2023 Activity Report Group 3 : (Science Museum) Miraikan

SAKURA SCIENCE High School Program Group 3

Lecture by Director Asakawa Chieko at the Miraikan

On Friday, June 30, 110 high school students and supervisors from the third group of the SAKURA SCIENCE High School Program (SSHP) (from Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia) visited the Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

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In Front of Geo Cosmos, the Symbol Exhibition of the Miraikan

Miraikan's philosophy is to be a place to consider science and engineering as our culture, and that is open to everyone to think and talk about the role of science and technology as a culture and the possibilities for the future of society. SSHP has always included a visit to Mirakian during the one-week program organization since the start of this project in 2014. We have guided high school students from overseas who visit Japan to this. In the post-program questionnaire, a large number of participants each year name Miraikan as their "most memorable visit." This tells us that Miraikan is an attractive spot for future scientists and researchers.

The visitors to Japan this time also visited exhibition corners such as "Exploring the World," "Creating the Future," and "Connecting with the Earth." They all had enthusiasm in their eyes. They saw, touched, and felt the great sensation of the world of science.

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Activity Report Photo 3

From the afternoon, the students had the opportunity to listen to the lecture "Inclusive Society Realized with Science and Technology" given by Director Chieko Asakawa at the Miraikan Hall. Director Asakawa lost her light at the age of 14 as a result of an injury that she suffered in elementary school. Since then, as a female engineer pioneer, she has been actively engaged in "accessibility research and development," and has lead the way in the development of technologies for the visually impaired, including as an IBM homepage leader.

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Director Chieko Asakawa at the Miraikan Giving her Lecture

At the beginning of the lecture, she spoke about her girlhood days, when she was active and involved in sports, and introduced her current daily life, how she enjoys cooking and rock climbing, and she showed them a video. The high school students were drawn to her positive energy.
The two difficulties of "access to information" and "means of transportation" were brought about by her complete loss of sight. Director Asakawa emphasized that it is precisely the development of technology enabling people with handicaps to overcome difficulties and to participate in society that leads to innovation, and that "invention and implementation are a pair of wheels."
In the description of the "AI suitcase" which is currently under development, and supports blind people to enjoy going out more freely, she introduced a demonstration experiment in which she actually used an AI suitcase to move around in a shopping mall and to go to a sweet's shops.

The words of Director Asakawa, who kindly said, "If you do not give up, the road will open up for you," had a great influence on the students. We are sure that they will be deeply engraved in their hearts as they take over responsibility for the future.

Commemorative Photograph with Director Asakawa