Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.35

Science and Culture Exchange Training for students from the Philippines Thailand and Japan
- For Young Engineers Living in the World of Symbiosis of Different Cultures -

Report from the Salesian Polytechnic

With support of the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science, Salesian Polytechnic invited eight Filipino students from the Don Bosco Technical College (Mandaluyong, Philippines) and two Thai students from the Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology (Bangkok, Thailand) for eight days from October 28, 2017 (Sat.) to November 04, 2017 (Sat.), organizing a highly productive international exchange program.

Although quite short, this intensive program that lasted eight days, during which young engineers from Philippines, Thailand, and Japan stimulated each other transgressing the boundaries of nationality and cultural identification, was surely a time for each of the participants to experience a multicultural society, an opportunity to find clues to how they should live their lives from now on based on a truly global viewpoint.

Here we would like to touch on the following five most prominent traits of this program.

a) During the inspection of the campus of the Salesian Polytechnic, we tried to have the guests get a sense of how hands-on education comprised of diligent craftsmanlike work slowly but surely adds up to the "Made in Japan" international status. For that purpose, we took them to the laboratories, studios, and other facilities of the College and had the teachers give explanations of the educational processes, showing the importance of painstaking craftsmanship, of creating small things.

image1 "Renewal energy is so fascinating!"
Visit to a transduction laboratory

b) The guests were taken to a number of places that allow visitors to see with their own eyes the leading-edge technology of Japan as an assemblage of craftsmanship of small things. The places included Miraikan - The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) (Koto-ku, Tokyo), the main plant of the Sanko Machinery Co., Ltd. (Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa), and Miyagase Dam Water Museum (Aikawamachi, Aiko-gun, Kanagawa-ken). The tours surely helped the guests to expand their knowledge of the high technical capabilities of Japan.

image2 "This was a great opportunity for us to think about "mirai" - the future"
Visit to Miraikan
image3 "This is exactly the kind of company we'd want to work for in the future!"
Factory tour of the main plant of the Sanko Machinery Co., Ltd.

image4 "Typhoon is getting closer, so the dam looks twice as impressive!"
Visit to Miyagase Dam

c) The guests were provided with opportunities to experience all kinds of aspects of traditional Japanese culture including kyogen, tea ceremony, kimono dress-up, kendo, and calligraphy, feel the spirit of the Japanese people, which serves as the fundament for technological innovation of Japan, and realize the necessity of the Japanese philosophy of "discovering new things by studying the past".

image5 "Men (a hit on the upper part of the face guard)! Surely that must hurt!"
Hands-on experience of kendo
image6 "I never knew that a Japanese fan can be turned into a cup!"
Dressing up in kimonos and watching kyogen

d) The training attempted as much as possible to offer places and time for personal exchanges so as to help the students from the Philippines, Thailand, and Japan to get to understand each other and build long-lasting friendships based on the fundamental concept of exchange that is also the school motto of the Salesian Polytechnic: "Technology is people".

e) To give the training a finishing touch, in the end, we organized a mini symposium, where students from the Philippines and Thailand gave presentations, after which a discussion was held by all participants including those from Japan, which served as yet another opportunity for everyone to deepen their understanding of each other.

image7 "I promise to do my best to convey the important lessons I have learned here
to other people"
A presenter at the mini symposium

Thanks to cooperation provided by the municipal authorities of Sagamihara, we managed to get the most from the limited time we had - just eight days - and make the content as rich as only possible. We would like to use this opportunity to thank all the people from Sagamihara who helped us.

We would also like to thank from the bottom of our hearts the SAKURA Science, which made this exchange we planned for the "young engineers living in the world of symbiosis of different cultures" a success it was.