people do on a test paper for only 50 or 90 minutes can affect their future in a good or bad way. It is a dramatic life turning point. Results of tests should be seen only as one of many signs of skill and knowledge mastery. Passing or getting good scores in tests should not be a goal or the sole way of judging achievements. I believe that tests can be used as a learning experience not a goal to aim for on its own.

Different from most of the schools, the ICT educational program is not test-centered. Besides exams, there are many other ways that we use here to measure learning progress and skills development. I had a lot of fun last week watching students` various presentations either in Biology or Engineering Design courses. In Biology, students researched new or studied topics on their own. Seeing many of them confidently presenting gave me an impression on how much they enjoyed the researching experience. The amount of knowledge they found out and were excited to share cannot be measured on a piece of paper.  The Engineering Design products that students made grew and improved from their original ideas. The students' understanding also grew and improved. The amount of skills gained from those kind of experience is unmeasurable.

In Chemistry, the course that I teach, students were busy mastering that interesting yet challenging knowledge and content through group discussions, experiments, projects, notetaking and problem solving. While deepening their understanding of basic chemistry concepts, students improved learning skills that will stay with them for their life time. They are getting better in lots of learning skills as taking effective notes, or accessing the chemistry textbook, the English language of the book is college level and can be tough even for native English speakers. Besides books, tests and projects, students were also required to build up a chemistry portfolio that shows learning evidence and their reflection and comments on their own learning process. I was so happy to read their comments and reflections, it helped me also to know their interests better. They seem to recognize their strength and weaknesses, which will help them improve even more over next school year. The effort that they made was helping their learning skills ripen as a fruit on a tree that is getting ready for a harvest. Reaching aimed goals is a great pleasure. Seeing results of your efforts relieves all the stress and pressure the person has gone through time. 

Pictures down here show students enjoying presenting and trying the card or board games they created to participate in the “The Element Game Innovators” competition. The best three games will be available in the Learning Commons for the future students to enjoy playing.

 Nagwa Fekri Rashed

2019年3月12日 収穫期






March 4, 2019 Engineering Design Final Presentation

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. In today's journal, I would like to share the first-year students' final presentation for Engineering Design. Engineering Design is a project-based course in which students learn various engineering skills using design thinking. In this semester's Engineering Design, students were divided into teams of three and given the task of creating a toy that surprises adults using biomimicry. Biomimicry is a method of innovation by taking inspiration from nature. Earlier this semester, students visited Ishikawa Insect Museum to get ideas for their projects. Since then, students worked on their projects for several months. In addition to actually making and refining the actual product, students created a timetable and management sheet, planned and designed their concept, budgeted and purchased the material, and created a presentation poster and PowerPoint. The Engineering Design course is the "real meat" of ICT, and students put many hours in working on their project.

On, February 21, students, teachers and staff gathered to watch the teams' final presentation. Each group explained which insect they took inspiration from, told their story of development, and demonstrated their final product. Please check out their presentations if you are interested in the video's below.

I had the several chances to watch the students work on their projects over the course of the months leading up to this presentation. Therefore, I know the effort they put into them, the difficulties they encountered, and how far they improved since their first prototype. The students came a long way and the audience applauded their success. However, as you can see in the videos, they are not perfect. I cannot help but relate to some of the teachers unable to not think they could have done better. This is probably how parents feel about their kids sometime. You know they are capable and the projects were great, so you wish they were even better. The students seemed satisfied and proud of their projects and I am happy they feel a sense of achievement. I also hope that they gained many experience points from this project to grow and learn from. You will cease to grow the moment you are satisfied. I also would like to implement this lesson into my life and always ask myself if I can do better.


2019年3月4日 エンジニアリングデザイン1B 最終発表





February 22, 2019

Hello everyone! I am Steven, a mathematics professor at ICT Hakusanroku Campus. I came to ICT and Hakusanroku in October of 2018. So, it has only been a few month since I have been here. Throughout my time here, I am always amazed at the resources ICT Hakusanroku campus offers the students, staff and the professors. I really wish I had these resources when I was a student and an educator at my previous institutions. So, in this journal, I want to introduce some amazing resources ICT Hakusanroku offers.

