Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル
January 20, 2020 Global Winter Camp
Hello, it's Jonathan, the camera man. Last month we held the Global Winter Camp where fourteen student from Thailand came to ICT to take STEM courses and learn about Japanese Culture. This year's Global Winter Camp was a week long program starting on December 15. During the program, the Thai students stayed in our dormitories at Hakusanroku campus and participated in STEM classes and Japanese cultural classes hosted by ICT teachers, various activities, and visited a local elementary school and tourist spots in Ishikawa prefecture.
On the first day, students arrived at Hakusanroku campus after a long journey and checked in. We held a orientation ceremony and introduced our school and each other. In the evening we held a mini workshop to make key chains using the laser cutting machine.
On day two, students first received a lecture on Japanese culture and language. In the afternoon, we visited the Hakusan Folk Museum in Shiramine, which is a town about fifteen minutes up the mountain from ICT. We also cut and made cups out of bamboo and experienced cooking rice over a bonfire.
Day three was the day we visited Hakurei Elementary School, a local public school about five minutes from ICT. Both students had prepared a presentation of their culture and a kids game that they could play together. The Japanese students introduced the game "Darumasan-ga-koronda." In this game, one person covers their eyes and the other players sneak up on him/her while the person says "Darumasan-ga-koronda", which means "the daruma falls down." When the person opens their eyes, all the other players must freeze and cannot move or else they will be captured. After they are touched, the person has ten steps to tag another player.
In exchange the Thai students introduced a type of stilts made out of two cut coconuts and string. The students practiced walking with these coconuts and finally faced off in a race of Thailand vs Japan. You can see both games in action in the video at the bottom of the article. We also challenged ourselves with cooking some Japanese "dango" (dumplings). Both students mixed, boiled, and covered the dumplings with kinako powder. Afterwards, we ate lunch together in the Hakurei cafeteria.
In the evening back at ICT, the students enjoyed bouldering with the assistance of Philip-sensei.
The STEM courses began from the fourth day. These include the Digital Fabrication Introduction by Omi-sensei, Circuit Board Decoration Workshop by Hayato-sensei, Chemistry & Biology Workshop by Nagwa-sensei and Jason-sensei, and the Paper Rocket Design Challenge by Anne- and Ryan-sensei.
On day five, students participated in the Design Thinking Workshop by Omi-sensei, Drone Programming Workshop by Maesa-sensei, Laser Cutter Workshop by KK-sensei, and AI & IoT Workshop by Fukuda-san. The students experienced a wide assortment of STEM courses during the span of two short days, hopefully sparking an interest as a engineer of the future.
The sixth and final full day was dedicated to sightseeing in Ishikawa prefector. We first departed ICT for Kaga Fruit Land to pick strawberries. There were green houses where you could pick and eat as many strawberries as you want. The strawberries were fresh and delicious and everyone ate their fill.
Next, we moved to Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) to eat lunch in the cafeteria and take a campus tour. Students especially enjoyed the PMC's (Popular Music Collection) collection of records and special chairs to listen to them. After KIT, we did some sightseeing in Kanazawa city. Kanazawa is often called "small Kyoto" and we made time to visit Nagamachi Samurai District, Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa Castle, and Higashi-chayagai. At Nagamachi, we visited Nomura-ke, which is a samurai residence open to the public. Here, the students had their first taste of Matcha green tea. At Kenrokuen Garden, some students discovered their love for Mitarashi-dango. (dumpling with sweet soy sauce) Finally, we joined a gold leaf experience at the shop "Sakuda." Here, students decorated small boxes with gold leaf. We returned to Hakusanroku and packed our bags for it was our last night at ICT.
On the final day, students gave presentations on their experience at ICT. It was interesting to see how each students had taken alike to a different activities. I am glad that they all have special memories that they will take back to their homes in Thailand. You can see a video of their presentations and some scenes during the trip. I look forward to the next camp and hopefully seeing our friends from Thailand again someday. Thanks for coming and take care!