Contributing to STEAM Education: Shimadzu Hands-On Analysis School Held at Various Locations!
Shimadzu Corporation holds the Shimadzu Hands-on Analysis School for students from elementary school to high school to provide an opportunity for the younger generation to experience science.
This event is held throughout the year. It was held 30 times during July and August, the season when students are on summer vacation, and more than 600 students participated nationwide. This article provides a digest of the events.
- Observing Light with Spectrometers Crafted from Paper
- Students Use a Spectrophotometer to Investigate Color Differences
- Measuring the Amount of Caffeine in Beverages
- Seeing the Mysteries of the Body with X-Rays
- Where is CD-R Data?
- Becoming a Drone Pilot
- Comment from the Person in Charge of the Shimadzu Hands-On Analysis School
Observing Light with Spectrometers Crafted from Paper
In July, the event was held on the themes of “Light” and “Light Spectra” at the Tohoku University Science Campus (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture), hosted by the School of Engineering, Tohoku University.
The 45 participating children learned about spectrometers and the role of JAXA’s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) “Hisaki” spectroscopic planet observatory satellite. They then made a Hisaki type spectrometer out of paper, and compared the differences between fluorescent, incandescent, and other types of light.
To make spectroscopic observations of the plasma atmospheres of planets, the Hisaki is equipped with a Shimadzu grating (diffraction grating). Shimadzu engineers who developed the grating were asked a number of questions even after the event.
Students Use a Spectrophotometer to Investigate Color Differences
In collaboration with Kyoto Prefecture, Shimadzu Science Camp was held for 32 students from four prefectural junior high schools (Rakuhoku, Nanyo, Sonobe, and Fukuchiyama), as one approach to fostering human resources in the sciences. The students made spectrometers and learned the basic principles of such instruments, then investigated differences in the colors of beverages using a spectrophotometer.
Observing spectra using a spectrometer crafted from paper
Learning how to use a spectrophotometer
On the day, in addition to tours of the Shimadzu showroom and plants, a lecture was held by the manager of the department that developed the Shimadzu PCR testing system, which uses spectral technology.
Students listening attentively to a speech about teamwork during the development of the PCR testing system
Measuring the Amount of Caffeine in Beverages
In August, a course on the theme of “Chromatography,” a method for separating the components of substances, was held for high school students in the Kansai region. A total of more than 70 students participated in the course, which was held at the Sanjo Works, Shimadzu Head Office.
First, they learned the basic principles of the instrument by experimenting with column chromatography. Then they measured the amount of caffeine in coffee and other beverages using a high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC). In this experiment, they gained experience with measurement techniques for separating the components of mixtures.
Seeing the Mysteries of the Body with X-Rays
In July and August, a total of more than 50 high school students experienced X-ray diagnostic imaging systems at the Sanjo Works, Shimadzu Head Office.
Under the guidance of an operations chief of radiography with X-rays, they used the latest X-ray diagnostic imaging systems. They made fluoroscopic observations of the contents of a sealed envelope, scanned a phantom (model) of the human body, and lay on the machine to simulate an examination.
Scanning a phantom of human body
Operating the instrument with levers
Where is CD-R Data?
Children surprised to see CD-R data made visible
Held at Shimadzu Tokyo Innovation Plaza
In August, a presentation was made at the King Skyfront Summer Science Event 2023. King Skyfront in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture is a world-class open innovation center, which conducts research and development to create new industries. Shimadzu Tokyo Innovation Plaza, a new Shimadzu center inaugurated in January 2023, is located there.
On the day of the event, “Investigating the Mysteries of CD-R” was held for elementary school students at the center. The students predicted where the data was stored on a CD-R, and then disassembled the disc and made observations. Later, the actual distribution of the data was made visible using a scanning probe microscope.
Becoming a Drone Pilot
In July, at KRP Fes (hosted by Kyoto Research Park) and in August at the 2023 Science Park (hosted by Hokkaido Government), students tried operating a small drone.
Although many have heard about drones, not that many have actually flown one. On this day, the children learned how to fly one after 20 to 30 minutes of training. The Shimadzu Hands-on Analysis School is planning similar programs for children to experience the latest technologies.
Piloting a drone (KRP Fes)
Comment from the Person in Charge of the Shimadzu Hands-On Analysis School
This summer, we participated in face-to-face events that were reduced until after the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Summer Rikochallenge 2023 for high school students, “Shimadzu Summer Hands-on Analysis School” gave students an opportunity to use real instruments. All the participants actively enjoyed the chance to use actual instruments and seemed eager to learn.