Giovedì 8.09 / ore 21:00 – night sky observation
Sabato 10.09 / ore 16:30 – Lab We build our solar system
Alessandra Zanazzi has a Master Degree in Physics (Astrophysics). Since 1996 she is working in the field of education and communication in Astronomy and Science. For fourteen years she has worked for Fondazione IDIS – Città della Scienza (the main Italian Science Centre), where she’s been Responsible of Planetarium and education and communication activities in Astronomy. She has written many planetarium shows, and she’s been organizing many education and laboratory activities, teachers’ training,
conferences and events. Also she collaborated in design of many science hands on exhibitions (on Astronomy, Environment, … ).
She has been involved in writing and carrying out many European Projects about science education and communication. In particular, she’s been international project leader of the Leonardo Da Vinci “Communication in Science” project (ended in 2008) and of “TIME for Nano” (EU FP7- NMP-2008-CSA-2). Since 2010 she collaborates with INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, where she is National Project Manager of the EU-UNAWE project (EU FP7th). She participates in Science Festivals and events, carrying out conferences, planetarium shows, science activities with children.
In Touch with the Sky
A meadow, the sun and—above it all—blue sky. Every night, stars shine upon every human being on Earth—and it does not matter if he or she is an adult or child, rich or poor, happy or sad, careful or not, or living in town or countryside
is possible that children living in town have never seen a cow or a chick, and children from tropical countries have never touched the snow—but somewhere, somehow they have all seen the sky. And it does not matter if it is bright, crystal clear or cloudy—what matters is that all have seen it.
In relating to the sky, we are reduced to the use of just one sense: the sight. We can’t take advantage of any other kinds of perception because, apparently, the sky does not talk, does not have a scent, is not touchable. How, then can we be “in touch” with it—and why should we?
Perhaps most importantly, because the future world of our children will be closely bound up with the sky. The coming scientific and technological progresses will surely take them to travel through the galaxies or walk on faraway planets—as the Italian writer and pedagogue Gianni Rodari foresaw and described in his books:
“Dear children, … I wrote, as it should be, many space and astronautical rhymes, since it’s going to be you who will who will walk across the stars: some of you will be spacecraft admirals, others will be radio-telegraphers on board. By that time, I will be very old and I will feel satisfied by sitting on a bench in a garden and looking up at you from the Earth.”
Gianni Rodari, introduction to “Filastrocche in cielo e in terra”
Learning-Places for Children
By the age of two, children are already aware of the sky. They know that the sun shines in it. They are amazed when they can see the Moon before it gets dark . They formulate hypothesis and remarks with great ability, and they come back to check if various phenomena occur regularly or if they change with the passing of time. The observation of the sky requires, more than any other scientific research, a great deal of time and patience. For this reason, it should become part of one’s daily routine. It is essential to create situations and suitable conditions where this type of observation can occur.
Text by Lara Albanese