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!




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
Japanese Robots aren’t Creepy, Everyone Else is Just a Little… Behind?