Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

December 21, 2020

              Hello everyone, Jomkit here with my very first journal entry! It’s been a few weeks since I started working here, but the beauty of nature still astounds me. I am not much for photography, but when I see the landscape surrounding us I can’t help but try and capture it on my phone. I’m no stranger to towering mountain ranges and trees that carpet them, but in my hometown of Portland, Maine, I would need to drive 45 minutes out of the city to see such magnificence. Here, all it takes is one glance out the window and I’m faced with a visage painted by the turning of the seasons.

              With that being said, the Hakusan area is much quieter than what I’m used to. Growing up I lived in the city next to a hospital, so there were many nights where I fell asleep in conditions some people would consider too noisy to think. But I’m getting used to the calmness of the rural area, and there’s certainly a few sights to see. One thing that has helped me deal with homesickness is walking to the nearby coffee shops, such as Kijitora or Koubou. I absolutely love trying new coffee, and neither of these places have disappointed. Kijitora’s style is delightfully reminiscent of the cafes in my hometown, and they have a fantastic selection of espresso drinks. Koubou on the other hand may only offer a limited selection of drink styles, but their cozy seats and warm atmosphere really makes you lose track of time. The homemade baked goods are likewise delightful. I’ve heard the coffee scene in Ishikawa is bustling, so I look forward to getting to know the specialties of local shops and roasters.

Jomkit Jujaroen




December 14, 2020 Experiencing the Fall Scenery

Hello everyone! My name is Brandon Wohlfarth and I just started teaching here at ICT, so this is my first Hakusanroku Journal entry. Since arriving at the Hakusanroku campus I have been blown away by the wonderful scenery surrounding campus. The mountains reaching up towards the sky, the rich reds and browns that mark the fall season, have all impressed me.

The natural landscape of the Hakusanroku campus is a stark contrast from many of the locations that I have lived in the United States. I attended Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology located in Terre Haute, Indiana where I received both my undergraduate and master’s degree. While I love Indiana, unfortunately the scenery only consisted of flat land used primarily for agriculture. This made outdoor activities such as hiking much less enjoyable. The difference between these two locations is truly like comparing night and day, completely different. After the winter, I am looking forward to being able to hike and explore the various trails in the Hakusan area.

I have been lucky so far that the weather has been pleasant so that I can still take the opportunity to enjoy nature before the snow and cold comes in. I have enjoyed walking around the Hakusanroku campus and the surrounding area. I am excited to see how the natural landscape surrounding us changes as the seasons progress, and in what other ways it may differ from what I have experienced in the past. Below are some of the pictures of the surrounding area that I have taken so far. I am not the greatest photographer so bear with me. Over the last few weeks it has been wonderful meeting the students, faculty, and staff members here at ICT. I look forward to working with everyone!

Brandon Wohlfarth




ブランド ウォルファース


December 7, 2020 JOES-ICTオンライン体験型ワークショップ



第2部は「DIY実験 フルーツバッテリー制作」と題され、事前に準備をしていただいたレモン、バナナ、トマトなどのフルーツに刺した様々な金属の釘をケーブルでつないでLEDランプが点灯するかを実験しました。参加者はZOOMのビデオ機能で手元を映して作業をし、ナグワ先生とアラー先生はその様子を見ながら指示を出したり、質問に答えたりしました。映像を見ていると子供たちは待ちきれない様子で、説明を聞くや否や、準備したフルーツにケーブルをつないだり、点灯したLEDランプをカメラにかざして見せたりしていました。第3部の「Interactive Computer Simulation」ではオンライン上で回路を組めるブラウザソフトでオリジナルの回路を作って、スクリーンショットをチャット欄に共有しました。個性的な回路がたくさんあり、ナグワ先生は参加者たちの積極性に感激している様子でした。



Hi, it's Jonathan, the camera man. On November 29 (Sun), 2020, the JOES-ICT Online Workshop was held at the Hakusanroku Campus. We host a summer workshop with Joes (Japan Overseas Educational Services) students every year. However, this year it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation, and an online event was created instead.

The online workshop began at one in the afternoon and 27 elementary students logged in from their home. After some opening words from both sides and a short introductory video about ICT, Nagwa sensei and Alaa sensei (in charge of chemistry and math respectively) started the workshop. The first part was titled "Chem-melody." First, Nagwa sensei gave a lecture about how electricity works. Then, she connected 10 yen and 1 yen coins to a speaker and music chip before putting them in salt water; displaying that electrons were in fact traveling through the circuit as music came out of the speaker. There were quiz questions during the experiment which the participating students answered using Zoom's survey function.

