Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル:School Event

September 24, 2019 Anamizu Seminar

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. Today I would like to give my report on the first-year students' Anamizu Seminar held from September 19 to 21. The Anamizu Seminar is a traditional school event going back more than 50 years. Students stay at a seminar house in Anamizu (about three hours north in the Noto peninsula) for three days to learn about leadership, teamwork, and courtesy towards others.

The first day at Anamizu is mostly orientation and learning the rules of the seminar house. Most of the action is on day two. In the morning of the second day, we held a morning assembly where we exercised and rehearsed for the upcoming cutter boat race. After breakfast, we walked down to the harbor for a cruise and rope work activity. During the one hour cruise of Anamizu bay, we were lucky enough to meet a school of dolphins! Students and teachers waved and called out to them and they began to follow our ship. You can see them in the video below. In the rope work activity, students learned various ways to tie a knot. The staff at Anamizu are veteran sailors and every year first-year students learn how to tie knots used at sea. At the end of the activity, students and teachers used the "moyai musubi" they learned to tie a large circle and test its strength by leaning outward to see if it would hold their weight.

In the afternoon, the main event of Anamizu began, the cutter boat race! Students and teachers watched a demonstration by the Anamizu staff before breaking up into their two teams to practice. The cutter boat we used is powered by six rowers (three on each side) and controlled by the captain who holds the rudder and gives orders. Other passengers are the first mate, who supports the captain, and reserve rowers, who sit in the front of the cutter. Rowing a boat needs technique and all six rowers must work in unison for the cutter to move efficiently. Also, the captain must learn how to steer and give out orders at the correct timing. The objective of this exercise is to teach teamwork, leadership, and followship. Both teams practiced until they were ready for the race. In the race, both teams start at the harbor and row out to the first buoy. There, they turn right and head down the final stretch to the second buoy. The team with the shortest time wins! You can see what the race looks like in the video below. Both teams put in their best efforts and it was a close race. This year team two won with a time of 6:31, only twenty second faster than team one with 6:51. Mr. Sugawara, head of the seminar house congratulated the students' teamwork and said that their time was even better than most KIT university student teams.

After dinner, the learning mentors held a special Learning Session English activity. Students were broken up into three teams and given an assortment of LEGO blocks. Hidden behind a white board was a assembly of LEGO blocks (see the picture below). The students' objective was to send two of their members to look at the assembly and communicate it to the remaining builders using only English. This activity is used in many universities in America, so to do it in a secondary language is an difficult mind exercise. To the surprise of the learning mentors, the first-year students caught on extremely quickly and most groups were almost finished by nine o'clock. 

On the final morning, students presented their book reports on three books they read during the summer break. There was also a lecture by president Lewis Barksdale about English poetry. Finally, we held our closing ceremony. Mr. Sugawara spoke about how he wishes our first-year students will become respectful and ethical "professional" engineers in the future. Kihara sensei, the students' homeroom teacher, expressed how he noticed the first-year students are "genki" (full of energy) and hopes they will stay that way during their years at ICT. Yoshiki Hatakenaka spoke in behalf of the first-year students and said "We have strengthened our bond as a class and will remember the spirit of discipline, courtesy, and teamwork that we learned at this seminar house. We will return to show the Anamizu staff how much we have grown next year." After lunch we departed by bus and returned to our regular lives at Hakusanroku.

I believe the Anamizu Seminar is an essential element of school life at ICT. The students spend two busy year living together in such a close radius that sometimes they do not have the opportunity to confront their differences and bond as a team. The three days at Anamizu are for better or worst out of the ordinary. This gave students opportunities to hang out with people they usually would not or see new characteristics of other classmates. The Anamizu Seminar gave the students an opportunity to grow as a team as well as an individual.








September 17, 2019 Club Day

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. On September 11th (Wed) and 12th (Thu), the three clubs at ICT held their special club day. Each club could choose what activity they wanted to do during these two days. The three clubs at ICT: The Nature & Adventure club, the Language & Culture club, and the Design & Fabrication club discussed what they wanted to do and here is what they decided.

