Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

April 8, 2019 Special STEM Week!

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. Last month before spring break, ICT held it's special extracurricular activity week in the Innovation Hub. The Innovation Hub is the building next to ICT that contains the Institute for Regional Revitalization and Innovation (IRRA) of Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) and is the site for innovation targeting the local community and rural areas in collaboration with various corporations and KIT students.

During March 4 to 13, ICT invited professors from KIT and forerunners in various professional fields to conduct special classes on themes such as art, science, engineering, and design. I was able to visit some of these special classes and see all the interesting and cool things students were doing before the end of the school year. Here's my report.


On March 4, the course "Learning how to create a sustainable society from evolution" was held by honorary professor Ryoji Suzuki and professor Ryuichi Sato. In this course, students learned about current robot technology with ideas inspired from animals and wildlife. The students already experienced making robots with LEGO EV3 using biomimicry in Engineering Design this semester, and this class took that experience one step further by introducing various examples of robots actually used in our society to create a sustainable world.


The class on Match 5 was titled "A fun way to utilize AI" and was held by Takayuki Fukuda (KIT) and Takuya Umeki (KRI). In this class, students learned about artificial intelligence that can learn text and images. In the second half, students and teachers were divided into two teams for an ideathon in which they used the AI to actually design and create a program. Team A created a AI that can determine the mood of someone from their facial expression. Students took pictures of themselves with various faces, which they fed to the AI to be studied and learned. Team B created a system that recognized the weather outside and projected a different atmosphere on the classroom wall for a more attractive study environment. Similarly, they gave the AI various images of sunny and rainy weather. Both systems worked surprisingly well considering the limited time each team had.

Photography and Art

The course "Art and self expression using photography" was held for two days, March 7-8, by Yuichiro Ito of CIVILTOKYO. Mr. Ito is a designer based in Tokyo and is was one of the forerunning professionals ICT invited as instructors for this special week. After a unique introduction using photographs to set the stage, the class went right to work. Students were divided into pairs to create a photo art book. There were no restrictions and students were free to express themselves anyway they chose. Students were excited with the interesting assignment and went about designing their ultimate art book. Some students took and edited photos in Photoshop, while others created works of art using post-its, or a blackboard and chalk. On the afternoon of the second day, students gave presentations of their photo art books, which you can view in the videos below.

Design and Storytelling

On March 11, we were joined by Takayuki Ishii and Keita Furusawa of Shitateya-to-Shokunin. This class was titled "The Force of Storytelling." It began with an introduction of what a story is and how to tell one. Then, students were divided into two teams, to create their own story. Each team was given a persona from the Japanese anime "Doraemon", and were given the task to dig into their personalities to find a conflict or problem worthy of story development. Students brainstormed and narrowed down ideas for their characters, and created a story with an original "futuristic Doraemon item." You can watch their final presentations in the video below.


The final special course was conducted by associate professor Junichi Sagara of KIT. This course was titled "Let's experience DIY bio research. Genetic analysis using BentoLab." Students learned how to examine the DNA of various plants using BentoLab and Mr. Sagara gave lectures on the history of genetic modification and its ethical problems and restrictions. Also, university students joined each group and Hakusanroku students had a chance to interact with their older and more advanced seniors in the biology field.


Altogether, I believe the special classes were an enormous success. They were short bursts of in-depth learning experiences in a wide range of design and engineering fields. They were interesting, new, and taught by forerunners or specialists of that field. It was a fresh and stimulating experience for the students, which I would not be surprised to see having an impact on what path they decide to follow in the future. Also, I was happy to see many signs of growth from the students. Many of the Photoshop skills students used to create the photo books were learned in Computer Skills class. Each team used the design thinking methods in their groups, which they used countless times over the year. They were quick and organized when creating a presentation, dividing the team members up depending on their skills. It was like seeing a team of superheros who fought threw many battles together and understand each other's strength and weaknesses. I don't believe the students really realize this growth themselves, but these are important skills for innovators of the future. Go go superheros of ICT!



2019年4月8日 3月の特別課外週間




34日に行われた「生物の進化に学ぶ持続可能社会」は金沢工業大学の鈴木良次名誉教授と佐藤隆一教授が登場し、自然界や生物の仕組みや応用した最新のロボティクス研究についての講義が行われました。白山麓キャンパスの学生はすでにエンジニアリングデザインでバイオミミクリーを使ったロボットをLEGO EV3で作る活動をしており、その経験を踏まえて、持続可能社会のために実際に使用されているロボットの例を取り上げながら知識をさらに深める内容となっていました。








最後の特別授業は金沢工業大学の相良純一准教授による「DIYバイオを体験してみよう!BentoLabによる遺伝子解析実験 ~植物DNAの抽出と制限酵素処理、電気泳動実験~」と題され、学生はBentoLabを使った遺伝子解析実験や、相良准教授による遺伝子組み換えの歴史やその規制についての学習をしました。各グループに大学生も参加し、生物学の先輩と交流する機会にもなりました。




HOMECampus LifeHakusanroku JournalApril 8, 2019 Special STEM Week!