Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル:English STEM

Making Websites in Computer Skills Class

 Hello everyone. This is Robert Songer, Associate Professor and Computer Skills teacher at Hakusanroku Campus. The weather has been getting warmer and we are starting fresh new classes at ICT—it must be spring! Since this is my first time writing for the Hakusanroku Journal, I would like to give a little introduction of myself and my classes.

 I specialize in computer programming and software engineering subjects in the Department of Science and Technology curriculum. Most of my classes are for the 4th and 5th year students at Kanazawa Campus where they learn things like the Python programming language, software development processes, managing databases, and computer graphics (CG) which is a new topic this year. Sadly, I do not teach at Hakusanroku Campus in the spring semester so I will miss out on enjoying the warm mountain weather and seeing the monkeys in the fields. My classes at Hakusanroku are the Computer Skills classes for 1st year and 2nd year students in the fall. That means I get to drive into the mountains on snowy roads for my early morning classes every week. But I don’t mind! As a native of Michigan State with its cold and snowy winters I am perfectly comfortable in snowy environments.

 In the 1st year Computer Skills class, Professor Ohtsuka and I teach how to make web pages. We introduce the students to HTML, the language of the Worldwide Web. I like to say that the wonderful thing about the Web is that anybody can use the Web to learn about the Web. Even you reading this now in a browser can see the HTML source of this page. On a PC, you can right-click on the page and choose “view source” or “inspect”. Then the browser will show you all the source code that it uses to display the images, colors, and text that you see on the page. Of course, for a complicated page like this one, the source code will be equally complicated if not more!  
 In addition to HTML, the 1st year students also learn about CSS which is a scripting language (a kind of simplified programming language) for describing the appearances of a web pages. While HTML defines the structure of the page, such as where to put headings and images, CSS describes the visual properties of elements on the page, such as what color the text should be and how big to make the images. When they working together, HTML and CSS can be quite powerful technologies with seemingly infinite possibilities for building and designing web pages.

 Every day in class, the students practice what they learn on their computers in the Computer Lab. We do hands-on activities on interactive websites designed for learning these web technologies. One of the websites we use is called Code.org (https://code.org) which has a lot of interactive lessons for individuals as well as entire classrooms to use in learning about computer technologies. The lessons show everything students need to see on screen at the same time. Instructions are at the top of the screen, an editor window for writing source code is at the bottom left, and a view window showing the result is at the bottom right. This is a much simpler way to learn compared to the way modern web developers create websites. Usually, a developer will need to use many different software programs at one time and continuously switch between windows while they work. I think the students can really appreciate having everything they need in one window by using Code.org instead.

 After spending most of the semester learning about web page design, the final project is a portfolio website. The students plan and build a website to show off the activities and projects that they do at ICT. They are free to choose what content and layout they want to use for the website while they decide how to express themselves through visual design. In the end, all the students upload their websites to a hosting service called GitHub Pages (https://pages.github.com/) for anybody to see.

  I am impressed to see the students’ creativity and ingenuity at organizing their original ideas on a page. You can see their websites, too! I have collected a couple links to student pages from 2021 to share with you here. Please check them out below and take a look at what the students themselves chose to share about their first year at ICT.

Lucas Kusamoto
Kan Kinoshita

Robert Songer



 1年生のコンピュータスキルズの授業では、大塚教授と私でWebページの作り方を教えています。そこではWorldwide Webの言語であるHTMLを紹介しています。Webの素晴らしいところは、誰でもWebを使ってWebについて学ぶことができるということです。今、ブラウザでこれを読んでいるあなたも、このページのHTMLソースを見ることができます。パソコンでは、ページを右クリックして「ページのソースを表示」または「検証」を選びます。すると、このページの画像や色、文字を表示するために使っているソースコードをすべて表示してくれます。もちろん、このような複雑なページの場合、ソースコードも同じように複雑になります。



 後学期の大半を費やしてWebページのデザインについて学んだ後、最終プロジェクトとしてポートフォリオサイトを作成します。学生たちは国際高専で行っている活動やプロジェクトを紹介するWebサイトを企画・構築します。どのようなコンテンツやレイアウトにするか、またビジュアルデザインでどのように自分を表現するかなど、自由に選択することができます。最終的には、GitHub Pageshttps://pages.github.com/)というホスティングサービスにアップロードし、誰でも見ることができるようにします。


草本 留嘉寿さん
木下 観さん


March 31, 2022 「コンピュータスキルズⅡB」作品紹介


 先月、井上 恵介先生、ロバート・ソンガー先生の「コンピュータスキルズⅡB」(2年生必須科目)の課題でミュージックビデオを製作した山崎 史依さんから歌詞について相談されたことがありました。大してお役に立てなかったのですが、完成した作品を観て驚きましたので、その時のインタビュー内容を、作品とともにご紹介いたします。


