Safecast workshops in Aizu, Fukushima

Above: A young participant at the Aizu University workshop builds a kGeigie.

In December, Safecast held two interesting workshops in Aizu, Fukushima. As we often point out, this kind of educational outreach, which first began as informally-organized workshops and discussions, has become an increasingly important part of Safecast’s activity. Because of this we’ve developed workshop “packages” than can be modified to suit various age ranges and group sizes. One is what we call our basic “citizen science” workshop, which has three modules: 1) Introduction to citizen science ideas and the Safecast project, 2) Basic hands-on introduction to radiation, and 3) building a simple kGeigie radiation detector. We initially developed this format for the Mori Kids Summer Science Workshops, and have gradually refined it. Our other primary workshop type teaches people how to build and use bGeigie Nanos. We’ve done dozens of these around the world with many age groups, and Safecast members outside of Japan have been able to orgnize their own as well.

The final session at the Nishiaizu Art Village workshop.

One of the Aizu workshops was held at the Nishiaizu Art Village , housed in an old converted school building in this small mountain town, where we also installed a Pointcast realtime radiation sensor. The other was held at University of Aizu, and was funded as part of a generous sponsorship program from CLSA through which Safecast will conduct educational activities at six Fukushima schools this year. Both were initiated by Jun Yamadera, a native of Aizu and CEO of software development company Eyes Japan, who has been a key Safecaster since 2011. The Aizu Unv. workshop was additionally organized by Prof. Michael Cohen of the Spatial Media Group, Computer Arts Lab. Safecast intern Philipp Heise was a big help on all aspects of these workshops, and posted an informative report on the Eyes Japan blog. Philipp is in his 7th semester at the Hochschule Düsseldorf, University of Applied Science, studying media informatics. He arrived in Japan on the 6th of September for an internship at Eyes Japan, but was “loaned” to Safecast about a week later. His very productive time in Japan ends next week.

Philipp’s Aizu workshop blog post:

Safecast Workshops in Aizu

Philipp also blogged about the Safecast hackathon, held in Tokyo from November 30th through December 7th last year. Many thanks to Philipp for his big contributions!
Safecast Hackathon 2018

Aizu University workshop participants hard at work.

Aizu is very snowy in December.

About the Author

Azby Brown

Azby Brown is Safecast's lead researcher and primary author of the Safecast Report. A widely published authority in the fields of design, architecture, and the environment, he has lived in Japan for over 30 years, and founded the KIT Future Design Institute in 2003. He joined Safecast in mid-2011, and frequently represents the group at international expert conferences.