The AGC Group dispatches employees in its active areas to teach students about the characteristics of glass and chemistry, illuminating how interesting these subjects can be. By arousing interest and curiosity in glass and other materials, these lessons help foster the next generation of human resources in the scientific field.
From the Group's perspective, the lessons serve to publicize the AGC Group in various locations, aid recruitment and raise the motivation of the employees teaching the lessons.
Since 2010, the AGC Group has provided lessons at its Research Center for middle and high school students. The lessons focus on the history of glass as well as its physical properties, production methods and more. In FY2015, around 300 middle and high school students took the classes aimed at generating interest in engineering and a sense of purpose towards academia. As part of the lessons, students heard from researchers currently active in their fields. The teachers also shared their impressions, saying, “The reaction from the students was great,” and “I hope the students keep taking these classes in the future.” The Group will continue to provide the classes in 2016.
Although glass is familiar to all of us, many things about it are not well known. I provide people with an opportunity to learn about glass in a fun way. By introducing the students to functional glass, I highlight a part of the product development and corporate research process that could get them interested in the subject. It's often pointed out that people in Japan are moving away from the sciences, but I think that by showing how fun science and engineering are, we can get more people interested in becoming researchers and engineers.
Chemical Process Function
I tried to pass on a wealth of knowledge to the students while conducting some experiments with them. It was a meaningful experience for the students to interact with current company researchers. For example, after the lesson the students wanted to know more about the research process. They can use this information when choosing a career path in the future. I feel really motivated to carry on with the lessons. Not only do they generate more interest in science, but they also raise AGC’s public profile.
Every year since 2010, the Chiba Plant has offered classes to local elementary school students conveying the fun and wonder of chemistry through experiments. In 2015, "Chemistry Magic Survey Corps" teaching materials were used to introduce the chemicals found all around us and the power of chemistry to 125 elementary school students in an easy-to-understand manner.
Since 2011, AGC Electronics has sent employees to local elementary and middle schools to teach students about glass. Students and teachers are happy with the classes, with the students saying, "We learned a lot of interesting things," and the teachers saying, "The students have learned to take pride in the area where they live." These "business trip classes" have been taken up by the local media as initiatives contributing to science education in the region.
Since 2014, AGC Asia Pacific (AGP) has conducted a dialogue with high school students on sustainability, with the backing of the Green School Initiative (GSI), which is run by the Green Building Council, an organization promoting strategies for green buildings. In addition to providing seminars and showroom visits for high school students, AAP cooperates by supporting student education. In particular, they provide guidance at technical vocational school competitions for increasing energy efficiency in buildings.
Since 1990, AGC Flat Glass (Thailand) (AFT) has provided university students regular classes on glass technology and applications. The employees teaching the classes work in the manufacturing, marketing, sales and accounting departments. AFT believes that innovation and real-life experience help students better understand the subject at hand. Providing an opportunity to visit glass production lines is only the start. AFT gives students interested in glass a chance to learn about the entire manufacturing process. As a part of these initiatives, AFT also provides easy-to-understand presentations on how product improvements and innovation can help prevent climate change.
Since 2009, Asahimas Chemical (ASC) has invited local high school students to its plants to promote an understanding of environmental measures and employment policy in the chemical industry. At the plants, the students learn about proper handling of electricity and gas through hands-on equipment that illustrates associated dangers, and improve their knowledge and skills related to the livelihood of all people. ASC conducts these activities proactively, believing that they contribute not only to human resource development, but also to a deeper connection with the local community and the recruitment process.
AGC Chemicals Europe (AGCCE) has partnered with the charity Newground, creating an ‘Ecoteam’ in four local schools in Lancashire where AGCCE employees are assigned. Over sixty students are taking part in this project, in which workshops are provided on themes including the environment and sustainable society. Employees from AGCCE take part in the workshops as volunteers, where they illustrate the importance of protecting the environment and help the students work towards a Green Flag
In the United States, more companies are increasingly involved with education issues. One such company is AGC Chemicals Americas (ACA). Every year since 2012, ACA invites the local Downingtown STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Academy onto its premises. At the fourth such session in 2015, ACA conducted various tests and demonstrations using AGC products. Many students were eager to know how their interest in chemistry can be useful in the context of the activities of AGC and other companies. To this end, AGC employees spoke on their knowledge, experience, interests and work, as well as how education helps in forging a career and contributing to society.