Murata to foster logical thinking of students through programming education 

NewsArticleTitle

05/06/2019

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Chairman of the Board and President:
Tsuneo Murata     

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is launching a program to provide lessons to foster logical thinking for the upper grades of elementary school. The lessons are aimed at helping children acquire a programming mindset, the ability to think logically, ahead of the adoption of compulsory programming education in elementary curriculums in the 2020 academic year.


The new curriculum guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology , to be implemented at elementary schools starting in the 2020 academic year,  emphasize “voluntary, interactive, and in-depth learning,” and prioritize children’s learning through discussion and group activities. Programming education is being introduced as part of this learning in order to foster a programming mindset which can serve to help solve various problems, through the experience of “successfully giving commands to perform processing as intended.”


 


In the spirit of these guidelines, the lessons to be provided by Murata employees will teach children how to move “Sensei Robots” , having fun while developing a programming mindset. Through a process of trial and error, the children will issue various commands in order to achieve the desired actions over the course of two 45-minute sessions.


Flow of the Lessons
Lesson Flow  Practical Content  Learning Aim 
First Half  ・Learning about examples of programming in the real world
・Learning how to move the “Sensei Robots”
・Composing basic movements  
・Problem solving through discussion
・Increased familiarity with programming
・Implementation of “voluntary, interactive, and in-depth learning” 
Second Half  ・Composing advanced movements
・Team problem-solving discussion and examination of means of resolution  
・Cultivation of creativity through the combining of various commands
・Advanced problem solving via free thinking
・Acquisition of a programming mindset 

Concept images for programming on tablets (*Images are under development.)
  

                 


The lessons incorporate the essence of the “three pillars of talent and competency” consolidated within the curriculum guidelines as critical skills for children in a new era: “motivation to learn and human enrichment,” “knowledge and technical skills,” and “the ability to think, make judgments, and express oneself.”

The use of humans in the role of the robots is intended to make the lessons more intimate for the children. The single-mindedness and heroism of the “Sensei Robots” played by humans inspire the children’s “motivation to learn and human enrichment.” Furthermore, familiarity with electronic devices is becoming increasingly essential as IT grows more and more prevalent in society. By commanding the “robots” using tablet devices, the children can grasp the feeling of operation as well as communication and connection mechanisms, and thereby acquire “knowledge and technical skills” applicable to the real world. Discussing corrective approaches to address failure to achieve the desired actions and find problem-solving strategies allows the children to hone their ability to think, make judgments, and express oneself.

In addition, since the lessons need little space to run programming, requiring only Murata employees, tablet devices, and communications equipment, they can be implemented with very little burden on the school’s side.

The initial implementation schedule and outline of the lessons are as follows:

Outline of Lessons
Guest Lesson Name  Move, Sensei Robot!! 
Concept  Moving the “robots” is challenging, but fun!
Lesson Content  Teams of children transmit instructions combining various commands using a tablet device to make the “Sensei Robots” perform the desired actions. A programming mindset is fostered through a process of trial and error. 
Sample Tasks  ・Make the “robots” move from A to B (with obstacles along the way).
・Make the “robots” stand in a line at arm’s length.
・Make the “robots” imitate dogs, etc.
Sample Commands  ・Move one space forward
・Crouch
・Raise/Lower arms by 90°
・Kneel
・Tilt head forward/back, etc. 
Lesson Time  90 minutes (two 45-minute periods) *The guest lesson is conducted within a single day. 
Targeted Grades  Upper grades of elementary school (fourth through sixth graders)  
Number of Participants   Up to 36 participants
*Each tablet is shared by three children
Necessary Equipment 
・“Sensei Robot” parts (head units and eyes, noses, etc. of various shapes)
・Tablet devices
・Mobile-device-based Wi-Fi communication environment

Other  The Murata Cheerleaders(Murata Robot), products of a programming mindset, perform a cheer routine to encourage the children. 

 

Murata in Brief

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of ceramic-based passive electronic components & solutions, communication modules and power supply modules. Murata is committed to the development of advanced electronic materials and leading edge, multi-functional, high-density modules. The company has employees and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. For more information, visit Murata's website at www.murata.com