First, I want to introduce the 3D printers and the LEGO models the students and professors use to help them in their classes. Before coming to ICT Hakusanroku, I had never used a 3D printer nor had I ever seen LEGO models that could be easily used to teach students about basic programming. Throughout the short couple months I have been here, I have learned how to use the 3D printers and I have printed some models that I hope to use next year to aid in my classroom. As for the LEGO models, I have had a blast seeing the students make their robots and program them to do simple tasks and even to sumo! I have even heard they will teach students how to program next year with programmable drones! I am still wondering how I can incorporate a LEGO model into one of my math classes! If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Second, I want to introduce the Maker Studio on the first floor of our campus. This studio has some amazing machinery that the students and professors can use to create anything they can imagine. Some of the machinery (to name a few) include a band-saw, a laser-cutter and some drill presses. I even learned how to solder a basic circuit board thanks to a colleague. Usually, the students use this area for their engineering classes, but I have seen some students just using the machines for their own ideas! I look forward to using this area more in the future!

Finally, I want to introduce the library! I often visit the library on the first floor of the student commons area. Although the library is still lacking some books, it is rapidly increasing the amount of books available to both students and teachers. I visit the library at least once a week to learn a little bit about other topics and also to get some ideas. Further, I like to check many math books in order to get a lot of interesting problems to show the students or challenge the students. I think libraries are crucial to the foundation and the acceleration of knowledge. It is no wonder why the The Royal Library of Alexandria in ancient Egypt, the Library of Pergamum in ancient Turkey and the Academy of Gondishapur in ancient Iran were all centers of knowledge back in antiquity.

That will be it for now. I hope to introduce more amazing resources Hakusanroku Campus.

Steven Carrera








February 21, 2019 Biology Presentations by first-year students


On February 21, the first-year students at Hakusanroku campus gave their final presentation in the biology class. For the past several weeks, students have worked in pairs on topics of their choice in the realm of biology. Each pair did research and prepared their presentation in English, a second language to most of them. Many teachers gathered in the Science Lab to listen to their presentations and ask questions. Here is a short video of what their final product was like!


221日、白山麓キャンパスの1年生が生物の最終発表会を行いました。この発表は、学生が2人ずつのペアを作り、数週にわたって生物にまつわる自由なテーマのもと、リサーチとプレゼン準備をしてきました。当日はScience Labに各学科の先生も多数集まりました。ほとんどの学生にとっては第二言語となる英語のプレゼンの様子を短いビデオにまとめましたので、ぜひご覧ください。


February 19, 2019

Hello, it's Kihara, the first-year homeroom teacher. Time flies and the school year is nearing its end. During the upcoming couple of weeks, students must finish their homework, reports, presentations, and final exams. It is sure to be a busy time and I wish them the best of luck.

In today's journal, I would like to talk about a course we have at ICT called "Career Design." In this course, students first set goals they want to achieve during the year. Later, they reevaluate their progress, and make the necessary adjustments to fulfill their goals. We visited the Kaga-Yuzen Kobo Hisatsune and experienced Kaga-Yuzen in this course as well. In today's Career Design class, we looked back on this year and asked the questions "What goals did I actually achieve?", "What goals did I not?", "Why?", and "How did I grow and what skills or knowledge did I acquire?" The aim of this class is for students to understand their current state and implement it into new goals for their second year. I heard some students mumbling to themselves "Did I grow at all this year?" and "I can't remember doing any extracurricular activities."

It seems recalling activities and recognizing ones growth is not easy sometimes. However, there was another phrase I heard constantly. That phrase was "What's wrong with this English?" Apparently, they were reading the goals they wrote at the beginning of the school year in April and the reflecting sheet they wrote in October. The students wrote both in English and seemingly noticed flaws in them. These were followed by phrases such as "Why isn't there a period here?", "I don't understand this sentence.", and "I can't believe how bad this English is." Watching my homeroom students mutter complaints to their own sentences, I thought to myself "We did a lot of different things this year, but maybe English is where we progressed the most after all."

Students' remaining time living together here at Hakusanroku campus is little over a year. Until that time, study well, play well and make the best memories you possibly can.

Hitoshi Kihara






木原 均


February 14, 2019

This is my 1st winter in Hakusan-roku and, oh boy, it is very different.

The snow here is very wet and very abundant. Living on the west coast of America I became accustomed to believe all the snow is nicely tucked away on a mountain, reachable if you want to make the drive. A few years ago I brought in the New Year with my wifes family in Hiroshima. Although it does snow there, none of the snow seem to stick to the ground. Though she is from Japan, she was also surprised how different the weather is on this side of Japan.

