At Hitachi Research, the corporate statement “Inspire the Next” isn’t just a slogan, we put it to practice. The Global Center for Social Innovation- North America (CSI-NA) worked with the Hitachi, Ltd., Los Angeles Office, which sponsors a student poster contest as part of the “Los Angeles Times in Education” (TIE) program.
TIE is a program which provides e-newspapers and weekly lesson teaching guides for K-12 education. Hitachi is a long time sponsor of this program, supporting study units for grade 6-12, as well as a Student Poster Contest which encourages students to reflect on changes happening in the world. Past themes have included “Climate Change” and “Smart Cities.” The theme for the 2017-18 Hitachi poster contest was “Robotics,” where students were asked to think about “a problem in their community and to design a robot that would help overcome that problem.” Over 350 entries were received. Ms. Lori Gage of the Los Angeles Office, who led the activity, was amazed by the ingenuity and creativity of the entries which reflected student awareness on a wide range of societal issues from natural disasters to social issues such as homelessness, healthcare, and environmental issues such as water pollution.
The Robotics Team from CSI-NA was invited to be part of the panel to judge the entries. Drs. Masahito Togami, leader of Robotics Team and Prasad Rallapalli, Senior Director of the IT Platform Systems Lab took on what turned out to be a daunting task of having to select the grand prize winner for the junior (Grade 6-8) and senior (Grade 9-12) age groups, from among the finalists for each grade. The Robotics Team was very impressed by the high quality of the entries and the students’ creativity and critical thinking in relation to robotics solutions, so it was not an easy decision to select the finalists.
Judges from left: Dr. Togami, Dr. Rallapalli and Ms. Lori Gage
Dr. Rallapalli and Dr. Togami holding the Grand Prize winning poster
– Healthcare Robot (Grade 6-8)
Dr. Togami, Yanfang Yu and Dr. Rallapalli holding the Grand Prize winning poster
– Ocean Pollution Cleaning Robot (Grade 9-12 Group)
CSI-NA is planning to participate in Hitachi Science Day, another Community event later this year.