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.
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!