Over more than 50 years since Sony founders Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita instituted the Sony Found for the Promotion of Science Education in 1959, Sony has engaged in various activities of social contribution. The following is a summary history of those activities and the thinking behind them.
Activities for social contribution rooted in "the aspiration" of our founders
Masaru Ibuka believed that promotion of science and technology held the key to the rebuilding
of society in the early postwar period. He was likewise convinced that emphasis on scientific
education for children as tomorrow's principals was crucial to this end.
"I want to help children make their dreams come true - for the next generation."
In keeping with his aspiration, Sony has continued to engage in activities of social contribution for
more than 50 years.
Sony's vision toward activities of social contribution is set down in the Founding Prospectus penned by Masaru Ibuka, one of its founders, when he established the company. It is still being carried on today.
Actual promotion of scientific knowledge among the general public was cited
as one of the purposes of the new company, alongside the building of an
ideal factory that stresses a spirit of freedom and open-mindedness where
engineers could fully exercises their skills and contribution to Japanese
culture through technology.
Establishment of Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation within the Department store Shirakiya in Nihon-Bashi, Tokyo, with start-up capital of 190,000 yen, for the research and manufacture of telecommunications and measuring equipment.
Birth of the Sony brand
Birth of the "Sony", a brand easy for anyone in the world to pronounce, with a view to growth on a global scale.
Change of the name to Sony Corporation
When the business began to take off, Ibuka started to act in the desire to help children who leads the next generation realize their dreams which he had set down in the Founding Prospectus.
Institution of the Sony Fund for the Promotion of Science Education
The Fund was instituted to support education in the sciences at elementary and junior high schools, out of the conviction that science education was of primary importance for Japan's postwar recovery.
Institution of the Association of Award Winning Schools
for the Sony Fund for the Promotion of Science Education
The Association was established mainly by teachers in schools that had been awarded funding from the Fund, as a nationwide research organization devoted to the research and practice of science education. Its name was changed to "the Sony Science Teachers Association" in 2002. It has a membership of over 2,000 teachers at elementary and junior high schools across the country, who are enthusiastically engaged in research activities.
Establishment of the Early Development Association
Sony established the Association to pursue new possibilities in preschool education, in line with its belief that education during infancy and early childhood is crucial for breeding a healthy mind.
Establishment of the Sony Education Promotion Foundation
The Foundation was instituted for the ongoing development of the award program under the Sony Fund for the Promotion of Science Education. Upon authorization by former Ministry of Education, it was officially accorded the status of a public service corporation.
Held the Exploratorium Exhibition
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Sony's educational subsidies the "Playing with Science-Exploratorium (San Francisco's Museum of Science) Exhibition" was held at The Science Museum, Tokyo. Over the Next four years, the exhibition was held in eight different cities and attravted a total of 940,000 visors.
Sony Wonder Technology Lab Opened (NY)
A four story, interactive technology and entertainment museum for all ages, at its U.S. headquarters in New York City. Open free to the public, the Lab brings technology and creativity together to make learning experiential, entertaining and fun.
Sony Creative Science Award Began (Singapore)
A nation-wide toy-making competition for children aged between 7-12 years old, to promote creativity and make learning science fun and interesting.
Sony ExploraScience (Beijing) Opened
After 4 years since the establishment of Sony (China) in 1996, Sony opened the science museum to ignite children's enthusiasm and interest in science with focuses on the themes of "light" and "sound". In 2008, "Educational Support Program" has officially been launched to promote science education among children attending schools in remote areas and other cities of China by investing all its ticket revenues from regular visitors.
Launch of the "Sony Preschool Education Program for Children" by the Sony Education Foundation
The importance of education for preschoolers was emphasized by Mr.Ibuka in 1969. It became widely recognized along with advance, which spurred discussion on the importance of nurturing the "minds" of children aged 3-5. This situation formed the background for institution of the Program, which takes "grows of the scientific mind" as its mission and is aimed at cultivating a rich sensibility and creativity.
Opening of Sony ExploraScience in Tokyo
Taking "discovery" and "experience" as its key words, this facility opened in Odaiba, Tokyo, as a venue for enjoyable learning about the linkage between basic science and the lasted developments in science and technology. In 2009, it reopened after renewal that transformed it into a science museum that "explores light, sound, and entertainment". Featuring hard-hitting 3D movies, unique programs, and workshops, it provides ever-fresh contents.
Start of the activity named "Wellspring of Science Inspirations - Children's Schoolhouse of Dreams" by Sony Education Foundation
The activity was begun with Dr.Hideki Shirakawa, Professor Emeritus pf Tsukuba University and Nobel laureate in the category of chemistry, acting as the principal. The purpose is to nurture children's curiosity and refine their sensibility through contact with nature. Every summer, the program holds social experience for children who are in the fifth or higher grade of elementary school or second or lower grade of junior high school.
Start of the "Sony Mono-zukuri Workshop"
The workshops were held in Sony Group offices and neighboring facilities for elementary and junior high school students. The purpose is to awaken children to the importance of creativity and ingenuity through "mono-zukuri" craftsmanship and thereby to stimulate their interest in science and technology along with their motivation to learn in their own initiative. The children taste the enjoyment of making things that move, make sound, and/or emit light with their own hands, and learn about scientific principles in the process.
A new workshop with ideas from employees were held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of social contribution activities.
"Sony Science Program" has been launched as a collective term for the diversity of activities to support scientific education conducted by companies in the Sony Group. As a commemorative event, the new ideas if the workshops being collected from employees and some of the ideas were implemented during summer vacation.