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

July 16, 2019

Hello everyone! It has been a long time since my last entry in winter. Since then, the first school year of this new mountainside campus has ended and the second one has begun. Second year students are entering the final stretch of their time here at Hakusanroku campus and the new first year students seem to already be getting used to life here. Students have been able to join different clubs since last April and they seem to be enjoying them very much. The clubs offer a welcome break from classes and studying.

For this summer vacation, I am in charge of the second year students’ STEM-related summer homework. Students will have to choose a scientific news article related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics and write a journal including a summary about the article and their thoughts and opinions on it. They will also have to make a presentation about the article when they come back from summer vacation. Students can choose an article of their liking and get it approved by a teacher or they can also choose from a selection of articles that has been provided by science teachers. The topics include the physics of black holes, the discovery of exoplanets, the uses of carbon nanotubes, renewable sources of energy and many more! I am looking forward to reading their journals and seeing their presentations! I will be sure to update you in the next entry.

Jason de Tilly




June 5, 2019 Math and life: A promising cooperation

Hi everyone. This semester, Professor Steven Carrera and I teach Algebra and Geometry “A” course to the second grade students at ICT. We prepared the syllabus and decided the lesson plan, then started preparing the class materials late last year. As Mr. Carrera is a professional math teacher and I am an engineer, the classes have been organized in a way that uses the major experience of both teachers. Mr. Carrera teaches the theories, the definitions and the basic concepts of all topics accompanied by many solved examples in order to clarify the different ideas of each topic. This part of the curriculum is very important for the students to build-up and strengthen their math skills. Such skills are very essential for engineers during the designing, programming and operating processes.

I teach the real-life applications which relate math theories to the world around us. This part of the curriculum will answer the question which always arises inside the students’ mind: Why do we study all these math theories?!? I expect that the students will enjoy our class a lot more after they find out why the different theories they learned are useful for solving real life problems. In this case, our class could be a model of giving opportunity to students to build up a solid foundation of a certain topic as well as understanding the world around them. This goal can’t be achieved unless there is a promising cooperation between teachers.

Alaa Hussein




February 21, 2019 Biology Presentations by first-year students


On February 21, the first-year students at Hakusanroku campus gave their final presentation in the biology class. For the past several weeks, students have worked in pairs on topics of their choice in the realm of biology. Each pair did research and prepared their presentation in English, a second language to most of them. Many teachers gathered in the Science Lab to listen to their presentations and ask questions. Here is a short video of what their final product was like!


221日、白山麓キャンパスの1年生が生物の最終発表会を行いました。この発表は、学生が2人ずつのペアを作り、数週にわたって生物にまつわる自由なテーマのもと、リサーチとプレゼン準備をしてきました。当日はScience Labに各学科の先生も多数集まりました。ほとんどの学生にとっては第二言語となる英語のプレゼンの様子を短いビデオにまとめましたので、ぜひご覧ください。


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






October 12, 2018

Hello. It's Kihara, the first-year homeroom teacher. Today, I would like to introduce our math class at Hakusanroku campus.

Here at the Hakusanroku campus, there are four math teachers. Hazwan sensei, Alaa sensei, Steven sensei, who just joined us this month, and myself. Our nationalities are all different: Malesia, Egypt, America and Japan. Together, we teach math in English. Can you imagine taking a math class in English? Many people may picture their junior high school or high school math class and think "understanding lectures and solving problems in English sounds difficult." I agree. High school math is difficult enough in your first language. At Hakusanroku campus, we have math lectures in English. However, the time teachers use the blackboard and slides is less than half of the period. Most of the class is devoted to time where students teach each other and solve problems together. For example, the following question was created by our first-year students. Can you figure out the answer?

Calculate the following:

Lately, more and more students are writing their answers in English and speaking with the international teachers. It seems they are gradually adjusting to using English in math class. This class is different from simply sitting and listening to a teacher, or taking notes written on the blackboard and solving problems. If you are interested in this style, maybe ICT is the right school for you. Oh, by the way, the answer to the previous equation is 1. Did you solve it? See you.

