Nurturing Future Generations
The future rests on the shoulders of adolescents and children. With that in mind, we carry out various activities aimed at teaching the young that chemicals are all around us, and showing them how fun, interesting and mystifying chemistry can be, as well as getting them interested in science, and inspiring them to create the technologies of the future.
Cosponsoring of Robotics Competition
Mitsui Chemicals cosponsors the Japanese championship of FIRST LEGO League* (FLL), one of the world's largest robotics competition. Mitsui Chemicals supports FLL’s idea of providing children with an opportunity to experience the excitement of solving issues in the real world while applying STEM concepts and active learning.
We participated in the booth exhibition in fiscal 2019. In line with the FLL 2019–2020 theme of City Shaper, Mitsui Chemicals ran a booth exhibiting Toughness coat™, a polyurea resin produced and sold by Mitsui Chemicals Industrial Products Ltd. that helps to extend the life of concrete structures such as tunnels. The booth also served to showcase a power assist suit produced and sold by Power Assist International Corp. that uses Mitsui Chemicals components to achieve light weighting. In addition, Mitsui Chemicals ran activities as part of its Laboratory Class on the Wonders of Chemistry program. This included pouring colored water of different densities into test tubes to create colorful layers – an experiment that served as a lesson on the specific gravity of liquids and attracted many children to the booth. By teaching these children about the existence of resins that can improve the lifespan of structures, as well as the fact that liquids with the same volume can have different weights depending on their density, Mitsui Chemicals hopes that the day will have served to pique their interest in science further.
Although the fiscal 2020 competition unfortunately had to be held online due to COVID-19 pandemic and we were unable to run exhibition booths, etc., we continue to sponsor the online competition.
*FIRST LEGO League (FLL):
FLL is one of the world's largest robotics competitions sponsored by FIRST, a nonprofit organization in the United States, and the LEGO Group (the Japanese championship is sponsored by For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). FLL is currently held in more than 98 countries around the world, and the number of students participating in FLL is more than 320,000. Two to 10 children make a team to participate in the robotics competition and conduct scientific research and its presentation based on the theme of the competition. Top teams at the championship in each country will qualify for the world competition.
Receiving Internship Trainees
The Mitsui Chemicals Group accepts internship trainees at each of its offices and business affiliates.
Sun Medical Co., Ltd. participates in the All Shiga de Internship program* since fiscal 2018. Held by Shiga Prefecture, this program is designed to help university students living in the prefecture develop a clearer idea about their future career through internships as well as spark the interest of students in local companies. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, from September to October in fiscal 2020 only one trainee was accepted for the online internship from Kyoto Koka Women's University and one from the University of Shiga Prefecture, with the schedule reduced to five days. In the presentation meeting held on the last day, the students gave their reports on how the appeal of Sun Medical can be communicated effectively in the drive to recruit talented students. There were proposals unique to young people, such as the effective use of social media, that inspired new ideas among employees attending and helped them re-examine their own work performances. This program is expected to continue in fiscal 2021.
*All Shiga de Internship program:
A program to support corporations and agricultural organizations in the prefecture to secure human resources by promoting their businesses among candidates and advising on recruitment strategies. This internship program is managed by the Shiga Internship Promotion Council to cultivate a practical viewpoint in students about employment and develop an understanding of local companies through prefectural internships, thereby encouraging students to choose to work in Shiga and matching the needs of students and corporations.
Cooperation in Experiential Study Programs for Teachers
Mitsui Chemicals accepts teachers as participants in Experiential Study Programs. Sponsored by the Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs, these training sessions date back to 1983. Geared towards teachers from elementary, junior high and high schools, the aim is for them to experience corporate activities, and to convey these experiences to the children who hold the future in their hands. The Company has participated in this program every year since fiscal 2006.
At the Program, the educators had the opportunity to learn about the Mitsui Chemicals Group’s corporate mission, corporate sustainability management, Responsible Care initiatives, and human resources development. They also saw a demonstration of the Laboratory Class on the Wonders of Chemistry. In addition to classroom lectures, they visited the production site and participated in hands-on laboratory training at the Mitsui Chemicals Plant Operation Technology Training Center. The educators at the Plant Operation Technology Training Center engaged in a lively exchange of opinions, including on the importance of “experience and feeling” as well as “taking notice of and giving thought to something.”
In fiscal 2020, we were not able to hold the programs due to COVID-19 pandemic; however, we will coordinate to restart the program with relevant parties.