山崎:コンピュータスキルズⅡBのフォーカスエリアプロジェクトで、これまでに習った技術を総合的に活かしてほしいと言われました。もともとミュージックビデオを作るのが趣味だったので、課題としてまた作ろうと思いました。いままではケデンライブ、Adobe Premiere Proを使っていましたが、今回新たにFusion360AR機能を使いました。




山崎:え、本当ですか? 先生特になにも言ってくれなかったから嬉しいです(笑)。担任の先生は、小さい頃の写真が私に見えないって言っていました。








黒田 譜美

 Hello, this is Kuroda! The snow is melting and we can feel the arrival of spring here in HAKUSANROKU (Foothills of Mt. Hakusan).
 Last month, I was consulted about lyrics by Shii Yamazaki, who produced a music video for her "Computer Skills IIB" assignment (required for 2nd-year students) by Keisuke Inoue sensei (Prof.) and Robert Songer sensei (Prof.). I was not able to be of much help, but I was surprised when I saw the finished product, so I would like to introduce the content of that interview along with the work.

Kuroda: Why did you decide to make a video?

Yamazaki:  For the Focus Area Project in Computer Skills IIB, I was asked to make comprehensive use of the skills I had learned so far. I've always enjoyed making music videos, so I decided to make another one as an assignment. I had been using Kdenlive and Adobe Premiere Pro, but this time I decided to use Fusion360's AR function.

Kuroda: Did you make the song and the video yourself?

Yamazaki: Basically, I made it myself. At first, I created the sound and wrote the music. After that, my friend to helped me with the lyrics. When I feel depressed or mentally distressed, I take notes. I write down what I'm thinking and how I'm feeling. I sent those notes to my friend and asked them to write the lyrics, which I then reworked further. So, this piece contains about half a year of my story. I also sang the song myself. Most of the images were taken by myself, too. I actually ate the coppepan takuwan (salad bread) in Shiga during summer vacation.

Kuroda: You once said that putting your feelings into words helps you sort them out. In a sense, your worries are the source of your creativity, aren't they? I think it's amazing that you've been able to turn them into a work of art. I heard that Inoue sensei praised your work very much.

Yamazaki: Oh, really? I'm glad because Inoue sensei didn't say anything special about it (laughs). My homeroom teacher said that the picture of me when I was little didn't look like me.
Kuroda: Inoue sensei said, "Your technical skills are very high, but I can feel the intense heat from your work." I had never heard your sing before, but you are quite good at it. I thought the slightly languid feeling of your singing matched the world view of the work.

Yamazaki: I don't have a high-pitched voice (laughs). I have to sing and adjust the pitch a little.
Kuroda: What kind of message did you put into the work as a whole?

Yamazaki: I wanted to say that there are times when people are like this (laughs). Even if you hate someone, you can't really hate that person. We are all lonely, so we are looking for someone to save us.
Kuroda: Somehow, your feelings of ambivalence came through in the song. Do you have any advice for younger students?

Yamazaki: It's great to have the potential to create something on your own. Sometimes it's better to rely on others!
Kuroda: Thank you very much for your time today. I'm looking forward to your future activities.

Fumi Kuroda


March 25, 2022 バイオアート特別講義「微生物の世界」

 こんにちは。白山麓高専事務室の藤 圭佑です。

 2月17日(木)、221日(月)、225日(金)の3日間、金沢工業大学 バイオ・化学部 応用バイオ学科の相良 純一 准教授(以下、相良先生)を講師としてお招きし、微生物を材料としたバイオアート特別講義が1年生と2年生を対象に白山麓キャンパス内にあるKITイノベーションハブで行われました。相良先生のご専門は「バイオインフォマティクス」です。これは生命科学と情報科学の統合分野のひとつで、DNAやタンパク質など、生命が持つ様々な遺伝子配列情報やタンパク質分子の構造、変化、挙動を数値化し、生理的な情報と共に解析していく学問分野です。






藤 圭佑

 Hello. I’m Keisuke Tou from the Hakusanroku Office.
 Cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom across Japan. Around the Hakusanroku Campus, I can feel spring, too.
 On Thursday, February 17th, Monday, February 21st, and Friday, February 25th, Junichi Sagara sensei (Prof.) of the Department of Applied Bioscience within, the College of Bioscience and Chemistry, at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology came to the KIT Innovation Hub. He talked to 1st and 2nd year students about using microorganisms to create art. Sagara sensei specializes in Bioinformatics. This field integrates life science and information science. It is an academic discipline that analyzes the structure, changes, and behavior of various gene sequences and protein molecules, such as DNA and proteins. All living organisms have these components and Bioinformatics lets us analyze them alone with physiological information.

