Press Release


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August 30, 2004



logo:Unescologo:Sony
National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan
Sony Corporation

National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan to Hold QRIO Science Program
- Science Messenger QRIO Communicates the Enjoyment of Science and Technology to the Children of the World -



    Starting from September 2004, the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan (NFUAJ) and Sony Corporation will hold the QRIO Science Program, a hands-on science and technology class, in various parts of the world.

photo:Science Messenger "QRIO"photo:Children studying at a "terakoya" in India
Science Messenger "QRIO"Children studying at a "terakoya" in India

    The QRIO Science Program is an educational activity for youths that aims to stimulate curiosity about science and nurture a questing spirit to develop creative thinking. QRIO is being appointed the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan's Science Messenger for this program. The program will be offered to children in Japan and also in foreign countries where NFUAJ's education support program called the World Terakoya Movement is active, to promote understanding and exchanges in the fields of education, science, culture and communication in the spirit of the UNESCO philosophy of creating a society of peaceful coexistence.
    In the QRIO Science Program, Sony technical staff members will give children an easily-followed description of QRIO, a robot that incorporates cutting-edge science and technology concepts and hands-on experiences showing how science and technology are useful in daily life. Sony staff members will also relate their early experiences and talk about how they became interested in science.

    QRIO, a bipedal robot developed by Sony, has served as the company's corporate goodwill ambassador to communicate Sony's technology and curiosity about science on various occasions. QRIO's participation in this Science Program, organized by NFUAJ and Sony, as a science messenger will help children experience the potential and the enjoyment of science and technology, and act as an intermediary between children and technology.
    NFUAJ and Sony hope that through the QRIO Science Program, children in Japan and abroad who have participated will develop friendships and grow to be peace-loving people through sharing the joy of learning.

[The QRIO Science Program will be held as follows:]
DATELOCATION
Late September 2004Sendai City, Japan
Late October 2004New Delhi & Gokak, India
Mid December 2004Gunma Prefecture, Japan
Late January 2005 Ha Noi & Tua Chua, Viet Nam

[QRIO Science Program Home Page]
www.QRIOscienceprogram.net (from late August)

Message from Mikio SUZUKI, vice president, National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan
    Learning starts from curiosity. The eyes of children learning under the World Terakoya Movement operated by our Federation in various parts of the world sparkle with interest when they are in a classroom. Those children have been unable to attend school due to poverty or warfare and are thirsting to learn. In contrast, children in Japan are losing enthusiasm for study. What can this difference be due to? In the QRIO Science Program, QRIO, in cooperation with Sony, will act as a science messenger to stimulate children's curiosity and spirit of inquiry through the wonders of science and technology and help promote understanding and exchanges. A world of peaceful coexistence is in the hands of children. I earnestly hope that the QRIO Science Program will provide an opportunity to help build such a peace.

Message from Nobuyuki IDEI, chairman and group CEO, Sony Corporation
    The spirit of curiosity is the key to the shape of the future. QRIO symbolizes Sony's spirit of curiosity, embodying several of our most advanced technologies. QRIO can walk freely, pick himself up if he falls over, and carry on a conversation with people around him. He is able to do this through highly sophisticated AI and IT technologies, and children who interact with him have a chance to learn about these technologies in an enjoyable and intuitive manner. Sony has contributed to many educational programs around the world designed to help children who will be the leaders of the future. I am delighted that QRIO is now continuing this work, teaching children about the joy of scientific and technological discovery and the eternal spirit of curiosity.

The National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan
    The National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan was founded in 1947 in Sendai, Japan by individuals sympathetic to the spirit of the UNESCO Charter. It is a federation of private UNESCO associations that was the first of its kind in the world. There are currently three hundred UNESCO associations throughout Japan carrying out volunteer activities under the motto "Think globally, act locally" for world peace and the welfare of mankind. Among the Federation's activities are the "UNESCO World Terakoya Movement," which provides educational opportunities to people who did not have the chance to go to school, the "World Heritage Movement" for protecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage and nature, and "Youth Nurturing Activities" that support children, who are the future of the world.
National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan homepage: http://www.unesco.jp