About "Sense of Sensing"
After the Great East Japan Earthquake we faced to the rapid increase of amateur who are interested in environmental measurement, especially in environmental dosimetry. We, two engineers and a writer(former researrcher), recognized that fundamental education for children and citizens were required. So we formed a group “Sense of Sensing(SOS)”.
At first, we developed a educational system named “Tsumiki”. Tsumiki means building blocks. Tsumiki consists of 3 parts: the sensing unit, the counting and display unit and power-supply unit. It is a general-purpose system for digital measurement. It can measure all kinds of digital quantities by changing the sensing unit.
We developed a radiation counting unit as our first sensing unit. But it costed more much than the dosage meters which were offered commercially. And the users were responsible for the measured result, because it was not offfcially calibrated. Now, we are considering it is not suitable for users who are wishing to know immediately about “Is here safe from radiation?” or “Is this food may bring on disease related to radiation or not?”.
So we changed our direction. We decided to be specialized in basically education about sensing and measurement. We developed a educational tool “Mawasu-Kun(=Rotate-it”)”. The Mawasu-Kun was a very simply equipment which only could count rotation number of a disk with many educational considerations. And we considered well about the cost. A Mawasu-kun costs only about 600 yen($6). To keep the cost low, we choose a pedometer as counter and 2 LEDs for sensor unit.
We provided some workshops with the Mawasu-Kun mainly for children. And we were surprised by the effect. The children liked to rotate and enjoyed to count the rotation. The children also wondered why it could count up, how LEDs coupled and worked as a sensor unit and what was detection or display limit of this system by the reason of that the counter was a pedometer.
We are happy to tell you that we will make presentation about “Mawasu-Kun” in science education section in the General Poster Session during this annual meeting, Feb. 17 PM.