The Ricoh Science Caravan

Discovering the wonder of science with the Ricoh Science Caravan

  • Ricoh Group / Japan

The caravan car runs with educational equipment
A participant in the Ricoh Science Caravan

The Ricoh Science Caravan is a hands-on program designed to help children develop an interest in science. At each Caravan event, employees from nearby Ricoh Group offices who enjoy interacting with children take charge of organizing activities on a voluntary basis.
"Pretend you are a copier" is a popular program that lets children learn about the six-step copying procedure (the mechanism by which an image is duplicated through the use of static electricity) through experiments.
As we receive more and more requests to run this program, the number of children who participate increases every year. In fiscal 2011, the program attracted 17,773 students, roughly six times as many as 2007, when the program was amended. Leveraging the Group's technologies, human resources, and expertise and working in cooperation with local communities, this program has evolved to become one of Ricoh's benchmark social contribution activities. Science Caravan on the Web reports on the activities throughout Japan and responds to children's questions in its "Q&A on the Mysteries of Copiers" section.

Implementation flow

Step.1

Step.1

An instructor teaches several key copying processes using very easy-to-understand illustration. (there are no characters in the illustration)
For example, we explain that "static electricity" near us is very meaningful for copying process in the illustration
Step.2

Step.2

We ask all children to freely draw any designs (animals or animated features) they like on a piece of paper. Their parents can also join this design making with children and I see it is one of the most enjoyable time of the whole program.
Step.3

Step.3

Now the next step is "the bodily feeling of each key copying process one by one“ hand-carrying the drawings into the experimental equipment. The key copying processes we show are "electric charging", "Exposure", "Development", "Image Transfer", "Fusing" and "Cleaning".
Step.4

Step.4

At the last step of experiment, we copy those drawings onto a 16 piece cut of labeled sheet with our digital color MFP. The single-color drawing is copied out on every 16 piece cut and total of 16 small drawings on one A4-size sheet will appear. The sheet is very beautiful and all children are very much impressed by the color output because the drawing is their own original design.
Step.5
Finally we ask parents and children to fill out a simple questionnaire sheet before they go home.
The children can take the labeled sheet home as souvenir and put any piece of label on a different places at home, such as on a desk, on a wall, on a bag etc. As mentioned above, the parents and children are so happy to get the labeled sheet and it made me so delighted to see their happy faces after the experiment.

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