Nature & Adventure club

The Nature & Adventure club went on a two-day camping trip. On Wednesday, students and teachers moved to a log cabin on the mountainside of Chugu. They setup tent, smoked fish and sausages, made a fire, and barbecued rice, vegetables, and meat. They also carved cups and chopsticks out of bamboo and made a "drum-can bath" out of a oil drum. You can see some of their reactions in the video below. The students enjoyed these experiences, many of which were for the first time. On Thursday, they moved to Senami-gawa river to try river trekking. This trip was almost canceled due to the rainy weather forecast. However, the teachers held their decision to the last minute and thankfully the weather turned in our favor.

Language & Culture club

The Language & Culture club's main focus is learning about different cultures. On Wednesday, they did T shirt dyeing at ICT. Students tied various colored T shirts with rubber bands and dipped them in color dye to create unique patterns. Some students tried removing color with whitening. It was always fascinating to watch the students unravel the T shirt and see how it turned out.

On Thursday, the group traveled to Toyama prefecture to experience Henna Tattooing. Henna Tattoo is a traditional tattoo that is not permanent. Students took time to practice before tattooing themselves and each other. Both activities were artistic and gave students a chance to express themselves.

Design & Fabrication club

The design & Fabrication club consists of multiple groups working toward different robot or programming contests. Therefore, most of their time during the club days was spent working on their project. On day two, the programming team conducted an experiment. Their device detects an approaching car and lights up to warn pedestrians and the driver. It took a lot of positioning, wiring, and many attempts, however the team was finally able to successfully make everything work. The group consisted of only first-year students and I was impressed that they reached a successful result. 

That is my report of the ICT club days.










August 21, 2019 ICT Summer School

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera man. I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. During August 8 (Thu) - 10 (Sat), we held our annual Summer School at Hakusanroku campus. The ICT Summer School is a three day program in which junior high school students come to ICT and experience our school. They stay in the dormitories and eat meals at the cafeteria just like ICT students. Also, the teachers organized a program to experience ICT's engineering education. The 35 participants were divided into six groups with two to three ICT student advisers. Their mission was to design a new experience that will draw tourist to the Hakusanroku area. During the three days they must create three things: a souvenir prototype, a video, and a poster presentation introducing their idea.

Day 1

On the first day, the 35 participants gathered at Hakusanroku campus. After lunch we started with self-introductions and an orientation activity. Each group was given a paper with pictures of locations inside the campus. A secret envelope with stickers inside was hidden at each location and gathering all stickers would reveal a riddle for the groups to solve. We also took a trip to the Michi-no-eki Sena across from ICT. Sena acts as a rest stop for tourist and sells local goods and souvenirs. Participants used this time to inspecting the souvenirs on sale and gather information about the Hakusanroku area from traveling brochures. This information was used to decide the focus for their project later.

In the evening, Maesa-sensei taught the students how to fly drones. These drones would be used to gather video footage of Hakusanroku's beautiful nature at the river on the following day. After learning how to control the drones, each group went outside to take turns practicing. The drones are controlled using a tablet controller and can preform several programmed movements such as flying or landing on you hand. Students were excited to fly the drones and you can see them in the video below. 

Day 2

Day two was the only full day of the program, and a packed one as well. After breakfast we departed for Chugu Nature Conservation Center where students learned about the Nature of Mt. Hakusan by watching a video about the four season, listening to a lecture by local nature specialist Shinichi Hiramatsu, viewing the displays within the conservation center, and taking a short hike into the forest. Next, we moved to a nearby river to enjoy the cool water and take videos with the drones. 

After returning to ICT, participants broke up into two group to work on their video editing and souvenir prototypes. Maesa-sensei explained how to edit videos using Windows Movie Maker while KK-sensei took charge of the rapid prototyping of the souvenirs. Students brainstormed and designed ideas until they decided on one, which they brought to KK-sensei. Prototypes of their ideas were then created in the maker studio using machines such as the laser cutter. After dinner, we returned to finally work on the presentations and posters. ICT student advisers helped the participants generate and organize their ideas using design thinking. Many groups worked late into the night to complete their poster, video, and presentation.