The first day of the special lecture on February 17th.
 First, Sagara sensei explained the precautions to be taken when handling microorganisms, as well as how to use the microorganism laboratory and safety equipment at the KIT Innovation Hub. There are three steps to completing Bioart: screening, isolation, and drawing. The microorganisms must be grown using these three steps. The students began with screening and received an agar medium (a petri dish on which nutrients are agar-solidified) used in microorganism culture experiments and a cotton swab to collect microorganisms. The students then collected microorganisms from a variety of sources, including stuffed animals, skin on their hands and necks, smartphones, and the walls and floors of their own rooms in the school building and dormitories. After collection, the microorganisms were stored for four days in an incubator set at 37℃ so the microorganisms could grow.

The second day of the special lecture on February 21st.
 The first step was for each student to observe how the microorganisms collected by themselves and their classmates on the first day of the special lecture grew over the four days. The microorganisms growing on the agar medium emitted a distinctive savory smell, similar to that of shrimp snacks, and the students observed their growth with great interest. After the observations, isolation was conducted to separate multiple microorganisms into single microorganisms. This isolation process involves selecting microorganisms to be used as paints and culturing them on a new agar medium. In this way, students created their own palette to be used in the next lecture. After the work was done, the agar medium was put back into the incubator. On this day, the students sketched the designs that they would draw in the third lecture. Students drew butterflies, jellyfish and other animals, mountains and other landscapes, etc. on a piece of A4 paper. The students were really looking forward to the 3rd class.  

The third day of the special lecture on February 25th.
 In this lecture, the students used the palettes and the sketches they had prepared in order to create their own drawings on the agar medium. Sagara sensei gave the following tips for drawing: (1) do not use too much force so as not to damage the agar, (2) when you want to express a pattern in a dark color, take a microorganism firmly on the tip of the brush and apply it repeatedly to the drawing, and (3) when you want to express a light color, take a cotton swab dipped in water and use it to apply a thin layer of the microorganism to the drawing. For about an hour, students earnestly created their own unique works of art.
 The special lecture ended with a round of applause from the students, expressing their gratitude to Sagara sensei for his guidance over the three classes.

 Sagara sensei expressed his hope, saying, "With any technology, there is a fun world of art that applies that technology. I hope that this bioart event will be an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the world of biotechnology".
 Currently, the students' artwork is growing in the incubator. I hope that this process goes well and soon they will be completed.

Keisuke Tou

December 1, 2021 Colorful and Fun

Four years have passed since the start of our college`s new program. I commute to the Hakusanroku Campus all the way up from my home in Kanazawa, every working day. However, I still enjoy the mountainous scenery from the car. It is so beautiful and interesting. The change of the weather and the season makes the view from the car looks like a new piece of art every time. Autumn is my favorite season in Japan. It does not rain as often as it does during other seasons. So, I can enjoy watching the shiny sunlight kissing the colorful leaves. The other day, I saw a double rainbow from the car. It is always fun to observe a rainbow before it disappears. Colors make everything look glorious. Nature gives you the moment of reflection and meditation. If you are a person of science, you would enjoy the moment while asking yourself many questions.

I would like my students to enjoy their life and explore the beauty of the universe around them on a wider and deeper scale. Studying science and specifically, chemistry can help them do that and get the aha moment and be mesmerized by what they discover. One experiment that Year 1 students performed last week gave them the answer to questions that might have come to their minds, such as, “Why candle`s light is yellow?”, “What are fireworks made of?”, or even, “How do we know what the millions-of-light-years-far-away stars are made of?”. Flame test of different metallic ions experiment helped them know the logic behind spectrum emission and explained that each element has its unique spectrum emission. The light emitted by an element is like a fingerprint that shows its presence in different parts of the universe.

People of science do not only enjoy their observations, but they also question, analyze, and explain them. Year 1 students performed the flame test experiment twice. The first time, they did it while following the given instructions to observe how metallic ions such as sodium, potassium, copper, or lithium emit yellow, violet, blue-green, and red flame lights, respectively. They seemed to have enjoyed the flame colors. I could hear them saying words of amusement such as “oh, Wow !!” or “look at that!”. The second time, it was a lab practical, meaning that they performed the procedure independently to define five different metals present in the unknown provided salts. They did their best in following the safety procedure, making observations, and providing explanations. There was some time left after they finished. So, I showed them a firework stick with seven different colors. It was interesting to see them call out the name of metals every time a new color light appeared. That was colorful and fun!

