School of Fun for Children in Fukushima

by Academy Camp
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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
Grabbed a moon rock at the moon base
Grabbed a moon rock at the moon base

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

This report describes Academy Camp VR's presence at Maker Faire Tokyo 2021, which took place online in October.

At this festival for "makers", Academy Camp VR gave a 5-minute mini-presentation using video, introduced our activities on social media, and explored the worlds that Academy Camp VR and its members have created together via YouTube Live. The worlds we explored were the 3D-painted "Planet Academy Camp", the "Academy Camp VR Moon", which was designed to look like an early lunar base in the 2030's, the "Academy Camp VR Venue", which was created as the main venue for all our VR camps and was designed to look like a lunar base in the 2040's, "Academy Camp VR Europa", in which we go to Europa, a satellite of Jupiter, to explore life and come back, and "Academy Camp VR Cells", a cell world that represents our body's immune system on a huge scale, which is still under construction.

We have created many worlds, and we will continue to do so! Because we believe that it is only by creating by our own that we truly understand things. After touring the worlds we have created, we promised to meet again, and this year's Maker Faire Tokyo for us came to an end.

PLEASE SUPPORT US AT GIVING TUESDAY

GlobalGiving’s 2021 GivingTuesday campaign will start at 00:00:00 EST on November 30, 2021, and continue for 24 hours (from 14:00:00 on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 to 13:59:59 on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 in Japan Standard Time). GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000,000 Incentive Fund that will be distributed to Academy Camp and other projects in GlobalGiving proportionally based on their final fundraising totals during the period. Please take this great opportunity to help further children in Fukushima, children all over Japan, and Academy Camp!

Portals to other worlds we created with children
Portals to other worlds we created with children
Landed on icy shell of Europa, a Jupiter's moon
Landed on icy shell of Europa, a Jupiter's moon
Playing in the space dock in lunar orbit
Playing in the space dock in lunar orbit
Immune system world still under construction
Immune system world still under construction
Until we meet again
Until we meet again

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With a real doctor researching on space medicine
With a real doctor researching on space medicine

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

Let us take a look back at Academy Camp VR 2021.9 - "You explore! Amazing Modern & Near-Future Medicine". The event was held over three days from September 18 to 20, 2021. 13 children from Fukushima and the rest of Japan joined this virtual reality (VR) camp from home.

In the morning of the first day, we gathered together with Zoom to warm up the place, and then went through various CG videos and explanations to learn about the new coronavirus and mRNA vaccines. Many of the elementary and junior high school students were surprised to learn that viruses use the mechanisms of RNA transcription and protein synthesis in human cells to multiply, while mRNA vaccines use the same strategies of viruses to synthesize viral spike proteins using the mechanisms of human cells. It was a double surprise to many of us.

In the afternoon, we explored the VR world. Since some of the participants were new to VR, we took our time to learn how to enter VRChat, and then went to the "Academy Camp VR Venue", underground on the Moon, to think about what it would be like to be injured or sick in space. A simple experimental facility was set up beside the hall of the venue, and through demonstrations, we learned that even basic things like intravenous drip infusion depend on the Earth's gravitational environment, and on the Moon, you have to drop the fluid from a ridiculous height to get it into your veins.

In the morning of the second day, we actually read the code of Pfizer's vaccine letter by letter. First, as a review, we looked at the transcription of DNA to RNA, and the synthesis of proteins from the information encoded in RNA, in detail, starting from the structure of DNA and the mechanism of replication. The impact of the CG video was so strong that many children were fascinated by it, even though they felt these moving objects were weird. By learning about the structure of mRNA in detail through reading the code of Pfizer's vaccine, the children were able to read the diagram showing the structure of the new coronavirus that was briefly introduced on the first day.

From the afternoon of the second day to the morning of the third day, we continued to 3D-paint the characters(?) of the VR cell world. We were divided into two groups: "painters of immune cell networks (roughly in microns; tens to hundreds of meters in the VR cell world)" and "painters of factories inside cells (roughly in nanometers; centimeters in the VR cell world)". The children painted various cells, DNA, RNA, enzymes, etc.

In the afternoon, we invited a doctor who is a space medicine researcher, and discussed medical care in space, which will always be an issue when people live in space. We also discussed various questions about our bodies (regenerative medicine, etc.), not only about space medicine. The doctor said that he rarely has a chance to talk with elementary and junior high school students, so we had a good time together!

The final closing session was held in the VR cell world that was still in the process of being created, where viruses fall from the sky. One by one, we talked about our impressions of the camp, and spontaneously developed the mysterious manner of jumping and disappearing from sight after speech! (It's a jump, so they came down after a while.) After taking a commemorative group photo with the viruses, the short three-day VR camp ended.

