Jul 052013

ROBOT.SUMMER.SCHOOL.ANTHROBOTICEven Japan Needs Help With (some kinds of) STEM
Japan consistently ranks in the world’s top 10, if not top 5 of across several areas of standardized educational focus; the nation performs particularly well in math and science – sometimes hitting #1 – and that’s awesome and great for them. Apparently, endless rote memorization dictated by an I-Talk-You-Listen Confucian-style authority figure, the de-facto means of imparting knowledge over here, serves well in certain fields. Might sound a bit harsh, but still… it’s like, you know, true.

Now, when it comes to speaking foreign languages and fostering creativity, confidence, and original thinking, such bloated, top-heavy systems are, by and large, for shit. Ex: Japanese primary & secondary school curricula have for decades required English as a foreign language, to be studied for for no fewer than 6 six years (pre-university). However, in terms of statistical significance, effectively no one in Japan can speak English. Oh, and as for the creativity, confidence, and original thinking, look no further  than: Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, and Olympus.

Point being, on one hand there’s a river great success – Japan deserves all props for its educational, and therefore industrial and economic achievements – but on the other hand, there is a still pool slowly collecting dust, garbage, the occasional dying insect, etc.

That stagnant pool of anti-creativity is where programs like the NPO Hito Project’s Robot Summer School  step in and turn on a fire hose! Anthrobotic’s Chief Flabber Gaster has put together some information on this over at Akihabara News, so jump on over and get the details – perhaps even get a model for starting up a robotics, engineering, and programming summer school in your community.

Oh, and all kinds of love for you, dear Japan.
Just, you know, get it together, son!




Japanese Robot Stories: Honda and NHK for the Early June Win!
Dr. Kanako Miura Made Robots Walk Like Humans. She Will be Missed.
Japanese Robot Fiction: Inspiring Pacific Rim, Looking Cool, Existing in Vast Quantities, Etc.
Honda’s Got Robots, Sekisui’s Got Houses, and the Japanese Government has Cash
Sony Was Awesome at Robots; Not So Much With Reality