In the second part of the workshop, titled "DIY Experiment Fruit Battery Making", Nagwa sensei showed the participants how to make a battery using fruits, such as lemons, bananas and tomatoes. The fruits were connected to a LED lamp via cables and nails made of different metal. Participants had prepared these items in advance and apparently could not wait to do the experiment because we could see them starting even as Nagwa sensei was still giving the instructions. Nagwa sensei and Alaa sensei watched their progress and answered any questions the students had. In the third part, "Interactive Computer Simulation", participants created an original circuit using a browser software, took screenshots of their work and posted it in chat. There were many creative circuits and Nagwa sensei expressed her joy for their enthusiasm.

I'm happy that we were able to continue the tradition of this relationship with JOES, even if it wasn't in the flesh. Hopefully the situation will be more favorable next year.


December 1, 2020 Rat Dissection

Hello everyone! Today, I would like to write about an interesting experiment that second grade students have done in biology class here at ICT. Ever since the beginning of this school offering biology classes at Hakusanroku campus, I have been ordering the necessary equipment to eventually be able to do a rat dissection. After some time, we could finally realize this on November 19th 2020! This marked the first time in this school’s history to do such an experiment.

The objectives of the experiment were twofold. First, to get students to familiarize themselves with the different dissection instruments and second, to observe the different mammal organs and organ systems that the students have studied in biology class with their own eyes.

The class began with an explanation of the objectives, the safety measures, the description of the dissection instruments and the description of the procedure. A lot of emphasis was put on the safety measures since students would be working with sharp instruments and live tissues and organs. After the explanations, I proceeded to do a demo dissection so that the students could see the flow of the dissection. Following that, the students carried out the dissection. I offered them to be in pairs if some were not comfortable doing the dissection alone, but most of them surprisingly wanted to do it alone and have one rat each.

It was nice to hear the positive comments and the positive reactions that students had during the experiment when they could see with their own eyes the theory that they have learned in class. After students had finished the main part of the dissection, they were required to call a teacher and identify specific organs from a list that was provided to them. Once they had successfully completed that task, they were free to explore more of the rat or they could finish up and clean up their space.

Overall, I was very pleased with how the class went and how the students approached the experiment with a sense of maturity and interest. We will be sure to repeat this experiment next year as well!

Jason de Tilly

*The pictures have been cropped.








November 30, 2020 愛・AIいもプロジェクト







Hi, its Jonathan the cameraman. Today, I will give a report on what some of the second year students have been doing in "Engineering Design" class.

ICT's "Engineering Design" is a course in which students find problems in their community or society by interviewing people and creating prototypes that solve them. Seven of this year's second year students decided to focus on the unused fields across the street from the Hakusanroku Campus and start the "Ai Ai Imo Project", which consists of two groups: "Agri-tech" and "Agri-business".

Last year, some students planted sweet potatoes in the same field as part of their club activity. Despite their hard efforts, most of the potatoes were dug up and eaten by monkeys. They partnered with Kanazawa Institute of Technology to test a wild animal defense robot. However, it proved unable to detect animals when set in a wild environment due to wind moving the plants in the background. Learning this, the "Agri-tech" group decided to create a system that detects monkeys in the wild using AI. The actual construction of the system started this semester. In November, they traveled to the national park in Tsubata-machi and took over 7,000 pictures of the monkeys there to increase the accuracy of the AI. These activities were even featured on national television "Kaga-noto Evening" on November 13. Damage to crops by wild animals is a serious problem in Japan and the group hopes to develop a system that can detect monkeys entering a field and notify the owner via their smartphone.

The "Agri-business" group started the "Ai Ai Imo Project" in April. Their goal was to utilize the unused field to grow and sell sweet potatoes. To not repeat the same mistake as last year, this year's second year students built an electric fence around the patch to shut out the monkeys. Thanks to this and some quick decisions, they were able to harvest over 90% of the sweet potatoes. Students measured the sugar content of the potatoes, which turned out to be a remarkably high 44 degrees. After roasting and eating the sweet potatoes, we confirmed that they were rich, sweet and delicious. The students rinsed and separated the sweet potatoes by size, which they then packaged and labeled. These sweet potatoes were branded "Kanjuku (sweet and ripe) beni-haruka" and were sold at the michi-no-eki "Sena" souvenir shop and local super market "Yorankaine". They were extremely popular and sold out in a couple of days.

Next year, we hope to improve the system created by the "Agri-tech" group and work with the local community to further promote the sweet potatoes to draw people to Hakusanroku.  

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