Some days later, a junior high school student member asked, "What about the second half of 'Modern & Near Future Medicine'? When are we going to do it?" Well, why not? After all, the VR cell world is still in the process of being built! We love to gather again, and have time to create the world together.

GIVING TUESDAY IS APPROACHING

Please get ready to join GlobalGiving’s #GivingTuesday campaign taking place on Tuesday, November 30, at 12:00am. ET! Your support will help Academy Camp and the children of Fukushima, as well as children all over Japan, to continue their adventure.

Device to demonstrate intravenous infusion on Moon
Device to demonstrate intravenous infusion on Moon
Everyone pretends they know how to replicate DNA
Everyone pretends they know how to replicate DNA
Let's 3D-paint DNA and its replication
Let's 3D-paint DNA and its replication
Group photo in the cell world in the making
Group photo in the cell world in the making
Off to another fun VR world together
Off to another fun VR world together

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Participate in an adventure mission remotely
Participate in an adventure mission remotely

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

This time, we would like to take a look back at Academy Camp 2021 Summer VR Term 3 - "ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS". The event was held over three days from August 13 to 15, 2021. 15 children from Fukushima and the rest of Japan joined this virtual reality (VR) camp from home. The children also worked on making things for three days in between since our previous camp, so together, it can be said that this was the longest, 9-day camp in the history of the Academy Camp.

Two giant spaceships designed in Minecraft before the start of this camp appeared in the dock of the "Academy Camp VR Venue", an underground base on the moon. However, when we actually went into it, there were still some things that needed to be fixed. Spacecraft improvements continued.

Meanwhile, the training for the mission went on. To further foster teamwork in order to complete this dangerous adventure mission and survive, we welcomed our friend improvisation actor, to weave improvised stories and walk around the Venue with a buddy (a group of two people who act together) to show each other their favorite places. The final step of the training was to test the propulsion of two spaceships (with normal engines) on the dock, moving forward just 10 meters and back, but the spaceships we had built actually worked!

Then it was finally time to leave for the Jupiter system. The two spacecraft were deployed to the space dock in orbit around the moon, equipped with warp technology to reach Jupiter. Unfortunately, the landers were not implemented in time, but a device was installed in the cockpit of each spacecraft to use the warp technology to "beam down" the crew to the surface of Europa. So everyone would be able to descend to Europa. For this memorable occasion, we also invited our friend space scientist to go to Jupiter with us.

In the first try in the morning of the final day, we experienced various troubles, such as warping to Jupiter system and then immediately warping back to the moon, or getting separated from buddies, but we gradually improved for the afternoon trial.

And in the ocean beneath Europa's icy shell (several kilometers below in reality), everyone could see the large creatures they had designed, standing and/or swimming. Today, humans arrived at Jupiter for the first time. When everyone returned to Zoom, they shared their impressions and brought this summer's VR adventure to a close.

Later, the landers were also implemented. It looks like some of our participant sisters and brothers traveled to Europa for their summer vacation!

GIVING TUESDAY IS APPROACHING

Please get ready to join GlobalGiving’s #GivingTuesday campaign taking place on Tuesday, November 30, at 12:00am. ET! Your support will help Academy Camp and the children of Fukushima, as well as children all over Japan, to continue their adventure.

Team is important, so let's build our team
Team is important, so let's build our team
Jupiter and Europa seen from children's spacecraft
Jupiter and Europa seen from children's spacecraft
The first humans and butter arrived on Jupiter
The first humans and butter arrived on Jupiter
Meet the huge ocean creatures designed by children
Meet the huge ocean creatures designed by children
Checking out from Europa and the space camp
Checking out from Europa and the space camp

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Gathered in the hall in the camp venue on the Moon
Gathered in the hall in the camp venue on the Moon

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We would like to take a look back at Academy Camp 2021 Summer VR Term 2 - "PREFAB THE WORLDS". The event was held over three days from August 7 to 9, 2021. 14 children from Fukushima and the rest of Japan joined this virtual reality (VR) camp from home.

In the July camp, we created a lunar base of 2030s in the vast space of a lava tube. The August camps start on the Moon ten years later. The cavern was covered with a transparent lid, and the air-filled space was filled with more greenery and lights. The new VR world, "Academy Camp VR Venue," was created as a playground for everyone. This is also where the spaceships are assembled for testing. The spaceships are built so that we can all go to Europa, a moon of Jupiter, and land there to explore for extraterrestrial life.

