Students challenged in solving problem, provided by corporations and organizations for 9-days

78 students from 14 universities from 8 countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and etc., attended a 9-day PBL event from December 12 to December 20. The aim of the program is to foster human resources to acquire problem-solving skills through the PBL activities.

Participants were divided into groups with students from different academic and different nationality, and challenged in finding solutions for the project themes through the PBL activities.

Project theme

9 corporations and organizations offer project themes.

  • Shizen Energy Inc.: How can we make RE100(Renewable Energy 100%) happen in the world in reality?
  • Sakae Seiki MFG.CO.,Ltd: To design a caster that can overcome small steps without having to perform a wheelie.
  • Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation: To propose new advantages of multilingual speech translation application.

Corporations and organizations cooperate in facility tours and in field work.

Not only propose ideas, but also challenge in prototyping.

Student participants (78 Students including TA from 14 Universities from 8 countries)

Japan 33 Shibaura Institute of Technology
(including 27 Japanese students,
 International students (from) Thailand 3, Vietnam 1, Malaysia 1, China 1)
3 Ehime University
1 Tokyo Denki University
1 Dokkyo University.
India 3 Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
1 Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Indonesia 6 Institute of Technology Sepuluh Nopember
Malaysia 1 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
3 Universiti Utara Malaysia
Singapore 4 National University of Singapore
Thailand 10 King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi
5 Suranaree University of Technology
Vietnam 5 Hanoi University of Science and Technology
Mongolia 2 Institution of Engineering and Technology


Japan India Indonesia Malaysia Singapore Thailand Vietnam Mongolia China Iraq Cambodia TOTAL
32 4 6 3 3 17 7 2 2 1 1 78

Orientation, and announcement of project themes

Project themes were announced by professors, T.A., and corporations.

Field work

The participants visited Nikko-Toshogu, one of Japanese world heritage on a field trip. And also visited a hot spring in Tochigi prefecture, Nasu safari park, Nasu animal kingdom and etc., heard a story from staff in the field work.

Each group checked the schedule, before leave for destination of field work
Field work in Nasu animal kingdom

Group work

Students divided into groups, and challenged in solving the problems which are "How can we make RE100 happen in the world in reality?", "proposing a system targeting for foreign tourists in Tochigi prefecture", and "Office syndrome remedying". Each group exchanged ideas actively and discussed products and service model in English.
After the field trip in Tochigi Prefecture, each group gave an interim presentation at Omiya campus.

each group gave an interim presentation at Omiya campus
On a group work, the participants made prototype with a corporation


First, President Masato Murakami sent a message to the participants.
Various ideas and solutions considering cost and budget, such as "generating renewable energy through public transportation", and "Game Apps aimed at activating the marriage activity in the background of countermeasures to the falling birthrate", etc., were proposed by the participants at a final presentation. Not only professors and students but also corporations and organizations seemed to be very interested in the practical ideas, actively made comments, and asked questions to each group's proposal and idea.
After final presentation, a video filmed during field trip in Tochigi prefecture of each group was screened, the students looked back on their memories of PBL, and the hall became lively.

President Masato Murakami sent a message to the participants
The participants actively made comments and asked questions to each group's ideas.

Comments from student participants

Masashi Ito (4th-year student, Machinery and Control Systems, College of Systems Engineering and Science)

I am not fluent in English, however, I decided to participate in this PBL because anyone can participate regardless of English level or Toeic score. I got a great experience through this PBL. Nasu and Nikko where I visited in the field trip made me feel good of distinctive atmosphere of countryside. Staff and local people treated us with kind hospitality. For instance, there was a little thing such as that they put a pause when I was explaining in English to overseas students. I think that the students felt the hospitality of Japan.
When I didn't understand what team member said, I actively tried to communicate conveying by gesture and using a translation function. In the same way, overseas students also repeated what they want to tell until I can understand, and also listened to me many times.
I was able to notice further importance of teamwork through this group work.

Kim Dung Bui (2nd-year graduate student, National University of Singapore)

It was a first time to participate in this PBL. I like that I go to working on the real project that can make the impact to our real life.
I think that the hardest part was language barrier. It took a lot of time for me to explain my idea to the other students. So, I started explaining my idea by drawing, and then it became much easier to talk to them. And also, they became more open to give idea.
I like Nikko, where I visited in the field trip, was really peaceful and people are very nice. And also, it gave me a different experience between busy city, Tokyo and Nikko.

Comment from corporation

Masaya Hasegawa (Shizen Energy Inc.)

I've been working on my job for over ten years, have gained a lot of knowledge and experience. On the other hand, I was noticed what those skills might have become a stumbling block and might have narrowed my horizon.
The students who are learning basics, challenged in solving problem which we provided, with a fresh idea, that was a very valuable opportunity for us.


Planning and Public Relations Section

3-9-14 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8548, Japan (2F Shibaura campus)