Tokyo Institute of Technology: Tokyo Tech community brings programming class to children of Iiyama City, Nagano

Tokyo Tech utilizes some of the generous contributions made to the Tokyo Tech Fund to organize events for the wider community. One area of focus is science education support, which aims to develop intellectual creativity among elementary, middle, and high school students with the help of resources available at the Institute.

On October 16, 15 elementary school students and their guardians from Iiyama City, Nagano Prefecture joined an online programming workshop hosted by Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology. The high school has been offering such classes to elementary school students since academic year 2018.

This year, “Iiyama City STEAM workshop for children and guardians,” split into a morning and after session, was conducted in collaboration with Iiyama City and T-SPOTS Co., Ltd. Both Iiyama City Mayor Masanori Adachi and T-SPOTS Representative Director Hironao Takizawa are alumni of Tokyo Tech. Support was again provided by the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education for Younger Generations arm of the Tokyo Tech Fund.Greeting from Tokyo Tech high school principal Shigeki Nakagawa before the class
This fall’s workshop was conducted in hybrid format, with participants meeting both in person and in a virtual environment. Due to a lowered COVID-19 alert level in Nagano Prefecture, children and guardians taking appropriate measures against infection were able to participate either from the city’s business support center or from their own homes. Yamato Hasegawa, a teacher at Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology and the instructor for the workshop, participated online while physically located in Tokyo. Teaching Assistant (TA) staff supporting the children also connected via an online platform or were present at the venue in Iiyama City.

Playing an important role during the class was once again micro:bit, an open source hardware ARM-based embedded system designed by the British Broadcasting Corporation for use in computer education. Each participating pair were given two micro:bit modules which they connected to their computers during the event. Using basic coding, the child-guardian teams created simple devices that involved wireless communication and the use of temperature, optical, and acceleration sensors.Instructor Yamato Hasegawa showing participants microcomputer board
Despite the hybrid format of the event, all the youngsters were able to accomplish their tasks. Post-event feedback from both the children and their guardians was excellent.

The Tokyo Tech community continues to provide programming and other opportunities to the public so that younger and older generations can work together and develop a deeper understanding of modern integrated learning.

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