STEM learning boosts interest at local schools in Tokyo

Volunteering - 12 April 2023

In line with Infineum’s Sustainability approach, Infineum Japan signed a partnership agreement with local authorities in Ohta City,Tokyo, to trial educational programmes that will encouragchildren to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at seven local primary schools.

Upon successful completion of the trial, these STEM sessions curated by the team could become part of the local school curriculum, like the programmes already run in other local areas by major Japanese multinational companies such as Toyota and Panasonic.

As part of the partnership, a team of volunteers from our site in Tokyo has recently visited two local schools to show pupils how learnings from STEM are relevant to our daily work at Infineum.

As part of the syllabus, children had the opportunity to learn the difference between water and oil in terms of viscosity, boiling point, and specific gravity through visual experiments. They could then see how additives work in fluids such as detergent, dispersant, antifoam, and pour-point depressant, giving them insights into the importance of additives. 

The team also ran an interactive session to give the children an overview of the automotive industry and an understanding of environmental problems caused by greenhouse gas emissions, explaining the crucial role additives play to reduce emissions. Then, pupils were asked to design sustainable cars of the future which had to be human-centric and environment-friendly.

The children participated in the activities with a lot of interest and both schools gave positive feedback to Infineum, thanking our volunteers for the valuable learning opportunities they offered.

Driveline Technologist Hirokazu Kiuchi said: “I was very impressed by the students’ presentation of their ideas on sustainable cars of the future, designed from unique perspectives with a lot of passion. Through our workshops, on one hand, we gave pupils a chance to see things from different points of view, and on the other hand, they filled us with their fresh thoughts and ideas. That’s what I enjoy about STEM volunteering!” 

Lubes Technologist Akihiro Kodaka said: “I was delighted to take part in this STEM education programme. It was challenging for our team to create 90 minutes of content from scratch, but it was worth it, given how much the pupils enjoyed it. 

I believe that STEM activities are an investment for our industry as we could influence children’s growth positively and I would recommend anyone at Infineum to take on this volunteering opportunity.”

The successful STEM sessions would not have been possible without the help of employees taking time out of their busy schedules to help prepare content and organise the workshops. They made use their “volunteering day” to participate in these STEM activities.

The volunteering day is a benefit offered to every Infineum employee globally and consists of an extra day of annual leave that can be used to support their community. It is part of our Sustainability approach and helps us deliver on the UN sustainability goal 3 in supporting people and communities.

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