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
Learnt how to pilot a drone (2016 summer)
Learnt how to pilot a drone (2016 summer)

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We are now preparing for our first camp this year, going to be held on March 18th-20th at SFC (Shonan Fujisawa Campus), Keio University, continuing from the two camps in the last summer. This time, the camp is named "Academy Camp 2017 Spring - Flying Classroom". We will feature some of the flying things that children can handle, and let them make challenges that have no answers yet. Meaning, we together will be doing science on those flying objects. About 25 children from Fukushima are expected to participate in the camp. Applications are already full, and we hear from the parents that the children cannot wait to be in the camp.

In this report, let us look back some of our past experiences with flying objects at Academy Camp: in 2012 summer (term 1), we put a kite chain in the sky, on each of the kite we had a dream of one child (instructor : future artist Mr. Endo). In 2012 summer (term 2), we enjoyed a hot-air baloon ride (instructor : Saga Balloon Pilot Association). In 2013 summer, we did fly to Taiwan for a camp helped by YMCA Taipei and other people in Taipei. In 2014 winter, although we did not fly them with children, we made paper planes in our volunteer training session. 2014 spring was our first encounter with drones, with help from Eyes, Japan and the University of Aizu. In 2016 summer (both term 1 and 2), we learnt how to pilot small drones.

Now we will have the whole camp dedicated to flying objects. Why are we so fascinated by those flying things? While writing this report, we found a work by 326, a Japanese poet, along with the instructions for the hot-air balloon ride we experienced, which went like this: "Those who never give up are the only ones who can fly someday. It's OK if you cannot do certain things today. We call those things you cannot do today 'possibilities'." We are looking forward to seeing children's possibilities becoming reality.

A kite chain experience (2012 summer)
A kite chain experience (2012 summer)
A hot-air balloon experience (2012 summer)
A hot-air balloon experience (2012 summer)
We did fly to Taiwan (2013 summer)
We did fly to Taiwan (2013 summer)
We used paper planes for training (2014 winter)
We used paper planes for training (2014 winter)
Inspected a big drone (2014 spring)
Inspected a big drone (2014 spring)

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Working on an idea for an IoT application
Working on an idea for an IoT application

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

The term 2 of Academy Camp 2016 Summer "Study in the Future" was held from August 18 to 22, at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, with 21 elementary and junior high school students from Fukushima.

In the term 2, we had "Human Rights for Robots Workshop" where we simulated a UN committee in year 2036 to discuss whether robots need to have human rights, "Cameras and Internet of Things" where we controlled cameras and sounds according to information from sensors, "Catch'em All! Enoshima Digital Orienteering" where we utilized the structures of "POKEMON GO" to explore Enoshima island, "Game de Education" where we played games for learning using artificial intelligence and so on with students from Future University Hakodate, "Drones : Secrets of Flying Robots" where we learned how drones fly and actually competed with one another with a relay race, and finally, we all, including the children and student volunteers, thought about our future with AI, robots and automation and how these will help realize our own dreams and presented our ideas to one another.

Very late at the first night of the camp, unfortunately, a girl fell off from the bunk bed, and broke her clavicle. After immediately visiting hospitals and getting diagnosed and treated, the injured child were taken back home before conclusion of the camp. Academy Camp takes this accident seriously, and will continue to work hard with the university to prevent such accidents from happening again.

While we ourselves need to learn more, we hope that the experiences in this camp gave the children chances to think about the upcoming changes in the society to which they can look forward.

From Staff Reflection Sheet - "Presents from the Children"

I myself could learn a lot of stuff during the camp, including the fun of playing with children and responsibility of looking after them. I have become to like children more. It was interesting to see the differences of children's attitudes and what they would talk about depending on their ages. In this camp, a girl was injured at the first night, which made me feel insecure first, but I could apply what I learned in the Pediatric Nursing class in reality, and I thanked that I learned in the Faculty of Nursing and Medical Care here in this university. A girl stayed in the same room with me game me a matching bracelet.

I would like to name the collection of all these episodes "Presents from the Children". Because I received many, including a real present.

- Reina (Faculty of Nursing and Medical Care, Keio University)

From a Parent

Thank you very much. Before saying "I'm home", my son said "I'm going to the winter camp, too". I felt that he had grown, having listened to him expressing different thoughts about the camp than before. In spite of the typhoon, children were brought back safely with fun memory, because of the efforts of your staff. Thank you very much once again.

Discussing robots' rights, representing a country
Discussing robots' rights, representing a country
Presenting her idea of a trick using IoT tags
Presenting her idea of a trick using IoT tags
Seeing how stably she can stand
Seeing how stably she can stand
Playing a game by which they can learn
Playing a game by which they can learn
Controlling a flying drone to race
Controlling a flying drone to race

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Driving the running drone
Driving the running drone

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

The term 1 of Academy Camp 2016 Summer "Study in the Future" was held from August 5 to 9, at Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC), Keio University, with 22 elementary, junior high and high school students from Fukushima (1 from Chiba). There was only one high-school-student participant, and she acted as a subleader in the camp.

