September 12, 2011 11:50 AM

Hands-on Manufacturing Class for Junior High School Students

Beigoma (traditional Japanese spinning tops)

▲ Beigoma (traditional Japanese spinning tops)

Hello, I am Takaishi, of the HR & Administration Group, Itami Works.

Every summer vacation, Itami Works holds a hands-on manufacturing class for junior high school students, under the title “Beigoma Championship,” in order to promote interest in manufacturing among children, who will play leading roles in the future. At this year’s third annual event, 20 students from Itami Municipal Itamikita Junior High School participated.

In the Beigoma Championship, participating students are divided into several teams, each of which will create a beigoma (traditional Japanese spinning top) out of paper in small, medium and large sizes, matchsticks and toothpicks. Respective teams compete with one another to see whose beigoma can spin the longest. The greatest objective of the class is to provide individual students with opportunities to consider, through trial and error, how they can prolong the beigoma’s rotation time, which can easily interest junior high school students. Accordingly, the competition results don’t matter much.

In this year’s class, students were grouped into four teams. Each team’s members had one hour in which to work together to create a beigoma that they believed to be the best. Through such manufacturing processes, the class was intended to impart upon students the joy of creating something, the importance of improvement, the significance of analyzing results and devising countermeasures, the spirit of competing as a team, and the knack of collaboration. If participating students were able to learn these matters in any way, we would be extremely happy as the organizers of the class.

We are planning to continue this hands-on manufacturing class next year and onward, while adding further improvements.

Hands-on Manufacturing Class1
Hands-on Manufacturing Class2

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