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
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

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Let's create a character for a game
Let's create a character for a game

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

Through August 21 to 24, we had our second summer camp for this year at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, Fujisawa City. 24 children from Fukushima, including elementary and junior high school students, and one high-school-student sub-leader, participated in this camp featuring deep learning.

Again, inspired by the statement "No one has ever changed the world by doing what the world has told them to do." by Eddy Zhong, a teen entrepreneur, we tried to put across the message "DO NOT OBEY" through the camp, because artificial intelligences and robots would do much better job doing what they are told to do when the participants of this camp grow up.

Following the practice in our previous camp, we again started with improvising; our friends 6-dim+, a group of actors specialized in improvisation, led the orientation of the camp and also gave the children a chance to participate in their live performance. On the following day, we did an excursion in Enoshima-Kamakura area, in which they had to take photos with the same compositions at the same places as ones they were shown before they started the orienteering, without being told where the photos were taken. One of the photos was a scene from the movie "Shin Godzilla", and some teams figured out where the scene was shot even before they left for the excursion, just by searching on the web (as expected). On the third day, students from Future University Hakodate visited us to let children experience game design. A researcher from Preferred Networks, Inc. came to let children create a neural network that can distinguish between dogs and cats, and also let them think about "The Trolley Problem" that led them to some deep thinking of their senses of ethics and artificial intelligences. That night, we did a treasure hunt at the campus. On the final day, the children and the university-student staff all considered what they want to become when they are age 28.

The age 28 is how old Hikakin, a Japanese YouTuber, is now. He wouldn't have dreamed that he would become what he is now when he was a child like particpants of this camp. Likewise, unknown future must lie in front of the children. After the two camps. we have received an overwhelming number of messages from parents thanking for the camps, and we sense that many parents are now worried and anxious about the unknown future of their children. 

- GIVING WEEK BONUS DAY -

Now is GlobalGiving's GIVING WEEK, and Thursday, October 5 is the *** Bonus Day ***.

On this day (9:00:01-23:59:59 EDT or 22:00:01 Thursday - 12:59:59 Friday JST), organizations registered at GlobalGiving will compete for a share of the $50,000 Incentive Fund. Our share will be determined by what percentage of the total funds Academy Camp raises on the Bonus Day. So every donation from you counts.

For the past 6 years, we did both summer and winter/spring camps. But this year, we have not yet secured the budget for a winter/spring camp. So please help. Your contributions will make difference.

6-dim+ improvises in front of the children
6-dim+ improvises in front of the children
Mission accomplished at an Eno-Den Station
Mission accomplished at an Eno-Den Station
Tackling "The Trolley Problem"
Tackling "The Trolley Problem"
After a treasure hunt at night at the campus
After a treasure hunt at night at the campus
Gathering at the statue of the univ. founder
Gathering at the statue of the univ. founder

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What do you want to become at age 28?
What do you want to become at age 28?

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

Through August 17 to 20, we had our first summer camp this year at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, Fujisawa City. 25 children from Fukushima and Chiba, including elementary and junior high school students, and 3 high-school-student sub-leaders, participated in this camp featuring digital fabrication.

Inspired by the statement "No one has ever changed the world by doing what the world has told them to do." by Eddy Zhong, a teen entrepreneur, we tried to put across the message "DO NOT OBEY" through the camp, because artificial intelligences and robots would do much better job doing what they are told to do when the participants of this camp grow up.

We started with improvising; our friends 6-dim+, a group of actors specialized in improvisation, led the orientation of the camp and also gave the children a chance to participate in their live performance. On the next day, we went to FabCafe Tokyo at Shibuya to experience 3D scanning and printing, laser-cutting and making adhesive tapes with children's original designs. On the following day, we did an excursion in Enoshima-Kamakura area, in which they had to take photos with the same compositions at the same places as ones they were shown before they started the orienteering, without being told where the photos were taken. The children did a great job exploring the neighborhood of Fujisawa City. On the final day, they all considered what they want to become when they are age 28.

Indeed, they can be anything. We hope that those experiences in the camp let the children feel so.