Hitoshi Kihara





木原 均


October 5, 2018 STEM Fair

Students have been on vacation for about one month and a half from the beginning of August to the end of September. During that time, they went back to their homes and could relax. They also had to work on a STEM project of their choice and then present it at a fair at Hakusanroku campus. “STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so students had a wide variety of choices for their projects depending on their interests.

The STEM fair was held on September 26th. Students each presented their project in English with a poster and some even brought props from their project. These projects ranged from building a remote controlled car to measuring the effectiveness of house cleaning products on killing mold to surveying Japanese people and foreigners on their ratio preference for pictures. The students put a lot of work and effort into their projects and it was nice to see the fruits of their labor. Doing projects of that scope in a second language is not easy, but they did a great job.

All teachers who came to see the projects were invited to evaluate them. The two best students were awarded with a first and second prize. Furthermore, an additional four students were awarded with a special award. These six winners will have to present their projects again during the ICT school festival that will take place on October 20th and 21st. Good luck to the students and I hope many people will come to encourage them!

Jason de Tilly


10月5日 STEMフェア






August 2, 2018

This is Kodaka, in charge of Engineering Context. Today I would like to talk about this class. In the first half of the class, we learned about ethics needed as an engineer, the influence and background of how various technology was born, and the code of behavior we should follow when creating something new. In the second half of the class, we studied an important communication skill for engineers, drawing. Drawing is a skill of communication that is not only a valuable method of communication but also a vital process in product realization through mind development and visual thinking.

The course is reaching the stage in which students use what they have learned in the first semester to create new value. We use half of the class for group brainstorming to devise a theme. Putting yourself in other people's shoes is indispensable for this activity. However, it also cultivates engineering ethics as well as user empathy resulting in a well-balanced understanding of the idea creation process. The verbalized idea reports created by the students will be finalized as visual reports. Next week will be our last class and evaluation date for the students' presentations. I am looking forward to their final products.

Lately I feel that people's response in social media to incidents in society is somewhat off. There is a clear lack of common sense in the general public's thought process, decision making, attitude, and action toward things in society. I believe this unbalance of mind and thought is due to greed, self-interest, losing track of the essence of matter, or unconventional logic. In this age of interconnected society, it is important to retain a wide viewpoint and broad mind. However, it is equally important to look at the essence of things from multiple angles and converge diverse opinions with conscious ethical thinking. This class will continue to focus on creating honest engineering ethics, where students can contemplate together how the engineer should be in the future.

 Arihiro Kodaka




 小髙 有普


June 20, 2018 Engineering Context


On Monday, I visited ICT’s Engineering Context class. Engineering Context and Engineering Design are the two courses that teach students design thinking and problem solving, the core of ICT’s education to create global innovators. Engineering Context teaches specific methods to create things and utilize resources in a global environment.

This week, students were learning to draw combined three-dimensional shapes. Kodaka sensei, the Engineering Context teacher first demonstrated how to draw a plan for three-dimensional shapes. The plan consisted of a diagonal view of the combined shape and diagrams of the shape from different angles.

In the next part of the class, students were given an assignment. The assignment was to choose and combine two solids of rotation and one rectangular cube, and draw a plan of the combined shape. Some students had little trouble reproducing their image on paper, while others struggled. However, all students were very concentrated on their task, as you can see in the video.

Some people may have similar questions I had. What is the purpose of this class and why are we practicing such an old fashion method? Kodaka sensei explained to me that it is important to be able to draw an accurate plan or prototype, especially when brainstorming in an international team. Visuals can be a universal tool when language is not the most efficient method of communication.

Some people may have similar questions I had. What is the purpose of this class and why are we practicing such an old fashion method? Kodaka sensei explained to me that it is important to be able to draw an accurate plan or prototype, especially when brainstorming in an international team. Visuals can be a universal tool when language is not the most efficient method of communication.








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