Nagwa Fekri Rashed



 科学者は観察を楽しむだけでなく、疑問を持ち、分析し、解説もします。 1年生は炎色試験を2回行いました。1回目は指示に従いながら、ナトリウム、カリウム、銅やリチウムなどの金属イオンが、それぞれ黄、紫、青緑、赤の炎を出す様子を観察しました。炎の色を見て「おぉ!凄い!」や「見て見て!!」など楽しそうな声が聞こえました。2回目は実習を行いました。未知の塩に含まれる5種類の金属を定義するために、学生たちは独自の手順で実践しました。学生たちは、安全手順を守り、観察し、そして説明することに最善を尽くしました。実習が終わってから少し時間があったので、7色に変化する花火の棒を見せました。色が変化するたびに、学生たちは金属の名前を呼んでいて面白かったです。カラフルで楽しかったです。


May 6, 2021 The Hikari Wins Airplane Contest at ICT!

The school year started with a bang! The Hikaru “Peach” airplane type flew 26 meters which is the full length of the ICT Gym. The team comprised of Mahiro Okuyama and Shogo Izumiya. Mahiro and Shogo threw their plane 5 times, each time their airplane called The Hikari flew and landed more than half the length of the ICT gym. The winning throw was done my Mahiro. Among all the students, he threw the farthest distance, covering 26 meters. Congratulations!

The Bridge English at ICT class holds its customary airplane project for First-Year students studying in science in English. This project allows students to work in team and collaborate to make a product. The main goal is that in the Bridge English class, students build and sharpen their study skills to understand the English used in their core subjects. In the Bridge English class, students receive direct instructions in English for studying Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics.

For the airplane project, the students select an airplane type and create it (both individually and as a team). Students enhance their designs by selecting several items of their choice: paper, tape, scissor, glue, clips, staples, string, and the like. They practice flying their planes by competing a regional and national contest, in the gym.  Eventually, students tweak their designs to get the best one to represent the team in a world championship contest to find which plane flew the farthest.  Doing the airplane project, puts action into learning. Indeed, students can experience fun while studying science in English.

Pauline Baird





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.








September 16, 2020 Chemistry Portfolios

At ICT, we apply active learning methods in our classes. Most of the time, people think that active learning takes place only when students are involved in group activities or discussions. However, active learning is a lot wider term that takes place when students are more engaged, involved in the learning process where they are responsible of developing skills and gaining knowledge. The role of educators in the active learning process is to create chances, facilitate the materials, and draw students’ interest into new topics. 

In Chemistry classes, students are involved in the learning process in all different ways. Besides, taking notes, performing experiments, and take part in the class or group discussions, students are required to create their own portfolios. In Chemistry Portfolios, students need to include all the possible learning evidences, and journal entries that show how they reflect on their own learning process and gained skills. As I watch my students’ portfolios and read their entries, I learn more about my students as individual learners and people. While reading how they think about what was interesting, challenging, or new, I discovered that our roles as educators is to show our students the doors and give them the keys. Students then decide which door to open and discover a whole new world. I enjoyed reading what my students wrote in their entries. I took S2 students’ permission to pick some examples to share with you, and here they are.  

Taketora wrote, “First thing that I was interested in was that water in solid state is less dense than in liquid state. Actually, I knew that, but I didn’t know why. Water molecules are polar bonded. When they form ice, they are arranged in hexagonal shape because polar forces attract and also repel water molecules. I understand why ice floats on water.

Daiko wrote, “While studying Chemistry IIA, I felt that an understanding of chemistry is essential to understanding nature!”

Shuntaro wrote, “Also, that plasma is the fourth state of matter is new knowledge for me. I did not know about plasma because I never saw it before and the textbook in secondary school that only told me about 3 states of matter.”

Luca wrote, “In terms of learning skills, I have developed skills of getting used to the online learning system using zoom.”

Koutaro wrote, “The most shocking experience in Chemistry IIA was learning that there aren’t only three states of matter, but that there is another, plasma. I heard about a plasma cutter, but I never researched how it works and what the plasma is. Conclusively, Chemistry IIA was an enjoyable and very interesting subject for me. I believe Chemistry IIB will be even more interesting.”

Anna wrote, “I was very interested in experiments. I learned it is important to continue to study and chip away at studying.”

