"TOMODACHI Toshiba Science and Technology Leadership Academy" 2016 was a great success!

TTA is an annual youth academy for U.S and Japanese students and teachers in order to encourage cross-cultural, science and technology, engineering and mathematics’ (STEM) exchange as well as making friendship.

In this one week program, students worked together with assistance from fellow teachers and teaching assistants (alumni of TTA) to develop a disaster resilient, smart community for the future.

Engaging in activities that challenge them to propose solutions to problems faced by communities.

Using the Engineering design process, Tower/elevator building, Smart community assignments to each group as well as many outdoor activities such as learning about Toshiba’s leading innovations (Toshiba Science Museum, Tokyo Skytree elevators etc.) as an inspiration to further explore the technological field, acquire global skills and mindsets needed to contribute and thrive in a more cooperative and prosperous, secure world.

Day 1

Arrival, orientation and settling in of participants. Short orientation on the bus was held for the US participants, as well as distribution of name tags, luggage tags, distribution of handbooks, water and providing pocket Wi-Fi etc. Short orientation for the Japanese participants at the Yoyogi Olympic Center.

TTA staff members all met for a meeting regarding Day 1 and discussing program for Day 2.

Day 2

On Day 2 Opening ceremony was held at a room at Olympic Center. Opening floor by Patrick Adams, introduces TOMODACHI Toshiba academy.
He introduces himself and his school and then followed by Helene who introduces herself and her school as well.
They both are the facilitators of TTA 2016. Patrick, Helene and Jose open the stage welcoming students to TTA 2016.
Introducing the 8 selected participants from U.S and 8 participants from Japan.
Jose introduces four selected U.S teacher participants and four of the Japanese teacher participants selected. Theme of TTA 2016 was announced as “developing resilient and smart communities” also 4 important points which was mentioned by Helene was “Sharing respecting learning and practising patience”. Following the schedule, Speech Session by Toshiba, Toshiba International Foundation, U.S. -Council Japan, National Science Teachers Association, and NPO BeGood Cafe.

Day 3

On Day 3, Smart communities background study for their communities was the main theme of the day. The students and teachers were divided into four groups to research the city and present for the Final Presentation.

Day 4

On Day 4, Students had an opportunity to learn about Toshiba’s history, its contributions to developing innovative technology that have enhanced the lives of many over the last 140 years since its establishment. Students also learnt about present and future (developing and in process) technologies in order to give students hints on their final presentation for their smart communities.

Day 5

Day 5 was started on a Lecture on Disaster Mapping by Mr. Furuhashi from Aoyama University - He asked that the application, “maps.me” be downloaded on ideas for students to make a demo of mapping their environments. The participants were headed to Asakusa, where they enjoyed not only delicious Tempra-don for lunch but also Japanese culture such as Omikuji (fortune teller), Temples, Kakigoori (shaved ice dessert) in the area. Lecture at Skytree about the building, the view from the deck were also highlights of the day.

Day 6

Day 6 started with a morning exercise by Jose. Meiji Shrine, Harajuku walk and Okonomiyaki lunch were good breather for the participants. Coming back by a Tokyo metro Chiyoda-line to the Center, the students were taught about different forms of alternative energies that can be used in their smart communities. Alternative energy sources are renewable. Students presented and received feedback from the judges.

Day 7

Day 7, Final Presentation by the four groups of students, and teachers. The Closing Ceremony was also held. After “reviewing for the next day” by Betty, the Closing Party was held at Café Friends. They went back to the accommodation’s common rooms to spend their last night in Tokyo.

Day 8

Day 8. After having breakfast at Café Friends and picking up their luggage, all were headed to the bus stop.This is the last day of TTA but not the last time we see each other – Good bye for now, and see you soon our Tomodachi!