Face CASE32 Face

Honda Technical College Kansai

Instructor Motoya Nakamura, supervisor of the Cleanup Committee

Instructor Motoya Nakamura, supervisor of the Cleanup Committee

The annual school festival

The annual school festival

Growing awareness of the connection between recycling and resource efficiency

 "Activities like the waste separation project and school festival have definitely helped to raise student awareness of recycling," stated Motoya Nakamura, an instructor at Honda Technical College Kansai who serves as advisor the Cleanup Committee.
 "Until coming to this school, the students saw trash as something you simply throw away. The Cleanup Committee spreads awareness of waste separation to the student body by explaining why separation and recycling is necessary. Separation is time-consuming and difficult work, but the students—especially the students in the Cleanup Committee—are taking the initiative in separating their waste. If the students can fully grasp the fact that looking closely at the waste you produce, separating it thoughtfully, and reusing and recycling it is the most effective approach to using resources efficiently, then that's sure to come in handy in their future careers."
 What changes have the Cleanup Committee members noticed through their activities at the school?
 "I was already careful about separating my trash at home, but I had no idea that waste could be separated into so many types and then reused," Hase said. "Separating it into 21 types was annoying at first, but recycling helps ensure that resources are used effectively, so I'd like to continue doing it ever after I graduate."
 Ishikawa's response: "I didn't pay any attention to [waste separation] in my own life, but at Honda Technical College Kansai I've been learning about waste separation and the importance of recycling, so now I really enjoy doing it. Personally, I'd like to see how far I can take it [smiling]. I plan to keep recycling even after I get a job."

Yuto Oki, third-year student in the Automobile Design program and member of the Cleanup Committee

Yuto Oki, third-year student in the Automobile Design program and member of the Cleanup Committee

Third-place winners of the Cost Analysis event in the U.S. 2013 Formula SAE competition

Third-place winners of the Cost Analysis event in the U.S. 2013 Formula SAE competition

Formula car mock-ups are made from recycled materials and parts used by past-year students

Formula car mock-ups are made from recycled materials and parts used by past-year students

Recycling efforts pay off in formula design competition

 As with waste separation, Honda Technical College Kansai is also a strong advocate of reusing materials and reducing the amount of waste it generates to being with. For example, signs and games such as pinball at the school festival are made from recycled materials and broken wipers.
 The Automobile Design program, in which students design and construct a formula car model over the course of three years, also practices recycling. Yuto Oki, third-year Automobile Design student and member of the Cleanup Committee, commented on the level of awareness about recycling he brings to his schoolwork.
   "From the very first year of school we develop the concept for a formula car and then design and build it. We start by building a full-size model, or mock-up, to help with making more detailed decisions, and for that we use cardboard, wood, plastic, and other materials taken from the waste separation room. For major parts like the frame, we try to use recycled materials as much as possible, for example by reusing parts used by students in past years."
  Students in the Automobile Design program enter the machines they build in an all-Japan student formula design competition in their second year, and then in a formula design competition held in the U.S. in their third year. This year, Oki's team finished an impressive third out of 80 teams in the Cost Analysis event of the Formula SAE competition held in Lincoln, Nebraska. They also scored the highest of any team from Honda Technical College Kansai to date—an extraordinary achievement.
  Oki: "We were thrilled about getting third place in the Cost Analysis event. One thing that helped us win, I think, was that we developed the machine concept to be as simple as possible, and then built it at low cost. In the Automobile Design program at Honda Technical College Kansai, students also manage the ordering of materials, and this allowed us to keep costs to a minimum. We used recycled materials for parts that required less precision."
 Building the formula car—and not to mention, winning third place in the Cost Analysis event—also struck home the importance of recycling for Oki.
 "Students in the Automobile Design program develop a habit of thinking about whether something—anything—can be used as a material as soon as they set their eyes on it. When that happens, you start to realize that even things in the trash bin might be of some use. You see something and you say, 'Oh, I could use this to make such-and-such part.' After I graduate, I'd like to use this experience to help create a world where nothing is wasted."
 In closing, we asked faculty and staff what impact these activities have on the students.
 Idosaka responded, "Everything the students learn at this school is new to them. If we get them into the habit of thinking about their effect on the environment while they’re here, they'll take an active role even when they go out into society. If their actions spread to others and help us build a better future, then I’d say we’ve done our jobs."
   Saotome: "Our mission is the same now as it's always been—to teach practical skills and curiosity to young adults who like cars and motorcycles and turn them into the technicians that society needs. This school is their last refuge before entering the real world, so we teachers and staff have the responsibility to teach them not only skills but also how to communicate with others, build trusting relationships, and do their jobs while being mindful of environmental issues. I have a strong desire to see our graduates take the spirit of this school with them and become accomplished engineers who represent Japan in an international setting."

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