Mao wrote, “Whilst studying Chemistry IIA I have developed many learning skills and study habits that have helped me not only in chemistry but all other subjects. Taking Chemistry IIA has made me see that a lot of what we learn in class has relevance to the real world and are not just concepts for school. It was also interesting to see some of the concepts and ideas I learned as a first-year student intertwining and relating to some of the topics I learn as a second year.”

Miyu wrote, “I will never forget about the topic of particles because it has a relationship with the sunset’s color. I am curious about the sunset’s colors. I'll research more about this relationship during my STEM project 2020. Overall, I did my best this semester. The class was interesting and I learned a lot of new things. I will try everything next semester.”

Yoshiki wrote, “I believe there are lots of skills I have learned during the first semester. One of it is to read the textbook before the chemistry class and take notes about important words. Overall, during this semester, I learned a lot of things about the use of science in daily life, chemical reactions, chemical names, the states of matter, and so on. All of these topics are important for our future and our life.”

Yuudai wrote, “Lastly, I will never forget the information about the states of matter because it might be used in the future to distinguish things.”

Nagwa Fekri Rashed





武虎『最初に興味が湧いたのは固体の水が液体より密度が大きいということです。そのことは知っていましたが、理由がわかりませんでした。水の分子はポーラー結合です。氷になる時、polar forceが水の分子を引き寄せると同時にはじくので六角形の配置になります。氷が水に浮かぶ理由がわかりました。』











July 23, 2020 First-year students’ biology presentation

Hi! This is Jonathan, the camera man. I would like to post a quick journal to show the first-year students' biology presentations. First-year students were divided into pairs or groups of three and given the assignment to research and given a presentation about anything biology related. Every year, this is one of the larger hurdles students have to overcome. Why? Because it's all in English! Most of this year's first-year students are Japanese who only started learning in English this April. Also, presentations are a big part of ICT's curriculum. If there is one thing you get used to, it's giving presentations. One student told me that, including this bio presentation, he had five presentations this week. I will post the videos below. Remember, these are presentations of students that many of, went to Japanese junior high schools six months ago. Enjoy.


June 26, 2020 Operation

Classes are starting to get back to normal. I am quite happy about that as it is going to allow me try out a cross disciplinary team project in the Bridge Biology class.

Are you familiar with the game “Operation”? If you’re not, here’s a link to an early 80s tv advertisement for the game. 

To play this game, you have to choose a card and remove the problem from the patient with tweezers, without touching the sides. The problems are things like Brain Freeze, Butterflies in the Stomach and Funny Bone. If you can successfully remove the problem, you get points. The player with the most points wins the game. If the tweezers touch the sides as you are removing the problem, it completes a circuit and an alarm sounds and you don’t get any points. I used to play this game when I was a boy, but always lost to my father. It was an unfair competition, since he was a surgeon.

Anyhow, to learn about cell biology, cell organelles and their functions, the Bridge Biology class is going to build versions of “Operation.” Plant and animal cells are going to take the place of the patient and organelles like nucleus, chloroplast and ribosome are going to take the place of the problems. After choosing a card which gives the organelle function, for example, “Where a plant cell makes food,” students will have to identify the organelle (chloroplast) and try to remove it from the cell without setting off an alarm.

This is not just a Biology project. Besides the cell organelles and their functions, students are going to learn English, Electronics/Engineering, Design and Programming. To complete the project, student teams are going to have to design their game, program the game with Scratch, build the game with a Makey-Makey microcontroller and do it all in English. After each team finishes building their game, they will demonstrate their game and let other teams play it. By building and playing these games, students will be able to learn and review key Biology concepts and the games will be available for future students to help them with their Biology classes.

Ian Stevenson







January 7, 2020

Hello everyone! The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are coming soon which means that the current year is coming to an end. From this year, the schedule of Hakusanroku campus matches the schedule of KIT, which means that students will finish their classes and final exams for the term at the end of January, at the same time as the university students, which is very soon! This is even more significant for the second-graders since this is in fact their last term on the Hakusanroku campus. Starting from the next term in April, they will embark on a one-year journey in New Zealand to continue their studies. It is interesting to see students looking forward to spring vacation now while it is still December!

On a different topic, in my biology class, students will have to do a presentation at the end of the term about a topic related to what they have learned during the term. First-graders’ topics are related to genetics and plants, so some students chose to do their presentation about genetic medical conditions like albinism and heterochromia and other students chose to do their presentation about staple crops among other topics. On the other hand, second-graders’ topics are related to evolution and the phylogeny of the main kingdoms of organisms on earth, so some students chose to do their presentation about cephalopods, felines and jellyfish among others. I am looking forward to listening to their presentations next month!

Jason de Tilly





HOMECampus LifeHakusanroku JournalEnglish STEM