There were many opinions on what kind of spaceship we should build for everyone to board, and we almost decided by majority vote. However, we decided against it. This is a story in VR, but if it were real, it would be a spaceship that everyone would risk their own lives to board and go on an adventure. Can we decide on something while our lives are at stake, and the consequences of our choices will ultimately be in accordance with the laws of physics, just because more people think this is the way to go? With this question posed, everyone began to prototype their own spaceships in the work space provided in Minecraft.

On the second day, we all went into the various spaceships that were temporarily placed on the Venue dock to see if we could build them as we had expected. As a result, it was decided that it would be better to consider the specifications of what a spacecraft going to Jupiter must satisfy, make a checklist, and proceed with the design while confirming that the specifications are met. So, everyone thought about what was important and made a checklist.

We also learned about Europa by watching videos and infographics of NASA's Europa Clipper project. Europa is a satellite that is slightly smaller than the Earth's moon, but deep within the ice shell on its surface is a global ocean that contains more than twice the amount of water as the Earth's entire ocean. On Earth, where there is water, there is life. If that is the case, then... does life exist on Europa? Everyone is going to explore it!

On the third day, we used Minecraft to design the creatures that live in Europa's oceans. The design of the spacecraft and the lander that would separate from it continued. In the end, we ended up with two large spaceships, but in the process, many "unused designs" were created. They are all great!

The design of the spaceships will be handed over to the term 3 camp, but after this camp was over, the staff had a review meeting at the Venue, where the children also joined in the fun.

How is everyone doing today? Show by numbers
How is everyone doing today? Show by numbers
Having a virtual reality fun
Having a virtual reality fun
Examining the quality of the prototype spaceships
Examining the quality of the prototype spaceships
Play to challenge everyone's physical flexibility
Play to challenge everyone's physical flexibility
Amazed at the perfection of the "unused designs"
Amazed at the perfection of the "unused designs"

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Your room becomes the moon
Your room becomes the moon

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We would like to take a look back at Academy Camp 2021 Summer VR Term 1 - "You Create Lunar Society!". The event was held over three days from July 22 to 24, 2021. 14 children from Fukushima and the rest of Japan joined this virtual camp from home.

In the morning of DAY 1, we went to "Academy Camp VR Moon" in the VR (virtual reality) space. That was where this adventure took place. Assuming the moon in the 2030's, there is the Apollo Project Memorial Park on the surface, and the vast space of the remains of lava flow behind the vertical hole discovered by Japan's KAGUYA spacecraft is there, where we would be building our lunar base. In the afternoon, we shared the "challenges of living in space and how to solve them" that we had heard from everyone when they applied for the camp, and discussed what kind of facilities would be necessary for the lunar society. Then we moved the stage to Minecraft and prototyped buildings for the lunar base.

In the morning of DAY 2, we tried out the lunar base prototype that was brought in to the virtual world from Minecraft. We figured out what does not look as expected, and continued prototyping. In the afternoon, using breakout rooms and virtual whiteboard, we had a world cafe-style discussion on the theme of what kind of society we want to create on the moon. First, we identified the issues that human beings are facing on Earth, and then we thought about whether these issues could be solved in the lunar society. In between, we went to our Moon in VR again to get a sense of what it would be like to live there. Thinking about creating a society from scratch, it seemed to us that the various issues we are currently facing on Earth would be easier to solve on the Moon. We would be happy if the experience of this camp could be a "takeaway" for us to bring that feeling back to our lives on Earth.

In the morning of DAY 3, we put the finishing touches on the creation of the lunar base buildings in Minecraft. In the afternoon, we exported our buildings from Minecraft and experienced in the form like a live game broadcast the usage of a set of open source software to integrate them into the virtual world. Then we all went to the VR moon and enjoyed the moon base that we created together while listening to each other's explanations.

Now, have we explored the moon enough? Alright, now on to Jupiter!
 

PLEASE HELP US LITTLE BY LITTLE

GlobalGiving holds the September 2021 Little by Little Campaign from September 13 to 17. All eligible donations up to $50 per unique donor per organization will be matched at 50% during the campaign, and funds will not run out! Please take this great opportunity to help further the children in Fukushima, those in the rest of Japan, and Academy Camp.

Let's meet the members of the lunar society
Let's meet the members of the lunar society
Let's try to solve problems on Earth on the Moon
Let's try to solve problems on Earth on the Moon
Listening to explanations of moon-base facilities
Listening to explanations of moon-base facilities
Buildings made by children underground of the Moon
Buildings made by children underground of the Moon
Group photo on the moon - next time, Jupiter!
Group photo on the moon - next time, Jupiter!

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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
$169,507 raised of $200,000 goal
 
1,236 donations
$30,493 to go
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