The Hakusan-roku area is great for us with its amount of snow and close proximity to the mountains! Both of us are snowboarders and living here gives us the opportunity to go snowboarding almost every weekend. With at least 3 different mountains in the area, it gives us enough variety to keep things interesting. Fortunately, as well, the students are also into skiing and/or snowboarding. Hopefully I will have a chance to spend time with them on the slopes since one of the ski resort is close to campus. I hear one of the students is a Pro.







February 12, 2019


Hello everyone! Winter vacation has ended and the end of the school year is already in sight. Time flies by so fast!

Since the beginning of winter, it has snowed quite a lot in Hakusanroku. It’s pretty staggering driving from Kanazawa or Komatsu and see it rain to then coming closer and closer to Hakusanroku and seeing the rain become snow and seeing snow slowly piling up on the ground when there was nothing a few minutes before. This snow reminds me a lot of my home country Canada. With this snow comes all the winter activities that come with it. During the first big snowfall during a weekend in December, students and teachers spontaneously met on the school grounds to make snowmen, snow forts, have snowball fights, sleigh down hills etc. It was a nice break from the stress of studies and homework. No later than last week, students were invited to do these snow-related activities for physical education class as well. They seemed happy to be able to let off some steam in that way.

Of course, snow and mountains also invites skiing and snowboarding. There is a ski resort about ten to fifteen minutes by car from the campus called Ichirino onsen. The view from the top of the mountain is beautiful and I was very surprised when I realized that we can see Hakusanroku campus from the top! Some students have also started working part-time there which is good to develop their sense of responsibility and professionalism. In the end, winter in Hakusanroku offers as much activities as in the summer!

Jason de Tilly






February 5, 2019

The school semester is coming to a close in a few short weeks. Students are diligently preparing for their exams, completing the final parts of their projects, and looking forward to the break that comes after working hard for fifteen school weeks. Because of where the Hakusanroku Campus is located, however, the students will be facing a final foe before they’re ready to tidy up their school year: the weather.

In the last 4 days, what seems like 50 centimeters of snow has fallen. For the skiers and snowboarders, they get to enjoy a ton of powder days at the two nearest ski resorts: Ichirino Onsen Ski Area and Seymour Ski Area. But for the locals, this amount of snow means getting up earlier in the morning to shovel out a path to the road, clearing any stuck snow on rooftops, and braving near blinding snowfall conditions. Many are thankful for the snow plows that go through every morning making sure that the roads are safe to drive on and ensuring that car accident risk is at a minimum.

While this winter’s sheer snowfall is impressive, the snow that sits on the roof is what captures everyone’s attention. Students and teachers can’t help but to look up and out the window when nearly a ton of snow comes crashing to the ground; meanwhile, a rumbling roar resonates as the stress from all that snow releases. Thus far, this rooftop snow has collected in nearly two meter piles around the perimeter of every building. Underneath one roof the snow pile has reached the second floor.

Bartosz Miskowiec






February 4, 2019 Snowball fight in PE


Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. Last week, I found myself dodging left and right through a battlefield of... snowballs! Philip sensei, the PE teacher, organized a snowball fight for PE! Can you imagine having snowball fights for PE? I wish my school had them. Students and teachers gathered on the basket court, which was covered with kneen-deep snow, to blow off some steam from their daily studies. Teachers from the English, math and science courses joined and we almost had an even number of participants from both sides.

Students and teachers were divided into two teams. In the first twenty minutes, both teams were given time to build their fort. We dug and piled snow into a wall to hide behind during the snowball fight. (Although, they were quickly demolished by opposing suicide attackers diving into them.) After building the forts, we played two rounds of snowball fights: first students and teachers mixed, and then students versus teachers.

I can tell you students and teachers are very serious about their snowball fights at ICT. There were people throwing snowballs from behind the forts, dashing left and right, and launching suicide attacks with huge basketball size lumps of snow, which they dumped directly on their victims. Some students found creative ways to sneak around the other team on a flank attack. However, they were usually met with raining snowballs once spotted.There were no complicated rules and everyone had a genuine good time. Soon we were hot and sweaty despite being covered in snow. 

In the final ten minutes, both teams built a snowman before heading off to the onsen for a hot bath. This awesome snowball fight was possible thanks to the snow here at Hakusanroku and the family-like atmosphere of students and teachers living together.


2019年2月4日 体育で雪合戦







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