Day 3

The presentations took place on the morning of the third day. Each group introduced their video, idea, and souvenir in English. You can view their presentations in the videos below. Later, there was a poster session where teachers and parents could view the posters and ask questions. Finally, we held our closing ceremony. President Lewis Barksdale congratulated each student and presented them with a certificate for their fine work. Students had lunch together one last time before departing from ICT.

The 35 participants worked hard and the ICT student advisers also learned a lot from taking on the role of teaching them these three days. I am looking forward to seeing our participants in the near future.








国際高専へ戻ったあとはビデオ編集とオリジナルのお土産のデザインに取り掛かりました。メイサ先生がWindows Movie Makerを使った動画編集を教え、KK先生がお土産のプロトタイプ制作を指導しました。各グループはブレインストーミングなどを使ってデザインしたいアイデアを選出し、KK先生に提出しました。これらのアイデアのプロトタイプはメーカースタジオにあるレーザーカッターなどの機械を使用して作られました。夕食後はいよいよプレゼンテーションとポスター制作が始まりました。学生アドバイザーはデザインシンキングの手法などの指導を行い、アイデアをまとめる手助けをしました。各グループは熱心に取り組み、活動は夜遅くまで続きました。





July 29, 2019 ICT Global Summer Camp

Hello, it's Jonathan, the camera man. Today I would like to give my report on the ICT Global Summer Camp. From July 21-24, six Thai students and 21 Japanese students gathered at Hakusanroku campus for a four day workshop. This Global Summer Camp is actually the collaboration of two separate groups: the International summer camp of Thai students and the summer workshop of Japanese students from JOES (Japan Overseas Educational Services.) The 27 participants, which mostly consisted of middle school students, used design thinking to study the history and wildlife of the local Hakusanroku area and design a new attraction for tourists. Students learned how to use drones, laser cutters, and video editing to document and create a presentation of the various places and activities they experienced during the program.

The six Thai students arrived a couple of days before the program. On July 20 (SAT) we took a trip to Kanazawa. First, we visited President Lewis Barksdale at the ICT Kanazawa campus. Then, we took a tour of the facilities of Kanazawa Institute of Technology's (KIT) Library Center and Yume Kobo. At KIT's library, we viewed the special assortment of rare books written by historical scientists and the PMC (Popular Music Collection), a collection of 250,000 music records. In the afternoon we moved to Kanazawa city to do some sightseeing at Higashi-chaya-gai (east tea house district), Kanazawa castle, Kenrokuen garden, and the 21st century museum. The Thai students took a gold leaf crafting course at Sakuda Gold Leaf Crafts and experienced many forms of Japanese culture for the first time.

The Global Summer Camp officially began with the arrival of the JOES students on Sunday. The next day, we departed from ICT to explore the wildlife of Hakusanroku. After viewing the Fukube waterfall on the Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road, we moved to the Chugu Nature Preservation Center to listened to the lecture of Mr. Shinichi Hiramatsu, an expert of the wildlife of Mt. Hakusan. Mr. Hiramatsu explained about the four seasons and animals of Mt. Hakusan and showed a assortment of living reptiles and insects. Chugu Nature Preservation Center has many displays including bears, serows, monkeys, and the rare Golden Eagle. Students took pictures and videos to use later in their presentation. Next, we moved to the Jyatani river near the preservation center to test our drone flying skills. Students learned how to control drones on the previous evening, and practiced flying and video recording the beautiful scenery.

For the presentations, students worked in six groups. Each group designed a new attraction for the Hakusanroku area and created a poster presentation to suggest to Hakusan city. They also created a prototype souvenir using laser cutting, and a video to introduce what they learned and experienced during the program. Students worked hard throughout the program and the presentations took place on the morning of the final day. Parents, teachers, and members of the community gathered at Hakusanroku campus to watch their presentations, which you can view in the videos below. Afterwards, there was a poster session where viewers could walk around and ask questions to each group about their propositions and souvenirs. Finally, we held a closing and graduation ceremony. Satoshi Minami, promotional director of Hakusan city commented that he was surprised how thoroughly the students has researched the many aspects of Hakusanroku and that their insights were innovative and will be considered as a method to revitalize the area. Toji Makita spoke on behalf of the participating students saying that he truly appreciated the staff for providing this wonderful opportunity for them all. Students enjoyed one last lunch together at the cafeteria before departing from ICT.

