Since 2022, National Institute of Technology, Fukui College (Fukui KOSEN) has been conducted Fostering next-generation Scientists Program that seeks to extend the abilities of young persons with outstanding talent and willingness in mathematics and science, and to produce future leaders in the field of science and technology. The program named “Fukui KOSEN type PBL for collaboration between traditional industries and digitalized generations” is supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency, JST.
In Fukui KOSEN, students experience problem-based-learning, PBL, to cultivate power of execution and motivation for course works. In the learning, they observe the company around the school, and trace business problems. Then, they consider solutions in group works and deliver the ideas.
This program involves similar process for 40 elementary and junior high school students to cultivate capacity for problem-solving and innovation for 2 years. In the 1st year, students of the program join workshops in traditional craft centers near Fukui KOSEN such as Echizen Japanese paper and Echizen traditional chest, and understand histories, techniques and present problems. Students also learn general and special subjects including ICT and IoT provided by Fukui KOSEN. Through the activities and some presentations about their interests, they decide the theme of sequential study. Then 10 students who can take the 2nd year are shortlisted among 40 students in the 1st year.
Each student is assigned to Fukui KOSEN laboratory working on related to their own theme, and studies supported by teachers and tutors.
So far, we had to change some workshops and lectures to remote operation due to COVID-19. However, we have found the validity of this program because participants made great presentation valued by external assessment committees.
In this paper, we describe the program detail even in COVID-19 situation.