- GIVING WEEK BONUS DAY -

Now is GlobalGiving's GIVING WEEK, and Thursday, October 5 is the *** Bonus Day ***.

On this day (9:00:01-23:59:59 EDT or 22:00:01 Thursday - 12:59:59 Friday JST), organizations registered at GlobalGiving will compete for a share of the $50,000 Incentive Fund. Our share will be determined by what percentage of the total funds Academy Camp raises on the Bonus Day. So every donation from you counts.

For the past 6 years, we did both summer and winter/spring camps. But this year, we have not yet secured the budget for a winter/spring camp. So please help. Your contributions will make difference.

Improvising with professional actors
Improvising with professional actors
Scanning their upper bodies to make 3D selfies
Scanning their upper bodies to make 3D selfies
Excursion in Enoshima-Kamakura area
Excursion in Enoshima-Kamakura area
Presenting their ideas of the future
Presenting their ideas of the future
A group photo at the university campus
A group photo at the university campus

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Do not feel... Think!
Do not feel... Think!

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

This summer again, we will hold two summer camps at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University. We have named the camps "Academy Camp 2017 Summer - Building up the Next Generations", which will feature digital fabrication, deep learning, digital story telling, improvisation, and digital orienteering to Enoshima Island and Kamakura. We will invite about 50 elementary, junior high and high school students from Fukushima and Chiba altogether to spend 4-day camp each.

This time, we adults have only limited roles in planning the camps. We have been receiving proposals from student volunteers. During the camps, we will be staying at "Student-Built Campus (SBC)" section at SFC, where lodging facilities have been built by students who study architecture, but the very students who are engaged in the SBC project have proposed to host a workshop on digital fabrication. Other students, who used to participate in our camps as members from Fukushima have proposed a game to explore the campus at night. Students studying nutrition science are planning meals, and students are recruiting other students for the camps.

We feel that the next generations are indeed being built up.

We continue to feature technology in our camps
We continue to feature technology in our camps
We will visit Enoshima Island and the beach again
We will visit Enoshima Island and the beach again
Will explore the campus at night
Will explore the campus at night

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Simulating the view from the drone
Simulating the view from the drone

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

During the three-day weekend in March (18-20) in Japan, we had a "flying classroom" as Academy Camp 2017 Spring. It was our third camp staying in the "Student-built Campus" at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, in Fujisawa, Kanagawa. We had 26 children from Fukushima including four high school students who acted as sub-leaders. Three of them had priorly learnt how to pilot drones in a joint program between their town and Consortium for Co-Creation of Drone Collaborative Society, Keio Research Institute at SFC, which co-sponsored this camp with Academy Camp.

 

During the flying classroom, we flew many things like paper planes, drones, and some paper objects children designed by themselves. On the first day, after the orientation and team building session that involved designing paper planes to satisfy some conditions, we learnt the theory of lift considered to be correct utilizing materials by NASA, referring to some common misunderstandings. After that, we tried to verify the current theory using paper planes. On the second day, we trained ourselves to fly small drones, planned how to shoot aerial images by piloting a little bigger drone, and actually shot takes. On the third day, we held a contest for paper objects designed specifically to either 1) fall staright, 2) stay in the air for a long time, or 3) go far in the air. We tested them by dropping them from the second floor of a university building, and then made our challenges from the third floor. It was amazing to see how much children can achieve in such a short period.

 

After the camp, we received overwhelming messages of gratitude from parents. One parent told us that their boy wanted to learn more about drones, and began his research on the web. Another parent told us that their boy tried to explain her enthusiastically the correct theory of lift. We are glad that our camp seems to have worked as a good introduction to stimulate the children's curiosity.
Flying things are fun
Flying things are fun
Being taken video while running after it
Being taken video while running after it
Learning how to pilot and shoot from the air
Learning how to pilot and shoot from the air
Future engineer explains his winning design
Future engineer explains his winning design
Checking out from the class room
Checking out from the class room

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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
$160,353 raised of $200,000 goal
 
1,150 donations
$39,647 to go
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