A “Children’s University” class hosted by the boards of education of Ageo-shi, Ina-machi, and Okegawa-shi was held at the Materials Analysis & Exploration Center (Ageo-shi, Saitama) of Mitsui Kinzoku. A total of 51 children took part in the class.
The Children’s University is a program for fifth- and sixth-graders from local elementary schools to study on a university campus and at a company. The Materials Analysis & Exploration Center organized a class focusing on experience-based learning titled “Getting to the Core! Unlocking the Secrets of Materials.”
Child researchers in white coats observed the materials and structure of goods around them by using microscopes, and then measuring and sorting out the sweetness of fruits using a internal quality sensor, a product of Mitsui Kinzoku, in an experiment corner. They also explored the eight areas of the center and enjoyed a stamp-rally. The children were brimming with curiosity, expressing their surprise when they learned that alphabet characters are hidden in the 500-yen coin and that wood lice have hair.
The class appeared to be a hit among the children. In the questionnaire after the class, they commented on how fun it was fun, and they provided a lot of feedback. Some talked about how fun it was to learn the structure of various things, see devices they had never seen, and how fascinated they were to learn that light can be used to determine the sweetness of fruits.
Mitsui Kinzoku will continue to actively provide opportunities in hopes of getting as many children as possible interested in science and inspire future dreams.