In the term 1, we had "Artificial Intelligence Workshop" where we learned about game AI by experiences and actually played a game with one another using computers made out of paper (lecturer : Yoichiro Miyake-san from SQUARE ENIX), "Be an interpreter of various information" where we communicated shapes and faces to the visually impaired lecturer with words and sense of touch (lecturer : Shingo Morii-san from INTEC), a live performance of improvised comedy in which children also played roles (lecturers : 6-dim+), "Catch'em All! Enoshima Digital Orienteering" where we utilized the structures of "POKEMON GO" to explore Enoshima island, "Cognitive Technology" where we learned about deep learning and presented our ideas of useful AI applications (lecturer : Masanobu Takagi-san from IBM Japan), "Drones : Secrets of Flying Robots" where we learned how drones run and fly and actually competed with one another with a relay race (lecturer : Masaki Minami from Keio University and Academy Camp), and finally, we all, including the children and student volunteers, thought about our future with AI, robots and automation and how these will help realizing our own dreams and presented our ideas to one another.

We hope that the experiences in this camp gave the children chances to think about the upcoming changes in the society to which they can look forward.

From Staff Reflection Sheet - "Treasure Every Encounter"

What gave me the strongest impression in the camp was communication with other travellers during the orienteering in Enoshima. We didn't know what would happen until we started, but with all that, I think members (children) had a chance to know how fun it is to communicate with people.

If I must name the episode, you know, I would say "Treasure Every Encounter".

- Ryota Morikawa (Faculty of Education, Shizuoka University)

Dance to the rhythm of Zumba
Dance to the rhythm of Zumba
Playing a "computer as a card game"
Playing a "computer as a card game"
Communicating a face with the sense of touch
Communicating a face with the sense of touch
Improvising a play with a professional actor
Improvising a play with a professional actor
Exploring the Enoshima island
Exploring the Enoshima island

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University Student Volunteers at Training
University Student Volunteers at Training

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We will hold our first series of camps at SFC (Shonan Fujisawa Campus), Keio University, in Fujisawa City this summer, from where many student volunteers for our camps have come, and at which two of our directors work. The first term will be held through Aug.5-9, and the second term through Aug.18-22.

We have named the two camps "Study in the Future". But the future is what children will make. So what we hope is that those children from Fukushima will realize it through experiencing the challenges of researchers on the cutting edge as real attempts to make the future and knowing that they can be part of these challenges.

We hope that the children will feel the future in the making through many aspects of the camps. We will stay at a lodging facility that is part of SBC (Student-Built Camps) at SFC - university students have built the building, and they will continue to build a researchers town around the facility by themselves, with help of digital fabrication technology. We will hold many workshops in the themes of robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, and how they can change the world with these, as well as art and physical activities such as improvisation theatre and zumba dance workout. Also, we will go to Enoshima Island to have fun with an outdoor augmented reality game.

We are working hard in preparation of the camps where children will prepare for making the future by themselves.

THANK YOU FOR FUNDRAISING

We thank all contributions to fundraiser "The Mt. Fuji Challenge" - a climbing team of managers of a company is hiking up Mt. Fuji for raising funds for our cause. We appreciate the efforts very much.

In fact, as of writing this report, they are at Mt. Fuji right now, and we can see the mountain from SFC and our camp headquarters that is also located in Fujisawa City. We wish them the best.

The funds will be used for the summer camps "Study in the Future". The future is what we together will make.

Where We Will Stay - SBC (Student-Built Campus)
Where We Will Stay - SBC (Student-Built Campus)
One of Our Past Experiences with Drones and Robots
One of Our Past Experiences with Drones and Robots

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Feeling sounds under simulated deafness
Feeling sounds under simulated deafness

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We had our first "Inclusive Camp" on March 12 and 13 in Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture, in which we tried to "do science on can't see and can't hear". The camp was targeted for students of the upper grades of elementary school, junior-high and high school in Fukushima, and visually and hearing impaired people in Kanto and other areas. Mr. Hatsuse, a blind judo master who made it to the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, also joined the camp, affectionately known as "Hacchan" to the children and our staff members.

"Barrier-Freedom of Mind" was the theme of this camp, in which we named ourselves with "sign names", explored the venue blindfolded and made maps of the venue to communicate with visually impaired people, played a piece of rhythm music wearing ONTENNA, a device that lets you feel sounds through your hair, and created new "super human sports" together that anyone can enjoy regardless of physical conditions. Through these activities, we thought about construction of an "inclusive" environment where anyone can pursue joy and happiness without discriminations.

A high school student who participated in this camp wrote "Now that I've experienced, I think I understand how disabled people feel." From an administrative point of view, we have learned a lot from this camp having watched children and disabled people quickly get warmed up to each other. We will continue to pursue the theme.

CAMPAIGN CONTINUES - IN MEMORY OF THE FIVE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE DISASTER

We are with pains and sorrows of those people in the affected areas of the recent series of earthquakes in Kyushu island, Japan. While the earthquakes still continue to happen, efforts go on for them to take back their ordinary lives, and we do what we can ourselves. Meanwhile, Tohoku still needs your support.

GlobalGiving UK is holding "Japan Match Campaign" for projects for Tohoku with 50% match for your donations up to £600 GBP per donor per project. There still is more than £7,000 GBP left in the matching funds.

The campaign started on March 11, and is continuing until the end of May or when matching funds run out. This is a great opportunity, serving as a memorial to the five-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, whose effects are still ongoing while we continue long-term recovery efforts. Please consider giving, and support children in Fukushima and Academy Camp to go beyond just recovery, and to build more hopeful future for the next generations.

 

Having fun with the blind judo master
Having fun with the blind judo master
Naming ourselves with sign language
Naming ourselves with sign language
Exploring the venue under simulated blindness
Exploring the venue under simulated blindness
Trying to create a new sport anyone can enjoy
Trying to create a new sport anyone can enjoy
A safeguarded extreme sport
A safeguarded extreme sport

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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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