As the Space Education Center of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) entered its sixth year of operation following its establishment in May 2005, it continued to enhance its activities both in terms of quantity and quality to ignite children's curiosity toward the nature, life and the universe and to inspire them to achieve higher goals. Recognizing "space" as the unique source of interest, imagination and inspiration, the Center has continued to demonstrate the effective use of space subjects, materials and resources at schools, in local communities and at home to stimulate children's interest in not only science and technology but also various human conducts and their surrounding environment.
A growing number of individuals, groups and organizations within and outside Japan are now sharing the Center's goals and principles in carrying out space education activities, resulting in the increased partnerships and strategic alliances with various entities to reach out to more young people. The time between the year 2010 and the year 2011 could be marked as the period of strategic expansion of space education efforts based on the systematic support provided by the Center to all stakeholders
We, the Space Education Center, have realized through our space education activities traveling throughout Japan that children love nature and living creatures. Particularly, the mysteries of space stir up children's curiosity and imagination, and mankind's challenge toward space stimulates the adventurous spirit in them. We would like to lead these children to gain a deep interest in the sciences to solve these mysteries based upon their strong curiosity and adventurous minds. In order to do that the Space Education Center is exercizing a full mobilizatin of its knowledge and technology on space exploration toward our children, who carry the future on their shoulders.
We believe there is one more "spirit" that is important for children to harbor to enrich their lives in addition to the spirit of curiosity and adventure. It is "The Spirit of Craftsmanship" which is necessary for children as their method to create and formalize their spirit of curiosity and adventure. Every child has these 3 "spirits". Once these spirits have been stimulated, these children will work independently without the help of adults to further their knowledge by taking advantage of their desire to research. We cherish the first opportunities that these children have to create so they can to put their imaginations to practice. With their emotional anchors set in knowing the importance of life, they are capable of becoming a powerful force in Japan's future in building up a nation.
There are two activities that act as pillars to the Space Education Center since its establishment. The first is "Support for Formal Education" where the Center actually coordinates with schools and the classroom. JAXA puts its efforts into processing, analyzing and presenting the rich and fascinating materials it has regarding space activities and its results. Studying about space is not limited to science, but can be applied to virtually all subjects including social studies, music and home economics. With remarkable joint efforts with local teachers, each support system has taught us invaluable lessons for future activitites. The Center aims to progress by correlating with the teachers as we further broaden our network and find new discoveries.
The second pillar is the "Support for Informal Education." JAXA holds classes for children from elementary to high school grade levels. Graded programs are created originally by JAXA for specific age groups. JAXA also trains, develops and supports leaders and teachers throughout Japan to assist in this effort.
Finally, there is another sector that the Space Education Center is emphasizing as much as the two pillars: the transmission of information to the children of the world. The Center further progresses the advancement of space education activities in cooperation with the space agencies of other countries, especially developing countries, by attending international conferences about space education and space activities sponsored by international agencies along with introducing the materials and activities that have been developed by the Space Education Center.