This was my second time assisting the JOES summer program (you can read last year's article here) and I am happy with this year's results. Each group was remarkably organized and well prepared for their presentations. There were no last minute scrabbling or working after-hours. Each member of every group simply did a great job. I have a suspicion that this was partially due to how the facilitators assigned one Thai students to each group. The JOES students have lived abroad and are fluent in both English and Japanese. However, having one Thai student in each group encouraged them to use English during the program. I believe this helped them focus and improve their overall performance. It also added to the experience of working in a team of divers people with different backgrounds.

There were six students who returned to take this program for the second time and I hope everyone enjoyed the program enough that I can see many of them again next year. Your experience here using design thinking and working with your team to create something has grown you as future innovators of our world. Whether we meet again or not, I wish you the best of luck!




プレゼンテーションは6つのグループで行われました。各グループは白山麓に観光客を惹きつける新しい事業をデザインし、実際に白山市に提案するためにポスターを制作しました。さらに、レーザーカッターを使ったオリジナルのお土産のプロトタイプと、プログラムで体験した内容をまとめた動画を作りました。メンバーは連日準備に取り組み、最終日24日(水)の午前中に発表が行われました。発表を見るためにたくさんの保護者、先生、地元白山市の方々が集まりました。各グループの発表は上の動画で視聴することができます。発表のあとはポスターセッションがあり、見学者が歩き回りながら自由に質問ができる時間が設けられました。最後に閉会式と卒業式が執り行われ、白山市観光文化スポーツ部観光課 宣伝係主事の南智史さんは「非常によく白山の歴史や自然について調べていて驚いた。地域活性のための貴重なアイデアがたくさんあった」とコメントしました。また、参加者代表として牧田登治さん(中2)が「この機会を用意してくださった関係者にとても感謝しています」と挨拶しました。生徒たちは昼食をカフェテリアで食べたあと、それぞれ家路へとつきました。




July 13, 2019

Hi, this is Maesa again. Lucky for me I was able to find some time to give you guys an update. The last few weeks, and the next few weeks, have been busy but also very exciting. ICT has started up their Summer Camp programs, starting with a Global Summer Camp with students mainly from Thailand and a couple of Japanese students living aboard.

The project goal was to create a promotional video to help the local community attract more tourists. We had 4 teams create amazing videos with each team highlighting a topic based on their focus area. As a technical school, ICT helps introduce students to different technologies. We started with using drones indoor with picture banners of the local area to help students hone their piloting skills to take pictures from afar safely. ICT also had the students experiment with gimbals with their smartphones to help stabilize hand shot, closeup videos. With all the video clips collected, the students used Windows Movie Maker on Microsoft Surface Pros to edit and finalized their videos.

All the videos turned out well, and I cannot wait to see what the next Summer Camp group will create.

Here’s a video from one of the Global Summer Camp groups.

Maesa Poolschup


このプロジェクトの目標は国際高専周辺の地域に観光客を呼び寄せるプロモーションビデオの制作でした。4つのチームがそれぞれ決めたテーマについて素晴らしいビデオを作ってくれました。ICTが高専であるおかげで生徒たちに様々な機材を提供することができました。ドローンの操縦訓練として、安全に距離を保って撮影飛行できるよう周辺地域の写真のバナーを使って屋内で練習をしました。また、ジンバルを使ってスマホの動画撮影の手振れを抑える体験もしました。動画を撮影したあとはマイクロソフトSurface ProでWindowsムービーメーカーを使って編集を行いました。




