At Murata, we believe that it is the responsibility of companies not only to pursue environmental conservation initiatives on their own, but also to disseminate the importance of protecting the global environment to the rest of society. Based on this concept, Murata has been giving classes at elementary schools and junior high schools since 2005, mostly in areas near its plants and subsidiaries.
Classes are based on such topics as the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) and prevention of global warming. To let the kids have fun while learning about the importance of resource recycling and global warming prevention, the lessons are given as quiz competitions with opposing teams.
With the growing interest in energy issues, Murata has also begun giving classes on "thinking about electrical energy" since 2011.
These classes use original experimental kits created by Murata to give the children firsthand experience, to see how creating power requires a lot of energy, and how the amount of electricity consumed varies with the type of electrical appliance. This lets them think about power saving and energy conservation and learn about the relationship with global warming mechanisms. These experimental kits come with an electric double-layer energy device (a type of capacitor) so that they can also learn the advantages of capacitors that are Murata's core products.
Let me give you a more detailed description.
1. Lighting up a regular light bulb and an LED bulb with a hand generator
The handle is heavy for the regular light bulb and light for the LED bulb,
so that children experience firsthand and understand how much energy is
needed to generate power and how different electrical appliances consume
different amounts of energy for the mechanism of turning on a light.
The children also have the concept of global warming explained to them
and learn the relationship with electricity and energy conservation,
to instill awareness of the environment in their minds.
2. Storing electrical energy in a capacitor and operating a motor
As capacitors are now a part of the sixth grade elementary school science textbook,
we also explain in an easy-to-understand manner the role of capacitors,
since they are our company's core products.
The following is the experiment for learning firsthand about storing energy in a capacitor.
3. Lighting up an LED bulb through a capacitor
When an LED bulb is attached directly to a hand generator,
it blinks on and off depending on the rotation speed.
Placing a capacitor in the middle causes the LED light to stay
lighted continuously, despite changes in rotation speed.
Through this experiment, children can see how capacitors
enable a stable supply of electricity.
The children are always fascinated when participating in these classes.
Some plants hold open invitations for employees to teach classes.
It is also a very stimulating experience for employees who have participated as a teacher,
and they learn a lot from the children as well.
As there is concern in recent years that the children who bear the earth's future are moving away from the sciences,
we hope that these classes will raise their interest in science and the environment and lead to new activities at school
and at home. We look forward to continuing these classes.
Person in charge: K. H., Corporate Communications Department, Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.