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Monozukuri, or designing, manufacturing and repairing products, the heart of our business as a manufacturer, is founded on sound human resources. We instill a keen sense of social awareness in every employee through their communication with society and we focus on nurturing ambitions to meet new challenges and to improve technical strengths to achieve dreams. Our wide range of activities ensure that the technical and other expertise that our people have accumulated, including science education for young people, is useful for developing the next generation.
Making magnets with Hitachi employees
One way we support education is through the Hitachi Science Seminar program, launched in fiscal 2011 to encourage children's interest in science and monozukuri. In this hands-on program, Hitachi Group companies engage children in science experiments and construction projects in an enjoyable way to communicate the skills and knowhow developed through the Group's manufacturing business. In fiscal 2012, Hitachi Metals, Ltd., Hitachi Maxell, Ltd., Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, and Hitachi, Ltd. held the Hitachi Science Seminar series at the Science Museum in Tokyo. About 70 elementary and junior high school children had the opportunity to create paperclip motors using magnets and dry cell batteries, and to observe the micro world through electron microscopes, use flocculation magnetic separation to purify water, and use computers for voice synthesis. At the Creating Tohoku's Future: A Day with Hitachi in Kesennuma event, which the Hitachi Group companies in Tohoku hosted in disaster-affected areas in September, parents and children enjoyed creating paperclip motors. We will continue holding these fun and educational hands-on seminars harnessing the knowledge areas and characteristics of various Group companies.
Designing a remote control based on
the principles of UD
We organize volunteer visits by employees from the Hitachi Group to elementary schools to give hands-on workshops on Universal Design (UD), the concept of designing products and services that are easy to use for everyone. This program shows children the importance of UD from a product developer's perspective. Launched in Japan in 2005, the program has now been extended to the United States and the United Kingdom, with more than 10,000 children around the world participating to date.
In the UK, we developed educational tools with the help of Cambridge-Hitachi (Cambridge Hitachisoft Educational Slutions Plc.) and other experts so that more children could participate in the program. These tools are available for free on the laboratory's website so that even at schools that our volunteers can't visit, teachers can use computers or interactive whiteboards to run similar programs.
Group work using tablet PCs
Hitachi Solutions, Ltd. has been teaching classroom programs in elementary schools since fiscal 2011. In fiscal 2012, the company created a social studies seminar program on the theme of information technologies (IT) for the future, encouraging children to think about the connections between IT and daily life. Incorporating the social sciences, IT education, and career education, the program is designed to stimulate children's interest in the IT that underpins the social infrastructure, and it helps them to acquire information and communication technology literacy for the years ahead. Every seminar has a preparatory lesson given by a teacher and a special seminar given by a Hitachi Solutions' employee.
Interactive classes use a Hitachi Solutions interactive whiteboard called StarBoard together with tablet computers. The teacher poses questions on the whiteboard which the students answer using iPad tablets; their answers are then displayed on the whiteboard.
Seminars held in elementary schools in Tokyo's Suginami and Koto wards in February 2013 received positive feedback from students. One child found that the iPad enabled them to take an active part in the class, while another learned that IT could be used as a tool for helping everyone achieve their dreams. We were able to hold classes where students took the initiative for their own learning. The level of proficiency in accessing information with a tablet in these classes reached 88 percent. Hitachi Solutions will continue this program, further tailoring it to meet social demand and expectations, while developing new content.
Inspire STEM Education website
for STEM educators
Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation has been providing children with the opportunity to experience the world at the micro and nano levels by supporting science education using electron microscopes. Its tabletop microscope is compact, meaning it can be taken out to schools, museums, and other places, and used in a broad range of activities that include traveling exhibitions using scientific devices and science-related exhibits loaded on to a trailer. As well, Hitachi High-Technologies loans out tabletop microscopes and cooperates on demonstrations for STEM*1 education events in the US that are aimed at developing human resources in the science and technology fields.
Particularly in the US, Hitachi High-Technologies is bolstering support for teachers and is helping to develop future scientists and engineers. Hitachi High-Technologies makes available, via a special website, content including tabletop microscope-based lesson plans and other teaching tools for all educational levels from kindergarten through to university.
15th Anniversary reception
Hitachi, Ltd. has been running the Hitachi-CFR Fellowship Program since fiscal 1997 in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an influential American think tank. Every year, the program provides from three to five leaders of the next generation in the US with the opportunity to pursue their research in Japan on their own topics. So far, 50 fellows have come to Japan. In fiscal 2012, to mark the 15th anniversary of the program, a commemorative reception was held at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Washington, DC, with the cooperation of then-Ambassador of Japan to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki. At the reception, Ambassador Fujisaki and Ms. Carla Hills, Co-Chairman of CFR and former US Trade Representative, acknowledged the program's success in deepening the friendship between Japan and the US.
Speakers at the 13th forum
The EU Hitachi Science & Technology Forum is held in Europe every two years and the purpose of the forum is to provide a platform for key figures from government, business, and academia to debate and make proposals on how technology can help to resolve societal issues in the daily life of European citizens.
The 13th forum, with the theme of "Transport and Mobility towards 2050," was held in London in May 2012 and attended by more than 150 people. There were also presentations by representatives from several organizations, including Mr. Marcel Rommerts, Director General of Mobility & Transport, European Commission; Dr. Lewis Fulton, Head of Energy Technology Policy Division, International Energy Agency (IEA); and Dr. Ilja Radusch, Head of Automotive Services & Communication Technologies Department, Fraunhofer FOKUS. A summary of the forum's findings was distributed to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and other bodies.
At 2012 Engineers' final presentations
Since fiscal 1960, Hitachi, Ltd. has been running The Hindu-Hitachi Scholarship Program together with the influential Indian English-language newspaper The Hindu to nurture young Indian engineers. Every year, engineers from the Indian government and private sector are invited to Japan for technical training at factories of the Hitachi Group companies. To date, 134 engineers have completed the training.
One of the three 2012 engineers studied process centrifugal compressor design at the then-named Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd., while two others studied electrical systems in power plants at the Hitachi Works, Ibaraki Prefecture. In December 2012, when Hitachi's first board meeting outside Japan was held in New Delhi, scholarship alumni were invited to the Environment Forum, held together with the Embassy of Japan in India. We also held a reunion for alumni, and they exchanged views on promoting further cooperation between Japan and India.
The engineers who completed the program in fiscal 2012 commented that they learned a lot not only from the technical training but also from Japan's people and culture. The training helped them define their career goals of becoming outstanding engineers, and they also learned important life lessons at Hitachi about passion, dedication, and a sense of responsibility. Program alumni also said that they found the experience extremely valuable for their career paths.