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“Monotsukuri” Making Things in Japan: Mechanical Engineering

Tokyo Institute of Technology via edX

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Overview

Utilizing a new kind of format in which learners engage in their own hands-on project as well as viewing video lectures and answer quizzes, this course introduces fundamental topics in mechanical engineering. Topics covered include thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and the dynamics of machinery. 

Learners will explore the fundamentals of propulsion by crafting a balsa wood steamboat (in Japanese, puff puff boat). By introducing Monotsukuri - the Japanese art of manufacturing - learners will come to understand the principles behind Japanese high-quality manufactured goods.

Interviews with craftsmen and student organizations guide the coursework and illustrate core concepts. In one example, learners experience a university competition on human-powered aircraft. This course is recommended for learners who want to explore mechanical engineering principles while gaining insights into Japanese philosophies of construction and design.

In this course, students are expected to engage in making a balsa wood steamboat.When making a boat, students should be careful not to cut themselves with a knife or tools, handle copper tube and candle with care. If students those who are concerned about the handling of tools and candle, please work with someone who is accustomed to using them. All children taking this course need to get permission to undertake this project by your parents and work with adults when crafting the boat. Tokyo Tech does not take any responsibilities for injuries or accidents which may happen when learners engage in making things related to this course.

Taught by

Hiroto Tanaka

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