AERONAUTICS ALP CUM CULTURAL IMMERSION LEARNING JOURNEY TO JAPAN 2019
As part of our school’s Aeronautics Applied Learning Programme, a group of 36 students and 6 teachers went to Japan from 22 Nov to 1 Dec 2019 to learn more about the aviation/aeronautics industry and advancements in the area of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The trip covered various parts of Japan, including Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Hamamatsu and Tokyo.
We visited many aviation museums in the various cities and regions such as the Tachiarai Peace Memorial Museum in Kyushu, Kakamigahara Flight and Space Museum in Gifu, Aichi Aviation Museum and Mitsubishi Regional Jet Museum in Gifu prefecture, JASDF Hamamatsu Air Base Museum in Hamamatsu and Tokorozawa Aviation Museum in Saitama. Through the museum visits, we learnt about the invention and history of aviation in general and in Japan, the Kamikazes in Japan’s World War II history, the physics of flight and aeronautics, the development and manufacture of modern aircrafts in Japan’s aviation industry.
We also visited Fukuoka and Nagoya airports to learn about airport operations. In Fukuoka, we went on a guided back-end of Fukuoka airport where we observed the day-to-day operations of ground crew as they prepare for an airplane’s departure and arrival. We were also treated to a bus tour of the runway and witness the take-off and landing of various aircrafts up close from a special gallery not open to the public. In Nagoya airport, we visited the Flight of Dreams theatre and All Nippon Airways (ANA) hangar. At the theatre, we came up close to a real Boeing 787 Dreamliner parked in the theatre. At the hangar, we saw first-hand how the various aircrafts belonging to ANA were serviced and repaired. The trip ended with a 2 hour hands-on drone workshop by drone experts where we tried our hands in controlling powerful drones and learnt about how Japan makes use of drones in the agricultural industry.
Besides aeronautics, we visited the Kewpie industrial plant in Kyushu where we learnt about the innovative automation and quality assurance in the production line of mayonnaise. We also visited several places of historical and cultural interest and experienced Japanese way of life. These include visiting Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park to learn about the tragedies of atomic bombs in World War II and hope for peace; viewing Mount Aso, one of the largest active volcanoes in the world; taking the Shinkansen bullet train from Fukuoka to Osaka; and spending a night of homestay in Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO world heritage site.
School visit is of course a must and we visited Suita Higashi Senior High School in Osaka, with the hope of establishing a long term partnership in cultural exchange. We were welcomed by the Principal and staff, went on a tour of the brand new school campus, observed lessons in progress and enjoyed a special interaction session with Japanese students. Our students taught the Japanese students how to fly a paper glider and the Japanese students in turn hosted quizzes and games.
The learning journey was an eye-opening and enriching learning experience for all. It has certainly raised our students’ interest in aeronautics and STEM further, as well as helped them develop the 21st century competencies of civic literacy, global awareness and cross cultural sensitivities as they gained a deeper appreciation of Japanese culture and history.