Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル: 2019年1月の記事

January 30, 2019

Last week, we heard about the students’ Engineering Design project to create a surprising toy incorporating the use of biomimicry. Several months after their first visit to the Ishikawa Insect Museum to gain inspiration, the students finally finished their first prototypes, and had a chance to present them to their teachers and classmates in class.

The base material for the students’ creations was a Lego EV3 kit, but each group added their own creative flair by 3D printing, laser cutting, and machining additional parts to complete their projects. The results may look unassuming at first glance, but that’s because the students engineered in the element of surprise as well.

An important part of product development is presenting that product to an audience, so during class the students practiced that skill with their own short presentations in English, followed by a short demonstration of their prototypes. Some of the demonstrations went well, but prototypes don’t always work as intended and some projects suffered some technical difficulties. However, these young engineers still have another month to tweak and improve their prototypes before the project deadline, and I can’t wait to see the results!

Ryan Vicencio



学生の作品のベースとなるのはLego EV3のキット。そこに各グループがそれぞれ3Dプリンター、レーザーカッター、機械工学を使ってオリジナル要素を加えます。プロトタイプの一見地味に見えるかもしれませんが、それはサプライズ要素が含まれているからです。



January 28, 2019 Biomimicry

Biomimicry: the design and production of solutions that are modeled on elements and ideas found in nature.

The students learned this word during the first half of the semester and have been striving to use biomimicry in their Engineering Design class. The task is to create a toy with some surprising element while using biomimicry.

In order to study biomimicry and find inspiration, the students visited the Ishikawa Insect Museum earlier in the semester. There, they saw specimens of insects from around the world and also observed live insects native to Ishikawa. In The Butterfly Garden, students had the chance to walk among the butterflies as they flew around freely. Yuya even made a few butterfly friends who landed on him and would not leave! Some of the students were even brave enough to touch some of the insects as they observed them. They recorded videos in slow motion, sketched drawings, and took pictures. Hopefully, the students are no longer afraid of insects!

Returning to class, students have been working on incorporating biomimicry into the toys they are designing. With various elements of surprise, it’s been fun to see how the students are taking their observations and coming up with new designs and ideas. One group even put a lot of time into gluing and cutting sheets of paper to create their own paper honeycomb. The students are finishing up their prototypes this week and I can’t wait to see how their ideas turned out!
on him and would not leave! Some of the students were even brave enough to touch some of the insects as they observed them. They recorded videos in slow motion, sketched drawings, and took pictures. Hopefully, the students are no longer afraid of insects!

Anne Isobel Tan

2019年1月28日 バイオミミックリー






January 22, 2019

Happy new year everyone. Winter break is over and our students all returned in one piece. I am most happy as a teacher that they enjoyed a fruitful vacation, Christmas and New Year's.

I am in charge of Physics at ICT. So, I would like to introduce the experiment we conducted in class last week. Currently, we are studying circular motion. Last week, we conducted an experiment to find the formula of centripetal acceleration using a conical pendulum. I asked Ise sensei (who is skilled at making machines) to help me build the contraption for the experiment. It still took a whole day to build between the two of us. Changing the voltage applied to the motor of this homemade machine changes the angular velocity, which changes the vertical angle of the cone created by the rotating spindle… I guess that's enough complicated lecture. In the experiment, I asked students to measure the spindle's rotation period and the vertical angle of the cone. From their data, we calculated the centripetal acceleration, which was only off by 3% of the theoretical value. Great work! The error of my results when testing the experiment before the class was 6%, so I must admit younger students have better reflexes and are more accurate with a stopwatch.

My aim for this experiment was to have students to experience the formula we learned in earlier classes through actual physical phenomenon. How far my intention actually reached the students is beyond my knowledge. As for me, I was worried if the contraption would work properly at first. However, I was finally relieved when, after many trial and error of changing the material and shape of the spindle and rearranging the rotation unit, we finally made it work. I learned a lot from this class, even as a teacher. As always, physics, the connection of reality and theory is a profound subject.

Meguru Ito






January 21, 2019

Hakusanroku is enclosed by snow in winter, and students tend to stay in their dormitories. To prevent a lack of exercise, I decided to take charge of the winter sports promotion here at ICT. My choice of winter sport was skiing. However, many of the students do not have any skiing equipment. So, I contacted Kozakura-Sou, which provide rental ski service at Hakusan Ichirinoonsen Ski Resort, and have a relationship with us through regional cooperation activities in the past. They kindly provided us with an assortment of skiing equipment they were not using. Now the first floor of the Innovation Hub has transformed into a ski shop and students have no lack of skiing gear to enjoy.

January 13 and 14 severed perfect weather, and I took the students to Ichirinoonsen Ski Resort, which is located about 7 kilometers from the Hakusanroku campus. After riding the ropeway, you can actually see the campus from the top. Katabe sensei, our Japanese teacher and experienced skier, accompanied us and took charge in teaching the students the ropes. I believe this excursion served well as a chance for our students to move their bodies and enjoy the magnificent nature of Mt. Hakusan.

This year's winter is warm and there is less snow that usual. However, we, teachers, staff and students alike are excited to stay fit until spring by taking ski trips every weekend.

Dean of Research and Projects

Shuntaro Yamazaki







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