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Two hands-on exhibitions about communication and speech sounds are being presented in Okinawa and Switzerland, supervised by Professor Arai of Department of Information and Communication Sciences

"AIUEON"

Professor Takayuki Arai, of the Department of Information and Communication Sciences, studies speech communication science. His work concerns how human beings communicate by both producing and perceiving speech sounds. In April, 2014, two exhibitions that intuitively explain the mechanism of speech production began in the Okinawa Zoo & Museum and the Swiss Science Center Technorama.

The first exhibition supervised by Professor Arai is a regular exhibition called "AIUEON" in the "Kizuki-no-Mori" section on the first floor of the Wonder Museum inside the Okinawa Zoo & Museum. At this hands-on exhibition, visitors can push bellows to produce the vowel sounds /a/, /i/, /u/, /e/, and /o/. This exhibition is open to the public after April 19, 2014, after the renovation. The second exhibition in which Prof. Arai is involved as one of the supervisors is a part of a temporary exhibition called "Soundscapes" at the Swiss Science Center Technorama. This exhibition is about sound and voice, and is open from April 15, 2014 until December 31, 2015.

Professor Arai's workshop for children

Professor Arai develops vocal-tract models and educational tools to establish educational programs in acoustics and speech science. "Speech communication is a part of our daily lives, yet we often do not fully appreciate its significance," said Professor Arai. "However, when we come across a situation where speech communication breaks down, or is impossible, we realize its importance. Due to recent English education in elementary schools, children have more opportunity to become aware of pronunciation and the mechanism of speech production. Through these exhibitions, I would be happy if visitors became more interested in sounds and speech in general, especially if they also gained a greater understanding and consideration for communication disorders."

Wonder Museum of the Okinawa Zoo & Museum:
http://www.kodomo.city.okinawa.okinawa.jp/wonder.shtml

Special exhibition "Soundscapes" at the Swiss Science Center Technorama:
http://www.technorama.ch/en/exhibition/temporary-exhibition/

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