From February 17 to 22, Department of Environmental Engineering held the International Project-based Learning (iPBL) program with University of Palangka Raya (UPR), Indonesia. Eleven students from OIT and 13 Indonesian students joined the program and conducted several activities for research on the environment in a tropical peat swamp forest in Indonesia.
UPR is a national university which is located in the south of Borneo Island. 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. This was the fourth program.
On the first day of the program, the group of students was divided into three teams that were composed of Japanese and Indonesian students. The students of each team were instructed to collect materials for their research. Three subjects of their activities were as follows:
* Collection of phytoplankton
* Water survey
* Collection of photographic materials using a drone
On the following day, each team started doing their fieldwork on the tropical peat swamp forest in Borneo Island. The results of the fieldwork were shown in a presentation session by all the students of the three teams.
In addition to the fieldwork, all the students also participated in a firefighting session to protect the forest and visited a gold mining site to see actual working conditions there, learning about the problem of mercury pollution.
On the last day, all the students went to an animal shelter for orangutans as an excursion. After visiting the animal shelter, OIT students left Indonesia.
The next iPBL program will be held in Osaka. We will brush up the program, offering practical experience to students as always, and expect that this program will be even more fruitful.