Japanese kids can exercise their mouths and minds by participating in a contest to brainstorm ideas about the future.

As July temperatures soar and the cicadas reach deafening levels in Japan, school is just about out for the summer. While schoolchildren can now look forward to just over a month of not being in class, they still can’t escape that ever-present summer homework looming over them. Thankfully, this year they can get some academic inspiration from the unlikeliest of places–KitKats.

A new flavor of mini KitKats dubbed “summer ice cream” went on sale across the country on July 12. The flavor is described as having cream powder sandwiched between the wafers which are in turn encased in white chocolate mixed with ice cream flavor and feuillantine (crushed crispy crêpes used to add some crunch). Small packages containing three bars can be found at convenience stores for 129 yen (US$1.20) while larger bags containing 12 bars can be found at supermarkets and drug stores for 540 yen.

▼ New “summer ice cream” KitKats

What makes these KitKats particularly unique, however, is that Nestlé Japan has partnered with Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, to offer topics for independent research projects (a common summer vacation assignment for kids) on their packaging. The individual wrappers include a total of 30 open-ended questions focused on the future from six categories: outer space, food, global environment, the human body, living, and technology. 

The following are some examples of the future-themed questions (one from each category):

  • What kind of sports would you want to play on the moon and on Mars?
  • What kind of school lunch do you think will be popular with children in the future?
  • What’s an example of a vehicle that could make the environment better the more it runs?
  • What will future clothes that protect our bodies be like?
  • What does a future photo album look like?
  • What kind of robot do you want to try living with?

▼ Sample individually wrapped KitKats with questions

The creators hope that these questions will spark exciting dialogues between kids and their families as well.

Furthermore, Nestlé Japan has also set up a dedicated website, which will be up for submissions between July 21-August 31, for anyone to submit their responses to the questions. Children can view others’ submissions and gain further inspiration.

▼ Select which question you want to answer on the website…

▼ …then submit your response to the prompt.

Once the submission period concludes, representatives from Nestlé Japan and Miraikan will judge the responses and present 10 winners with the Nestlé Japan Prize, which includes assorted Kit Kat goods and original merchandise, as well as the Miraikan Prize, which includes a set of the museum’s “Questions”-themed goods.

We find it somewhat amusing that the lineup of future-themed questions doesn’t include one question that’s probably on every kid’s mind: “Will children of the future still have summer vacation homework?” While only time will tell, perhaps they can take comfort from one high school teacher’s summer vacation assignment in the meantime.

Source: PR Times via Entabe
Images: PR Times
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