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 Children  Japan Project #13568

School of Fun for Children in Fukushima

by Academy Camp Vetted since 2013 Site Visit Verified
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
Spontaneous mime battle challenging a professional
Spontaneous mime battle challenging a professional

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We have held our second summer camp this year on Aug. 20-24 at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, in Fujisaway City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The camp was named "OK Google, Do My Homework!" Term 2, where we again tried to automate children's homework such as math drills and book reports, through which we let children learn by experiments what can and cannot be automated in the context of human intellectual activities with today's technology.

24 elementary, junior high and high school students participated in this camp. They went through "unplugged machine learning" experience with matchsticks, tried some automated comic dialogues by programming Google Assistant with IFTTT (If This Then That), which they applied when fully automating math drills with voice commands, solved a puzzle competing with computers just to see that computers are better at those things (although this time children managed to get the highest possible points in the puzzle, so they tied with a computer program), and had fun with many team-building games, including watermelon bust, in which they also learned what it is like to conduct a scientific research (repetitively verifying and refining their hypotheses).

On the third day, they went to Yokohama, played "Yokohama Station Sci-Fi Mystery" game that reproduces the future world of "Yokohama Station Sci-Fi" where 98% of Japan's main island is covered with Yokohama Station (a comical extension of the fact that the station has been under construction for more than one hundred years). Most of them also visited the China Town in Yokohama, and enjoyed Chinese cuisine.

On the fourth day, we welcomed 6-dim+, a group of improvisational theatre artists, as usual for our summer camps. Again, they gave us wonderful opportunities, with many smiles and laughters, to think about and work with others.

On the last day, we let children think about setting homework for their own future. We set the due date to be August 2038, or 20 years from now. We let them imagine what changes will be made in the society, especially through automation. Then we encouraged them to include some numbers in their assignments, stating how much or how early they would like to achieve their goals. Then we suggsted that they change those numbers to be 10 times bigger, higher or earlier. Surely their minds started working really hard to think how they can achieve their boosted goals.

We have received many messages from their parents after they got home. One of the parents wrote that she was surprised to see her son being so positive and forward-looking after coming back from the camp. We are so glad. The camp was a wonderful experience for both children and us.

SUPPORT US ON GLOBALGIVING RECURRING MATCH CAMPAIGN on SEPT. 24-28

Please support us continue to support those wonderful children getting ready for the future, through GlobalGiving's recurring match campaign, where $20,000 incentive fund is used for matching 100% for the first month of new monthly donations (the donations need to continue at least for four month, so it is effectively like 25% match in total). The campaign starts on Monday, Sept. 24 and ends on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. Please take this great opportunity to be part of us, and let's make difference together.

"Unplugged" machine learning with matchsticks
"Unplugged" machine learning with matchsticks
Watermelon Bust - the Japanese style
Watermelon Bust - the Japanese style
With 6-dim+, improvisational theatre artists
With 6-dim+, improvisational theatre artists
A little fireworks
A little fireworks
Sharing their boosted homework for 2038
Sharing their boosted homework for 2038

Links:

Solving a puzzle, competing against computers
Solving a puzzle, competing against computers

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We have held our first summer camp this year on Aug. 4-8 at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, in Fujisaway City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The camp was named "OK Google, Do My Homework!" Term 1, where we tried to automate children's homework such as math drills and book reports, through which we let children learn by experiments what can and cannot be automated in the context of human intellectual activities with today's technology.

Surely those 25 elementary, junior high and high school students who participated in this camp enjoyed getting (although they are just modelled versions and not their real) homework automatically done, but it does not mean that they were lazy. They went through "unplugged machine learning" experience with matchsticks, solved puzzles competing with computers just to see that computers are better at those things, and had fun with many team-building games in which they also learned what it is like to conduct a scientific research (repetitively verifying and refining their hypotheses).

We also visited Maker Faire Tokyo 2018 where children communicated with those people who are into making new things, especially with electronics. We believe that it was both fun and educating.

On the last two days, we let children think about setting homework for their own future. First, we showed them SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) although these goals are more like cleaning up what older generations have done to the Earth and our society. We urged children to define and build their own happiness and future. We hope that this camp was a good opportunity for the participants to feel the changes in the world and to feel like being a part of those changes.

 

SUPPORT US ON GLOBALGIVING BONUS DAY on SEPT. 12-13

Please support us continue to support those wonderful children getting ready for the future, through GlobalGiving's bonus day campaign, where $50,000 incentive fund is proportionally matched so that every donation from you counts. The campaign starts at 00:00:00 ET on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 (13:00:00 on Sept. 12 in Japan), and lasts 33-hours, ending at 8:59:59 ET on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 (21:59:59 on Sept. 13 in Japan). Please join us, and let's make difference together.

Visiting TOKYO BIG SIGHT to see Maker Faire Tokyo
Visiting TOKYO BIG SIGHT to see Maker Faire Tokyo
Team struggles to stand on a small sheet in a game
Team struggles to stand on a small sheet in a game
Girl-only table formed ad-lib talks gender issues
Girl-only table formed ad-lib talks gender issues
After setting themselves homework for future
After setting themselves homework for future
Bye now, but will see you all again
Bye now, but will see you all again

Links:

From 2011 Summer - Some Will Come Back as Leaders
From 2011 Summer - Some Will Come Back as Leaders
Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

This summer, again, we will hold two camps at Shonan Fujisawa Campus, Keio University in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, each welcoming up to 24 elementary, junior-high and high school students in Fukushima.

