September 27, 2017
From August 6 to 12, Department of Environmental Engineering held International Project-based Learning (iPBL) program with University of Palangka Raya (UPR), Indonesia. Ten students from UPR and eleven students from OIT joined the program and implemented several activities for research on the environment along the riverside in Osaka.
UPR is a national university which is located in the south of Borneo Island, Indonesia. The number of students is approximately 13,000. It offers undergraduate and master’s programs in engineering, agriculture, education, economy, and law.
OIT has collaborated with UPR to hold iPBL programs since 2016, and this is the third program since then. It is noteworthy that this program was selected for Japan-Asia Youth Exchange program in Science by Japan Science and Technology Agency, and funded by the government of Japan this year.
On the first day of this program, participants were divided into three groups with nearly equal number of students from each university, and each of the three groups was given one of the three different projects: “Estimation of evaporation over the water area in Osaka”, “Search for oil-producing microalgae in the water” and “Filed research on water quality and sampling plan in the River Yodo.” After the opening ceremony, all the students attended three special lectures, “Energy related technology topics in Japan”, “Waste management in Japan” and “Water resources and water supply system.”
On the following days, the groups went to the river Yodo and the channels of Osaka Castle to collect water samples for their research. Coming back to the laboratories in OIT, they analyzed the collected samples and discussed their assessments to be reported in a debriefing session at the end of the day. In addition to the fieldwork and analysis work, they visited Osaka regional headquarters of Japan Meteorological Agency and Abeno-Harukasu, a landmark tower in the south of Osaka City to study facilities with high-end environmental technologies.
On the last day, the three groups gave the final presentations on the results of their fieldwork and analysis to all the participants in this program.
Since all the activities in this program were carried out in English, OIT students experienced hard time to communicate with the members of their groups. However, the students seemed to find it possible to communicate with those who have culturally different background if they share common knowledge of Environmental Engineering, understand some important technical words and phrases, and possess a positive attitude towards mutual understanding.
OIT will continue this kind of program to promote further collaboration with overseas partner universities.