May 10, 2019

4月の新年度を迎えてから、GWの休暇を挟んで、すでに1か月が経ちました。4月はオリエンテーションや新学期の準備で様々なイベントなどがありましたが、3月の春休み期間にも国際高専が推奨するグローバル人材育成の海外プログラムが行われました。ラーニングエクスプレスです。これは、グローバル人材を育成する教育の試みとして、異なる国の学生達が発展途上国やその地域を訪問し、フィールドワークを通して、地域発展、環境問題、持続可能な社会などの観点からの問題発見、問題解決策を提案し実施するという、国際的ソーシャルイノベーションプロジェクトです。今回は高専・工大合同で11名の学生がインドネシアのジョクジャカルタを訪問してきました。このジャーナルには書ききれないほど学生たちは多くの経験をし、成長してきました。特には、国際理工学科の中心ともなるデザインシンキングの問題解決手法を用いての活動であるため、ぜひ2年後、NZ留学で英語力を向上させた後に、このより実践的な国際協働プログラムにも挑戦し、グローバルイノベーターに近づいてほしいと思います。今回の旅を含めた過去の活動内容は、https://www.ict-lex.com/ に掲載されていますので、ぜひご覧ください。

津田 明洋

It has been one month since school started in April. Last month, before the Golden Week holiday, we had several orientation events in preparation for the new school year. However, there actually was an oversea program in March during the spring break. This program was the Learning Express (LeX). This international social innovation project is part of ICT's education to foster global innovators. Students travel to developing countries and conduct fieldwork to find problems in the local community using viewpoints such as regional development, environmental issues, and a sustainable society. They then produce prototypes of their solution to the local people. Eleven students participated in this year's Learning Express and traveled to Yogyakarta in Indonesia. The experience they gained is so great that I cannot write how much they have grown from this program in this journal. I look forward to the students from the Department of Science and Technology participating in this program because it uses problem-solving via Design Thinking, which is a core theme in their current studies. I hope that two years from now they will strengthen their English skills in New Zealand and challenge themselves in this international co-creation program on the pursuit to become "Global Innovators." Please check out the website https://www.ict-lex.com/ where you can see more of our activities in Indonesia.

Akihiro Tsuda

November 20, 2018

Group photo with Singapore Polytechnic students

Our school changed its name from "Kanazawa" Technical College to "International" College of Technology and as the name suggests, we have deployed a variety of international programs. Our oversea programs include the second-year Summer English Program in Vermont, third-year studying abroad at New Zealand, fourth-year Singapore Field Trip and Learning Express. Recently, about 100 fourth-year students traveled to the beautifully developed country of Singapore. We visited Merlion Park, Mount Faber, URA Gallery and Woodland Waterfront Park near the border between Malaysia. In addition, we visited Singapore Polytechnic, a partner school for over 30 years, and students participated in international exchange programs there. These exchange programs are unique to our school and are an effective way to enhance diversity by interacting with local students.

Next month in December, we will hold our MILE Program in which we receive twelve students from Singapore Polytechnic. They will homestay at households of our students and participate in activities of Japanese culture, society and customs. These are only some of the international programs at ICT. Please check our Facebook page etc. to see our students participating in more global activities. We update these pages regularly so stay tune to see their growth.

English teacher Tsuda




英語科 津田

November 6, 2018 Yaki-imo Party

It has been more than six months since I began living at the cottage at Hakusanroku campus. Since then, I have experienced spring, summer and autumn, and am dreading how much snow we will get this year while I enjoy the beautiful tinted mountains. In Japan, we call autumn "the season of appetite", and as such, we held a yaki-imo party on October 28. ICT students, teachers and local people harvested and the roasted sweet potatoes we planted in April. It was a large and lively party with 20 local people and 25 ICT teachers and family members, a total of 45 people.

My biggest mistake was to eat lunch before the party because I thought there were only yaki-imo sweet potatoes. On the contrary, local people prepared "Kachiri", a local cuisine of potatoes boiled in sugar and soy sauce, seasoned rice, local mountain herb tempura, shiitake mushrooms, boar meat, huge Iwana fish, and dough rapped around thin bamboo sticks. We roasted these over the fire and there even were marshmallows for dessert. These seemed to make the international teachers especially happy.

