Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.34
Thai Students Experience Advanced Technology and Design in Manufacturing
Report from Nagoya City University
For a ten-day period from September 2 to 11, 2018, a total of fourteen international participants were invited to Nagoya City Univ. as part of exchange activities in the Sakura Science Exchange Program. The invitees consisted of six undergraduate students and one faculty member (supervisor) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Prince of Songkla University (located in southern Thailand), and six high schools students and one faculty member (supervisor) from a private high school affiliated with Prince of Songkla Univ.
The program activities were centered around a hands-on workshop on rapid prototyping using 3D scanners and 3D printers, as well as actual operation of cutting-edge equipment such as virtual reality (VR) devices and motion capture equipment. Invitees worked closely with Japanese faculty in order to thoroughly prepare for using the technologies listed above and other main items experienced during the exchange activities. This preparation gave the invitees a base knowledge which enabled them to further deepen their understanding when actually experiencing the rapid prototyping workshop, VR devices, and motion capture equipment
Many Japanese corporations do business in Thailand. The company has a deep relationship with the Japanese manufacturing industry, and many high school students and university students are familiar with Japanese manufacturing. Therefore, the program enabled participants to obtain the latest information and knowledge on the Japanese manufacturing industry and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Invitees toured a Denso Corporation plant, and attended a special lecture designed to heighten motivation towards studying abroad in Japan and working at Japanese corporations in the future.
When touring the Denso plant, invitees experienced advanced safety technology and observed manufacturing processes. They were impressed by the innovative mechanisms, strict quality checks, and other features at manufacturing sites. During the special lecture, students asked questions throughout and participated in a lively Q&A session. The invitees also toured the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology and the Museum Meiji Mura. Exhibitions on scientific technology and mechanical systems are not often seen in southern Thailand, so the invitees showed great interest. Through these experiences, the participating students witnessed the high level of scientific technology in Japan and developed an even greater interest in Japanese corporations.
Invitees also visited Aikodai Meiden High School to observe classes and club activities, and participated in a hands-on workshop in rapid prototyping with university students. Through these activities, the invitees deepened their interaction with Japanese high school students and university students in their same generation. Through this rare opportunity to interact with people from another country, students learned about differences in culture and ways of thinking. They even touched upon differences in religious beliefs and social conditions.
Although we live an era in which the internet is readily available, there are not many opportunities to interact through face-to-face meeting and conversation. After the high school visit and workshop, it was very touching how the students were reluctant to say farewell, with some of them even exchanging their contact information. The experiences and knowledge gained by high school students and university students participating in the program will surely be invaluable in their future studies and career formation.
In conclusion, I would like to expresses my most sincere gratitude to all of the institutions which cooperated in the program, as well as to the Sakura Science Exchange Program for their support in hosting.