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"Monotsukuri" Making Things in Japan: Mechanical Engineering MOOC out now

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September 13, 2018

Tokyo Tech has been providing MOOCs* for everyone to enjoy since October 2015. So far, students from over 190 countries and regions have taken part in the six MOOCs that share the unique knowledge of the Institute.

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In July 2018, Tokyo Tech launched "Monotsukuri" Making Things in Japan: Mechanical Engineering, the Institute's latest MOOC on the edX platform. This short course examines the different forms of "monotsukuri," a broad term in use for roughly 1,500 years that encompasses not only manufacturing and the process of making things, but also the spirit of creation. Although the term has evolved with time, it continues to thrive in Japan.

Hands-on creation is a key feature of Tokyo Tech education. Therefore, unlike conventional MOOCs, which usually focus on video lectures, Tokyo Tech's latest MOOC aims to provide the foundations of mechanical engineering by having participants create their own physical items. The course is based on classes taken by first-year bachelor-level students at the Institute, and culminates in the creation of a self-propelling pop-pop boat. Video lectures on mechanical engineering by Associate Professor Hiroto Tanaka are sprinkled throughout the course.

Assoc. Prof. Tanaka
Assoc. Prof. Tanaka

Pop-pop boat Grand Prix
Pop-pop boat Grand Prix

Another highlight of the MOOC is a special lecture by Tokyo Tech Professor Emeritus Masahiro Mori, known as one of the founders of the robot contest. Interviews with craftsmen who have been engaging in mold manufacturing in Tokyo for over 40 years are also included. Members of Meister, the student club that builds man-powered airplanes, and the Society for the Study of Robotics, give their student perspective on the practice of technical ingenuity.

Special lectures by Dr. Masahiro Mori, emeritus professor at Tokyo Tech
Special lectures by Dr. Masahiro Mori,
emeritus professor at Tokyo Tech

Making metal molds for plastic models
Making metal molds for plastic models

Meister’s human-powered aircraft
Meister’s human-powered aircraft

NHK Student Robocon 2017 winner, created by Society for the Study of Robotics
NHK Student Robocon 2017 winner,
created by Society for the Study of Robotics

"Monotsukuri" Making Things in Japan: Mechanical Engineering is free of charge, and the Institute encourages all those interested to access the course.

MOOC

Massive Open Online Course. An online course that is open to anyone with internet access and free of charge. Since the launch of major MOOC platform in 2012, these online learning options have increased dramatically. In 2017, over 800 universities and higher education institutions provided over 10,000 MOOCs. At Tokyo Tech, the Online Education Development Office is responsible for the development of MOOCs which are then released on the edX online platform, established by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

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