I enjoyed speaking with the local people even more than eating the delicious food they brought. I was especially grateful for their advice about how to capture kame-mushi (stink bugs). Pour a little water and detergent into a plastic bottle and drop the kame-mushi into it with chopsticks. I will definitely try this.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Yamazaki sensei of ICT and Yamashita-san of KIT for planning and preparing such an enjoyable event.

Shinobu Ohara


2018年11月6日 焼き芋大会






September 21, 2018 Back to School! Anamizu Seminar

Hello, it's Jonathan the camera guy. This week, the first-years students participated in the Anamizu Seminar at the Anamizu Bay Seminar House. The Anamizu seminar is an annual three-day event where students strengthen their English skill and relationship with each other through marine activities and spending time together.


The Anamizu Bay Seminar House is in Hosu District, in the middle of Noto peninsula. It is about three hours by bus from Hakusanroku campus and consists of the main building with dormitories and seminar rooms, and a harbor for marine activities.


After arriving at Anamizu, the seminar began with a welcome speech from the director, Mitsuhiko Sugawara. He explained that he hoped the students would learn sympathy, discipline and leadership through their experience. Then, students were divided into their dormitory rooms. Each room had one or two English speaking teachers, and the students used this opportunity to refresh their English after the summer break.

The first day was mostly orientation and preparation for the following days. Students practiced the procedures of the morning and evening assembly. It was a militaristic and crisp experience. However, the students seemed relaxed and enjoying the disciplined atmosphere.

After dinner, we continued our tradition of the learning session (evening school). Students practiced singing the school song and prepared for their book report presentation. On the morning of the final day, students would give a three to four minute presentation on the books they read over the summer break in English. Many students came to me and other teachers to check their grammar.


Day two was the big day for the marine activities. We woke up at 6:30 to gather outside for rollcall and exercised.

After breakfast, we walked down to the harbor and prepared for the marine activities. First, we took a tour of Anamizu bay on a large cruiser. The weather was perfect and many students took the opportunity to relax and chat with their friends. Others who were interested joined Mr. Sugawara in the main cabin to ask about the ship's radar, sonar and other equipment. The tour lasted for about an hour.


Next, the students learned to tie knots in a ropework class. According to the teacher, a good knot is a knot that is simple to tie, does not come loose easily, but is easy to untie when needed. We learned various knots for tying ropes together or to a pole. The activity ended with everyone tying their ropes together in a circle and leaning outward to see if the knot would hold everyone's weight. Afterward, we returned to the seminar house for lunch.

After lunch, we began the preparation for the main event, the cutter boat race. The cutter boat we used was a rowboat for nine passengers, which include six oarsmen, one standby, the first mate and the captain. Students and teachers were divided into two teams and began practicing. Maneuvering the heavy cutter was not easy, especially because it was our first time. The oars were 7.2 kilograms each and the cutter was almost a ton with all nine passengers. It was about 26 degrees outside and even with the cool sea breeze, sweat glistened on the necks of the oarsmen as they pulled the oars through the water. Rowing is more about synchronization than individual strength, and everyone called out "so-re" in unison as they rowed.


The captain is the only passenger facing forward and is responsible for giving all the orders, calling out the timing of the strokes and steering the cutter. This was a complicated task with many decisions and things to memorize.


At first, each team struggled to control the cutter. The captain forgot her orders and which direction to turn the control lever, and the oarsmen bumped their oars together. However, after a couple of rounds around the harbor, both teams were ready for their race.


The two teams competed how fast they could circle two buoys placed in the ocean. The first obstacle was to maneuver the ship around the first buoy. The wind was blowing from the right and the captain had to calculate how far to turn the ship in order to move straight and turn the corner. After the first buoy was the long home stretch. Now the wind was blowing toward us and it was up to the oarsmen's strength and coordination to progress forward. All passengers joined their hearts and voices together as the finishing buoy grew closer until they finally crossed the finishing line.

After returning to solid ground, we held an award ceremony. The winning team was group one who finished in 7 minutes and 29 second. Both teams seemed happy with their hard work and rejoiced together. The prize was a huge box full of snacks which the students shared with each other.

