From August 21 to 27, 2016, funded by Japan Science and Technology Agency’s Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science, OIT Department of Applied Chemistry invited students from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech), one of our partner universities in Taiwan, and hosted International Project-Based Learning (iPBL) program centering on creation of renewable energy. 15 students from each university participated in the program. Split into 10 teams, they worked on the project to make Quantum Dot Solar Cells and to improve their efficiency.
The project was started from the day after the arrival of Taiwan Tech students. After the opening ceremony, there was an orientation and a campus tour to see research facilities. To be prepared for the project, the lecture was provided in English, titled “Creation of Renewable Energy – Making and Evaluation of Quantum Dot Solar Cells.” In the welcome party, there was a tea ceremony performed by Japanese students. The female Taiwanese students experienced to wear Japanese kimono in the party, and they were cheerful all the time.
From the 3rd day, in the laboratory, they made CuInS2 Quantum Dot Solar Cells, drawing much attention these days as a photovoltaic material, and evaluated their characteristics. Each team engaged in active discussion in English about objectives and experiments of that day, and they knuckled down to the experiments by making trial and error. There was also an opportunity to discuss about energy and environmental issues. Each team did a presentation in English on how to improve the energy situation of Taiwan and Japan, and they exchanged their opinions about energy saving technologies and energy situation in the near future. The debate in English was very challenging to the students, but it provided a good opportunity to think about energy issues of the two countries.
On the 4th day, the iPBL participants visited Sakaiko Power Station and Sakai Solar Power Station of Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc. They looked close at the newest energy creation technologies by observing the high efficient thermal power station fueled by liquid natural gas (LNG) and the thin-film-type photovoltaic power station. In that afternoon, they visited Nara Park and Todaiji Temple guided by OIT students, and they deepened their friendship.
On the final day of iPBL project, each team did a presentation in English and discussed how to improve photovoltaic efficiency. Two teams were awarded for the best presentation, and everybody received a certificate of completion. Followed by the farewell party, the participants spent time for cultural exchange.
The Taiwanese students made remarks of enjoyment that they were able to study Japanese culture and visit many places. There was no doubt that the program was fruitful for both. We believe that these precious experiences will serve for their fulfilling student life.
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