Will Shiba, Minato-ku Become a Mecca for STEAM Education?
Exclusive coverage of the hottest Shiba KOKUSAI and Laurus collaboration frontline!
Shiba, Minato-ku is home to NEC and other IT and programming companies.
Across from the NEC headquarters, a new school building is under construction that will become Shiba KOKUSAI Junior & Senior High School and Laurus International School of Science. Shiba KOKUSAI Junior & Senior High School and Laurus International School of Science, the largest international school group in the Kanto area, will open in Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Here is a report from the construction site.
Modern, open, museum-like campus
On the day the editorial staff went to cover the event, students in the highest grade of Laurus (G6: in their transitional period to the first grade of the middle school) were given a campus tour as part of their classes. The Laurus G6 class, Tokyo Joshi Gakuen Principal Mr. Kawazoe, and the eduJUMP! the editorial staff all took the elevator up to the roof first.
The top 11 and 12 floors, where the group first headed, will become a gymnasium, dance hall, music room, and rooftop tennis court in the future.
Below that, floors 7 through 10 will house the Laurus International School of Science. According to the Laurus principal, each floor has a theme: Ocean on the 7th floor, Planet Earth on the 8th floor, Singularity on the 9th floor, and Ad Astra on the 10th floor.
Each floor is in the process of being meticulously designed and detailed by Laurus STEAM instructors and staff, who are not only designing each floor according to theme, but also choosing designs for science rooms, makerspace, life library, art room, presentation room, and even the furniture and equipment. It is amazing to see the exhibits, flora and fauna, and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment that are being imported from all over the country and the world to attract the students’ interest.
Mrs. Hioki, the head of Laurus International School of Science told us, “Our campus’s goal is to be an amusement park of learning. We want to turn the entire school building into a hands-on museum, lab, and presentation space.
The ultimate goal is to make Shiba, Minato-ku a mecca for STEAM education by creating many places and mechanisms on each floor where students can experience, experiment, create, and present the latest technology.
The group walked from the top floor past the Laurus floor to the Shiba KOKUSAI Junior and Senior High School floor. 6F has a Japanese-style room called Seika-an, where students can learn about Japanese culture and have a relaxing time. Also on the same floor was a place that was supposed to be a multipurpose hall.
And while the fourth to fifth floors are regular classrooms, there is also an open space on the fourth floor where students can do individual and group work. I was impressed by the luxurious arrangement of the open space and multipurpose hall.
Passing through the third floor where faculty offices and multipurpose rooms are located, the first two floors are an open space with a grand stairwell, a large library, and a glass-walled lounge. The floor looks as if you are in Colombia University. Students may sit on the grand staircase and immerse themselves in reading, discuss their current projects in the lounge, or study for a test at a table by the window.