Hitachi

Stop Children From Moving Away From the Sciences! Hitachi High-Technologies Science Education Support Activities

The Hitachi High-Technologies Group contributes to developing the fields of science and research & development throughout the world by developing and selling electron microscopes and other state-of-the-art analytical equipment.

In addition, the Hitachi High-Technologies Group also contributes to growth in the fields of medicine and industry by developing and selling automatic blood analyzers, semiconductor production equipment, industrial manufacturing, assembly and inspection devices, units for inspecting overhead wiring and tracks for railway lines, and other state-of-the-art equipment, as well as selling materials targeting leading-edge industries.

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However, the younger generation is moving away from the sciences in ever-increasing numbers in recent years, and there are fears that there will be a shortage of manpower in the fields of science and R&D in the future.

The results of the 2010 Public Survey on Science, Technology and Society carried out by the Cabinet Office indicated that people in their 20s in particular had little interest in science or technology, and this trend has been continuing since around 1990.

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We have invited elementary school children to our offices to take part in hands-on experience events featuring electron microscopes in the past, although at that time the microscopes were rather large and a little too complex for the children to handle.

We started holding these events for elementary school children around the beginning of the 1990s. At that time, electron microscopes were much larger and more complicated to operate.

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We are determined to help children, who represent the future of science, to discover an interest in the sciences. We have to prevent children from moving away from the sciences!

Turning this desire into tangible equipment, we came up with the Miniscope® table-top electron microscope that requires little space and is easy to use. It was released on the market in 2005, and it has continued to evolve ever since.

TM-1000Released in 2005

TM3000Released in 2009

TM3030Released in 2013

TM3030PlusReleased in 2014

Use of the Miniscope® marked the full-scale start of Hitachi High-Tech’s science education support. Since then we have continued to loan equipment to science museums and provide ad-hoc lessons at elementary and junior high schools.

We have also established various initiatives to solve the problem of the younger generation moving away from the sciences by collaborating on exhibitions in science museums, providing equipment for use during academic activities, developing devices that infants and children can easily use, and creating opportunities for them to come into contact with scientific instruments.

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For example, we have introduced a large number of children to the fun involved in the world at the micron level—a world that provides few opportunities for them to observe—with the use of the Miniscope®.

And our activities cover not only to Japan, but also other regions of the world.We lend equipment free of charge to school events held in America, Germany, China and South Korea.

Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., collaborates in the promotion of STEM education (*1) and lends and demonstrates the Miniscope® at events held at schools and science museums. In Europe, Hitachi High-Technologies Europe GmbH has been lending equipment free of charge to the NanoTech Project (*2), which was launched in 2010 by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

*1: STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM education promotes policies for nurturing human resources in the fields of science and technology.
*2: A program in which trailers loaded with small experiment apparatus and science-related exhibits travel around the schools, universities and organizations in Germany to introduce to the general public the uses nanotechnology has in everyday life.

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We want to boost interest in the sciences and get more and more children ambitious to make new breakthroughs in hi-tech.

Convinced that we are on the right track, the Hitachi High-Technologies Group will continue to carry out its science education support activities into the future.