This project brings to the desktop of any user real time views of the celestial sphere by means of an All-sky camera connected to an internet server. The camera and server are located at the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Jaén (Spain). They work in a continuous and autonomous way since 2010 without human assistance for most of the time. The dedicated web-page includes custom software that allows the user to also view: a computer-generated star map for direct comparison with real sky; videos of the previous 2h and 24h; mitigation of the severe effects of light pollution, etc. Among other uses, the system presented here has been specially well suited for: outreach activities in Astronomy; as a teaching tool addressed to broad audiences; as a way to increase the public awareness about light pollution and its environmental effects; as a contribution to professional meteor and fireball research.
Health and Culture
At the University of Manchester, The Manchester Museum and Whitworth Art Gallery has pioneered new methods of engaging with the public through their Health and Culture programme . The development of a partnership with Manchester Schools Hospital and Home Teaching Service, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) and Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust enabled the delivery of a series of collaborative activities and programmes that led to practical benefits for all involved.
Objectives and Goals
Il Laboratorio di Bhaskara: la Matematica incontra la Città (literally: Bhaskara's Laboratory: Mathematics meets the City) is a tour of a mathematical exhibition on perspective and vision, made in such a way that it can disassembled and put in a big box (12 kg), so that it can easily travel by car. In each town, a University leader helped one (or more) high school teachers to organize an exhibition, in various and sometimes inusual locations, involving their students as guide for the public. They had to previously learn the mathematical content of the exhbit, so that the project had didactic relevance (for the participating schools) and also a more general impact for the large amount of visiting public.
The project (still open and travelling) involved (till now) about 20 teachers, 200 students, and an extimated public of 5000 people, and had a great visibility through the local media.
ICoN - Italian Culture on the Net is a Consortium of Italian Universities (Bari, Catania, Genoa, Milan State University, Padua, Parma, Pavia, Perugia for Foreigners, Pisa, Rome "La Sapienza", Rome "Tor Vergata", Roma Tre, Salerno, Siena for Foreigners, Turin, Venice, the Free University of Language and Communication IULM of Milano, the University of Naples
"L'Orientale", and the Superior School for Academic Studies "S. Anna" of Pisa) whose mission is the promotion and diffusion of Italian language and culture worldwide, using telematic media.
In Spain, it is well known that secondary school students’ motivation to study Science (especially Mathematics) is not very strong. This is a common problem to almost all Europe. Spanish and Andalusian governments have general policies on education to promote the study of Science. They are necessary and convenient. However, we think that local actions in the students’ environment, which supplement these policies, are also needed.
Mathematics is often perceived as a dull, uninteresting and unpopular subject. It is socially acceptable to say in public that one is 'no good' at mathematics, and the subject is often undervalued or disparaged in the media by public figures.
Many existing initiatives aim to improve the public image of mathematics in schools, through teaching and in the media. However, the majority of the population is not 'reached' by books, mathematics lectures and programmes on elite radio stations and TV channels.
Our hands-on activity aims to convey that cutting-edge science is often hidden in plain sight, and accessible to people of all age groups and backgrounds. This is exemplified nowhere better than with Graphene, the world’s first two dimensional material, which was considered not to exist in a stable form. Graphene was first isolated only in 2004 by Manchester scientists Geim and Novoselov who were awarded the Nobel Prize for their efforts. Our activity allows just about anyone to make their own graphene with nothing more than a piece of graphite (pencil lead) and sticky tape like ‘Scotch’ tape. Indeed, this is identical to the way graphene was first isolated and now produced in high-tech clean room laboratories around the world. With this activity, we endeavour to allow people of all walks of life to experience the latest advances in science, and we reward their efforts with a chocolate Nobel medal!
Chemistry is evil, malicious, nasty and malevolent?
When the word chemistry comes to our minds, automatically we make negative associations as pollution, wastes or toxicity. We believe that this vision is outdated, in modern societies, as the benefits of the chemistry surpass the potential risks that entails. Chemistry can be displayed in an enjoyable and good-humoured way, and it can transmit positive aspects.