The second evening session was a special activity designed by the learning mentors to improve the students' English skills using LEGO blocks. In the first half, students were divided into groups of three. Their task was to build a shape using four LEGO blocks and create a manual to come with it. The manual had to be written in English and in a way that the other groups could build an identical shape without looking at the finished product.

In the second half, the students were divided into groups of four, each with a pile of LEGO blocks. Ryan sensei had secretly built a construction behind a curtain. The students' goal was to recreate Ryan sensei's construction with the pieces they had. However, there was a catch. The teams were divided into two recorders and two builders. The recorders could go and look at the construction behind the curtains but could not touch the pieces. The builders could touch the pieces but could not look at the Ryan sensei's model. In addition, both sides could only use English. These activities were fun and challenged the students to think of creative ways to communicating in English.

After the learning session, many students worked on finishing their book reports. The presentations were the following morning and they worked late into the night. The seminar was definitely an exercise for both the body and mind.


The third and final day also began at 6:30 with the morning assembly. After breakfast, the book reports took place in the seminar room. Each student introduced their books by giving brief overviews or explaining things that interested them. The book reports reflected the effort students had put into them and I was happy that they took it quite seriously.

Finally, we held the closing ceremony. Director Sugawara expressed his hopes that the students would follow the values they learned during this seminar and become great engineers in the future. In turn, students promised to show how much they grew to the Anamizu staff in next year's seminar. Everyone packed their bags and boarded the bus to return to Hakusanroku campus.

Altogether, I believe the Anamizu Seminar was crisp, refreshing and an excellent way to start the new semester after a long summer break. The group activities helped cultivate individual strength as well as bonds between the students. There were many incidents of students helping each other such as warning them of the time, encouraging them during the cutter practice and simply being considerate. Also, I observed growth in the students who took up leading roles in the assemblies, ceremonies and marine activities. All students overcame various challenges, both physical and mental, that strengthened them as individuals and as a group. I will continue to observe the growth of these young engineers.

2018年9月21日 穴水研修からスタートする新学期!























August 23, 2018 ICT Summer School 2018

Hello, this is Jonathan the camera guy. This week ICT held its annual Summer School at Hakusanroku campus. The ICT Summer School is a program where junior high school students can come and see what it is like to study at ICT. The program was three days long, starting on August 20th. Twenty-five junior high school students from grades seven to nine came to experience design thinking and prototyping while staying at the dormitory in Hakusanroku campus.

Group photo at river near Chugu Exhibition Center

Design thinking and prototyping are an essential part of Engineering Design, ICT's core subject. In the Engineering Design course, students learn not only engineering skills to improve existing technology (1 to 2), but also to design new ideas (0 to 1). Design thinking is the method used to create these new ideas and prototyping is the hands-on process of testing them.

Maesa sensei explaining about the program


The first day began with introductions. Then, students were divided into groups of three or four. Each group was assigned one or two current ICT student as an assistant. These assistant students acted as mentors for the junior high school students. They were a huge help throughout the program because they are familiar with the design thinking process and looked after the junior high school students. Later, students participated in a scavenger hunt as an ice breaking activity. They were given a list of hints (in English) that described various places in the Hakusanroku campus. This was a fun activity that also displayed the leadership and knowledge of each assistant student.

ICT students were very helpful during the program

After the ice breaking activity, the theme of the program was finally announced. "How can we redesign our evening routine?" Each group was given the task to come up with an idea to enhance or improve their routine between returning home and going to bed. They would create a prototype and presentation to go with it. First, students began the visualization process of design thinking. Before designing a solution, the problem must clear. Students each drew a diagram of their flow before going to bed, describing their high and low moments. Then, they interviewed each other to further understand points that have room for improvement or enhancement. I use the words "improvement or enhancement" because the objective of problem solving is not only improving negatives, but also further enhancing positive experiences. This point was made clear by the facilitating teachers.

