Laboratory Classes on the Wonders of Chemistry
Point three in the Mitsui Chemicals Group Social Activities Policy is, “Do its bit to nurture future generations, on whose shoulders the future rests.” In order to further this goal on a global basis, the Mitsui Chemicals Group launched the Laboratory Classes on the Wonders of Chemistry program.
Since 2006, we have organized various types of classes, from off-site classes, whereby members of staff from each of our sites go out to local schools, summer vacation events and festivals, to those held during tours round our works and research centers. Approximately 5,000 children took part in classes over the course of fiscal 2019.
Taking into account the interests and opinions of the participants, the Laboratory Class themes are determined and developed by the Head Office and the Sodegaura Center. The Head Office also provides support for the creation and maintenance of manuals allowing development of the program at domestic and overseas group locations. Accepting a suggestion from an external expert, we created a leaflet that children could take home to read and learn more about chemistry. In fiscal 2020, we plan to ask participants to complete a questionnaire after the class to help improve the contents of experiments to meet each school’s specific needs and challenges.
In recognition of these activities, we received the Catalysis Society of Japan’s 2015 Award for Education and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Award for Companies Promoting Experience-based Learning Activities for the Youth (Judge’s Commendation) in the large corporation category for 2015. In addition, we registered with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Support Group for Saturday Educational Activities Program and are working to spread education to even more children.
～ Educational programs in chemistry receive high marks ～
Experiment Workshop in Longmiao Hope Primary School in China
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its establishment in 2010, Mitsui Chemicals (China) Co., Ltd. donated funds to rebuild the old buildings of a primary school in the rural area of Anhui, China, as a part of the company’s social contribution project. The school renamed itself as Longmiao Hope Primary School and we have continued to provide support since then. In fiscal 2018, we donated funds to install flush Toilets and attendedthe completion ceremony held on October 10. Our employees also held an experimental workshop to create urethane foam and balloon slime. The children were totally engrossed in the experiment, which turns liquid into a solid material, fully enjoying the wonders of science! We will continue to support the local community through exchanges with Longmiao Hope Project Primary School.
Participating in a Summer Holidays Science Show for Children
On August 3 and 4, 2019, we participated and presented shows in Dream Chemistry 21– Summer Holidays Science Show for Children*, held in the Science Museum in Tokyo. At our booth, we demonstrated an experiment using a film made from our product, ABSORTOMER™. Some 240 primary school children learned about the features of this plastic and were amazed to see how the film expanded or shrank when it was soaked in hot or cold water.
*Dream Chemistry 21 – Summer Holidays Science Show for Children:
Hands-on scientific workshops for primary school pupils and their parents held during the summer holidays every year. These workshops are sponsored by the Dream Chemistry 21 Committee, comprising the Chemical Society of Japan; Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan; Japan Association for Chemical Innovation; and the Japan Chemical Industry Association. The workshops, developed by leading chemical companies in Japan, are specifically designed to entertain and educate children.
Laboratory Classes on the Wonders of Chemistry Experiments
*Experiment titles are subject to change.
|Foamy urethane experiment||
Related Group productsIsocyanate, PolyolParticipants watch urethane, the uses of which include cushion materials, pillows and refrigerator insulation, being foamed and experience reaction heat and differences in hardness
- Making your own slime
- Making jumbo slime together
- Shiny slime
- Slime ball
FieldPolymer propertiesBy making "slime" (i.e. cross-linking polyvinyl alcohol with water using borax), participants learn that water can be confined and about the gels around us in our everyday lives
|Light experiments with polarizing plate||
FieldLightParticipants learn about the passage of light through a kaleidoscope fitted with a polarizing plate that converts natural light into linear light, as used in mobile phones and other such devices
FieldAdsorption and separationParticipants learn that the ink in a water-based pen contains a mixture of various different colors (pigments)
FieldPolymer propertiesParticipants learn about the properties and separation of plastics, by using the heat shrinkable properties of polystyrene to make their own original accessories
|Let’s make Cartesian divers!||
FieldBuoyancyParticipants learn about buoyancy and pressure, by making a Cartesian diver from a PET bottle and a plastic soy sauce container
|Let’s investigate the properties of aqueous solutions using red cabbage||
FieldAcids and alkalisUsing anthocyanin extracted from red cabbage, participants investigate the properties of everyday liquids and learn about acids and alkalis
|Let’s make an air freshener using spongy polymers||
Related Group productsNonwoven fabricsParticipants learn about the principle of water retention, by making an air freshener from a water-absorbing polymer, as used in disposable diapers, gardening supplies and other such products
|Let’s make a rainbow tower||
FieldSpecific gravityParticipants learn about the specific gravity (relative density) of fluids, by pouring colored waters with varying concentrations together to make a tower
|Let's make a freezer!||
FieldHeat of solution
Related Group productsUreaParticipants learn about the principle of heat adsorption via the heat of solution of urea, as used in such products as fertilizer and moisturizing cream
|Learn how bubble bath works!||
FieldReaction of acid and saltParticipants learn about how carbon dioxide is produced, by making bubble bath from baking soda and citric acid
|Learn about acid rain!||
FieldAcids and alkalis, Oxidation / reductionParticipants learn about acid rain and what causes it, by measuring the pH using red cabbage extract and conducting a bleaching experiment using iodine
|Let's make paper!||
FieldRecycling / Making paper
Related Group productsAcrylamideUsing everyday implements, participants experience paper recycling from old paper and learn about papermaking and recycling
|Let's make small objects from melted plastic!||
Related Group products General thermoplasticsParticipants learn about the properties of thermoplastics, which melt when heated, by using a glue gun to melt resin and make small objects
|Experience the wonders of shrinking films!||
Related Group productsFilms, PET, etc.Participants learn about the principle of heat shrinkage, by using shrinkable film to attach labels and make their own PET bottle
|See the power of air!||
FieldHydrodynamicsParticipants learn about air resistance, by observing air rings emitted from an air cannon
|Let's make snow on pine cones!||
Related Group productsUreaParticipants learn about crystal deposition, by observing dissolved urea being sprayed onto pinecones and drying
|Let's make light like a firefly!||
FieldEnzymesParticipants learn about the difference between bioluminescence and chemiluminescence by making light using each of luciferase enzymes taken from fireflies and using mineral-based chemicals
|Let’s try and absorb oil!||
Related Group productsTAFNEL™Participants learn about the principles and how to use adsorbent materials, by absorbing only the oil from mixed oil and water substances They also learn about the impact on the environment of oil spillage
|Expand? Shrink? Disappear?!
Let’s look into the properties of mystery plastics!
Related Group productsABSORTOMER™Participants learn about the properties of a variety of plastic films, by taking steps to expand, shrink, and dissolve various plastics. They also learn about changes in polymers (plastics) attributable to temperatures