This is the 8th summer for Academy Camp. Those children who were sixth graders at our very first camp in August 2011, the year we had the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear disaster, have graduated from high school this spring, and some are now university or college students. In the hope that some of them will come back to Academy Camp as student volunteers, we have made our call for volunteers go public earlier this year, with overwhelming results.

So far, three of those past participants from our very first year as elementary school kids are coming back as volunteers this year, and will take care of participants from Fukushima as leaders. It had happened before for those who were junior high school students in 2011, but this year, we welcome a younger generation. We have always dreamed of this summer of year 2018, in which we expected that something like this would happen. This is one of our dreams come true!

This summer, Academy Camp will also make children's dreams come true - we will try automating homework! In "Academy Camp 2018 Summer - OK Google, Do My Homework!" (yes, that’s the official name of the two summer camps this year) we will make challenges on how modeled versions of children's homework for summer holidays (in Japan, children do have homework for summer holidays), such as math drills and book reports, can be automated.

But why would we want to do that? Do we want to make those children lazy?

Quite contrary. Automating things is hard, and it requires some expert knowledge of the things being automated. We hope that participants will in the end reach deeper understanding of what they learn at schools. Of course, the camps will include lots of fun activities!

As usual, we have opened our call for participation, and our capacity for the two camps are quickly getting filled.

Will Make Study Fun Through Automation
Will Make Study Fun Through Automation
Will Go Out in Yokohama and Tokyo, Too
Will Go Out in Yokohama and Tokyo, Too

Links:

Building a House of Candy
Building a House of Candy

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

During the three-day weekend in this February in Japan, from Saturday, 10th to Monday, 12th, we held our first "Academy Camp You Decide" as this year's winter camp. The camp was located at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University (in Fujisawa City), with 17 children participating from Fukushima, three of which are high school students who helped the camp as "sub-leader" staff members.

Prior to the camp, we asked the participants and staff members what they would want to do during the camp, as this camp was a trial to let children decide everything they do, because in the coming age of artificial intelligence, most of our activities will be supported by AI and robots, and we suspect that what is left for human being will be just our ability to decide. Our intention is to make this camp a "preadaptation" stage for such a future the children would experience.

Under the promise "never listen to anyone over 30 years of age" while even this promise they did not need to keep, the camp started with an icebreaking program they decided to improvise. A room was reserved for the purpose, but children went out and played hide-and-seek and tag in the university campus.

On the second day, they went shopping, and made houses (or some unknown structures) of candy. Then they "sweded" (created video work with hand-made props and costumes made out of card boxes and such) their visions of the future. Young staff members responded children's request to go for a night walk by improvising an adventurous activity to find and pick a hidden picture one of them drew.

On the final day of the camp, we enjoyed the outcome of the camp: tasted the houses made of candy, and watched videos they created.

We hope that this camp was full of surprises for the children. As they decided what to do in the camp, we wish that they surprised themselves. For them to live through the exponentially changing technological and social environment, we hope they go full-speed ahead for their future.

Playing Hide-and-Seek at the University Campus
Playing Hide-and-Seek at the University Campus
An Adventure at Night to Pick Right Pictures
An Adventure at Night to Pick Right Pictures
Previewing the "Sweded" Futuristic Video They Made
Previewing the "Sweded" Futuristic Video They Made
Unexpectedly the Winner of the Candy House Match
Unexpectedly the Winner of the Candy House Match
"Full-Speed Ahead!" for Their Future
"Full-Speed Ahead!" for Their Future

Links:

Surprise yourselves with your ideas
Surprise yourselves with your ideas

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

December 2017 for Academy Camp started with a charity concert in London. Thank you very much indeed once again for those who made efforts for realization of the concert, the performing artist, and those who have donated to us through GlobalGiving. Thank you for those wonderful gifts.

We have sent out our gifts to some of participants of this summer camp - somehow it took us so long to produce 3D figures of them from the data they 3D-scanned by themselves in FabCafe Tokyo in August. The long delay was due to a procedure to enable us to use 3D printers at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, where we are holding our recent camps, and mismatch of data format. But finally, we managed to actually print the figures, and it looked like a reunion of the camp (see the photo below).

Now, we are heading for our first camp in 2018 to be held in February, again at SFC. We have named the camp "Academy Camp You Decide". We do not make decisions on the camp activities. The participants will do. Because, in the age of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in which children today will live when they grow up, we believe that making decisions on what to do is the most important human skill of which should not be deprived by automation. Already, we have been receiving many ideas of what to do in the camp from the prospective participants: make robots, make new sports, make a big Rube Goldberg machine together, reproduce the world of Star Wars, and so on. Will it be possible to realize all of them in a three-day camp? We will see. We are looking forward to working with those children.

Thanks to all your support, we have barely achieved our funding goal for the winter camp. But we need more for subsequent camps, so please help us. We are all in this together to bring the future the children want nearer.

Seasons gift from this summer - like a reunion
Seasons gift from this summer - like a reunion
What would you decide on?
What would you decide on?
Photo from last March - Will see some of you again
Photo from last March - Will see some of you again

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Academy Camp

Location: Fujisawa, Kanagawa - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @academy_camp
Project Leader:
Kenji Saito
Fujisawa, Kanagawa Japan
$141,464 raised of $200,000 goal
 
857 donations
$58,536 to go
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