Shimizu Open Academy
Shimizu conducts the Shimizu Open Academy to convey the joy in craftsmanship and the finer points of construction to young people.
This program received an Outstanding Practice award from the Architectural Institute of Japan in fiscal 2011 for its contribution to education, and received an achievement award from the Japan Association for Earthquake Engineering in 2013.
|FY 2016||Cumulative (as of march 31, 2017, since 2008)|
|Number of lecture participants||5,036||43,756|
|Number of lecture groups||147 groups||1,416 groups|
（as of March 2017）
"Adventures in Forest-building" Adopt-a-Forest Program
What is the Adopt-a-Forest Program?
Osaka Prefecture has around 56,600 ha of forest, covering one-third of the total area. Management of the forests has been neglected in recent years, and the number of degraded forests is increasing. Meanwhile the number of people who want to enjoy the forests is increasing, and there are calls for a venue for forest-building that can accommodate that desire.
In response to this, the Osaka prefectural government stepped in as an intermediary between businesses and forest owners and established the Adopt-a-Forest program to promote forest-building projects.
"Adventures in Forest-building" Project
The Shimizu Osaka Branch agreed with that objective and concluded an agreement with the Osaka Prefectural Government Senshu Office for Agriculture-Forestry Promotion and Nature Conservation and the Osaka Prefectural Youth Retreat, launching the Adventures in Forest-building Project in 2008. The goal of this program is to help children better understand the connection between the forest and humans by giving them hands-on experience, and to increase their communication skills with people.
Ten projects have been planned thus far and nine have been implemented, excluding one cancellation due to a typhoon (as of June 2014).
The key project activities are listed below.
- Number of projects: Once a year or more
- Participants: Local elementary school children who are in the 4th grade or higher and their families (approximately 50 people, invited through a general invitation)
Forest lab (nature observation, tree thinning, tree planting, etc.)
Experience working with trees, fallen leaves, and tree nuts and berries
Tree climbing (using a rope)
Children who participated in the usual tree climbing activity and made comments such as "It felt like I was floating in the air and was interesting," and "I was happy to be able to see the scenery."
We will continue this program, which provides a venue for children to enjoy time with their families while learning about environmental protection, etc.
Volunteer Woodworking Class in Minamisanriku
In the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture where Shimizu is performing construction work related to the Great East Japan Earthquake, Shimizu has held a volunteer woodworking class to acquaint children with the warmth of wood and the fun of craftsmanship every year since 2012, the year after the disaster.
Donation of Foreign Language Picture Books
The Hokuriku Branch donated foreign language picture books collected through the International Division to the Tamagawa Children's Library in Kanazawa City to have children learn more about foreign cultures through picture books.
The branch has conducted this activity since 2009, and has donated 752 books from 21 countries in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and elsewhere thus far. A Picture Books Around the World corner has been created in the library, and each month foreign volunteers use the corner to read books aloud to groups of children.
Lifelong Learning at Chuo City Community College
Since 2013, Shimizu has delivered one lecture a year in the lifelong learning course held by Chuo City, Tokyo. The course incorporates lectures and workshops that touch on the history and culture of the Chuo City area. We communicate the appeal of architecture to people in the community.
Teachers Accepted into Private Sector Company Training
Shimizu works with the Keizai Koho Center (Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs) on the Teachers’ training at private companies it holds each year. Teachers in their 20s and 30s from preschools, high schools and vocational technical schools take a three-day training course. After participants have learned about the construction industry and are given an overview of Shimizu through a lecture-style format, they tour our main office, the Institute of Technology, and Tokyo Mokkoujou Arts and Crafts Furnishings. They also visit a construction site to see actual monozukuri (superb craftsmanship) in progress, and experience the latest in construction technology for themselves.