Attempting STEM Education in Informal Japanese Educational Facilities Through the Theme of "Sand"


  • Shoko Sakata
  • Yoshisuke Kumano


Informal science education, Earth Science, STEM education, Lifelong Learning Center, Science Museum, four Cs


The Shizuoka Science Museum RU KU RU and the Lifelong Learning Centers in Shizuoka City, Japan, hold many class sessions for elementary school students. At these sessions, scientific experiential programs are provided to cultivate children’s interests and curiosities in nature and science. The authors focused on one of the experiential programs and explored ways to make STEM education programs based on the expected science-education programs of the future. The possibility of making and practicing STEM programs was found by consciously incorporating science, technology, engineering, and mathematical activities on the theme of "sand," a material that is familiar to children, into the educational programs.

Author Biographies

Shoko Sakata


Shoko Sakata is a Ph.D. candidate student of Shizuoka University and studies STEM education for K-6 students. She is mainly conducting practical research at informal educational facilities. Ms. Sakata is an Educator at the Shizuoka Science Museum and a part-time lecturer at Tokoha University faculty of education in Shizuoka, Japan.

Yoshisuke Kumano


Yoshisuke Kumano is a Professor of science education at Shizuoka University where he teaches Curriculum Studies, Science Education Methods, Seminar in Science Education and related courses. Now, Dr. Kumano’s research is mainly focusing on STEM education reforms for Japan, with Ph.D. candidates and other students in his studies.