Students interviewing each other about their highs and lows

After dinner, students began the idea generation process. First, they wrote the points they discovered during the interview on post notes. Then, they clustered and broke down the targets they wished to enhance or improve. After deciding their target, they created a "need statement". A need statement is a sentence such as "I need to make a good environment for watching YouTube", "I need to get entertainment in my bath time", or "I need a way to enjoy doing my homework" that is the working point for creating ideas. Finally, they began the brainstorming process to come up with their solution.

Students brainstorming


Day two began with a warmup activity by Ryan sensei. After the warm up, students spent the first part of the morning narrowing down their final idea and beginning the prototyping process. Prototyping is the process of creating something to "show" an idea instead of telling about it. It can be a miniature, a drawing, a video, or even a skit. Each group discussed what and how they wanted to display their idea.

Prototypes "show" not "tell"

In the second part of the morning, participants moved to the maker studio to experience programming with LEGO blocks. Students were given instructions to program a LEGO car to move exactly 50 centimeters. They had to calculate how many times they wished the wheel to turn and program it as so. This activity gave participants a brief glance at various fields that were necessary for engineering and the things you can do with them. Many students later told me that they enjoyed this part of the program the most. Some of them even returned to tinker with them after hours.

Students building their LEGO car

After lunch, we took a bus to visit the Hakusan Wildlife Chugu Exhibition Center. This is a hub for experiencing Mt. Hakusan's nature. We viewed a video about Mt. Hakusan's four seasons, took a short hike into the mountains, and played at a nearby river. The Hakusanroku campus is located in an area of rich wildlife and participants had a chance to experience this beautiful nature. They discovered rare insects during the hike and enjoyed swimming and playing in the cool water of the river.

This park is only 20 minutes away from ICT

After returning to ICT, the students resumed their work on prototyping. The program is only three days long so they had to prepare their prototype and presentation by the next day. This was good practice for working with limited resources. Each group struggled to navigate what they wished to accomplish within the given time. Many groups created models using the 3D printers and drew illustrations on their presentation posters. After dinner they worked late into the night.

Students waiting for their 3D printer


Day 3 was the final day of the program. Each group rushed to finish their poster and practice their presentation. The presentation is in English and many students brought their script to me for grammar checks. They were keen to create the best presentation they could and worked vigorously until the last moment. I believe their motivation came because it was their idea and they were proud of it. Also, a project is much more interesting if it associates with you.

Putting the finishing touches on posters

The presentations began at 9:30. Each group was given four minutes to present their idea to the audience. I will post videos below. Most of the students are not native English speakers and you can tell many of the younger students practiced their part hard. After the presentations, there was a poster session. Viewers could walk around to look at the posters and prototypes, and ask questions.

Student explaining his group's project to parents and teachers

After the certificate award ceremony, students departed from the Hakusanroku campus to take a short visit to the Kanazawa campus before departing from Kanazawa station. We ate lunch in the Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) cafeteria and took a campus tour. The program had been a tight schedule and the students seemed relieved and happy from their accomplishment. I asked some of them if they were happy to return home. Many of the younger students answered yes but that they looked forward to participating in the program next year. Other older students answered that they were seriously considering applying for next year and I am looking forward to seeing them in April 2019.

All you can eat at KIT cafeteria

I believe the program was a good example of what it is like to study at ICT. In three short days, participants experienced a concentrated version of Engineering Design, the life of living in the dormitories, receiving education in English, and the overall atmosphere of the ICT community. ICT has a lot to offer depending whether you are interested in English, engineering, or both. I love this school for its enthusiastic students and faculty and look forward to seeing whom it sung to next spring.


2018年8月23日 ICTサマースクール2018






夕食のあと、アイデア創出に取り掛かりました。まず、インタビューで発見したことを書きだし、改善の余地があるものをまとめました。ターゲットを絞ったあとはNeed statementを作りました。Need statementは「Youtubeを見る環境を改善しなければならない」「お風呂の時間にもっと楽しみが要る」「宿題をする時間を楽しむ方法が必要だ」のように、「~が必要(need)である」がある、アイデア創出の起点となる文章です。最後に、解決案を考え出すブレインストーミングを行いました。













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