The winner of the #PlanetaryScience4All EPEC-EPSC Video Contest 2022 is ’29P & Comet Chasers’ by Cai Stoddard-Jones.
Hi, I’m Cai, a first year PhD student at Cardiff University. I’m from North Wales originally, but made the trek down south in 2017 to start my MPhys. I like to listen to and make music in my free time either singing or playing my guitar. I’m researching comet 29P’s unusual activity, it’s the most observed comet ever yet, we know very little about it. I aim to characterise the comet. In addition, I develop resources and experiments for a project called ‘Comet Chasers’ in Wales. We teach kids about cometary science and giving them LCO telescope time to take their own images. If their images are used by researchers, their schools are credited.
A Journey to the Planets: how to make children fall in love with space
Making children curious about space and planetary sciences through play and puppet theatre is the idea conceived and developed by Katia Pinheiro and the team of “Journey to the Planets“, the winning proposal of this year’s Europlanet Funding scheme for public engagement.
The project will start by producing a series of short movies with stories about the planets told by Bimbim’s team, an original and funny puppet theatre. The videos will come with illustrations and animations to better express the scientific content which, for now, will focus on a general overview of all Solar System planets, the Earth and Mars.
The promise is that more will come, thanks to the support and work of many researchers from Germany, Macedonia, India, Argentina, UK, and the producer and the theatre companies from Brazil. Reflecting the international nature of the project, the videos will be translated into several languages (initially Portuguese, English and French), in hopes of reaching an international scale.
Federica Duras interviewed the project leader Katia Pinheiro, who nurtures a passion for science outreach, especially directed to children. This project is an opportunity to pursue her dream to combine the two.
–Katia, where does “Journey to the Planets” come from? What’s the trigger behind it? I want to transmit science to children. Initiating children into scientific subjects is not a trivial task. I thought about a way to attract their attention and a way to encourage their critical thinking and active participation. Puppet theatre seemed to be a good idea since puppets have the power to fascinate children. Charismatic characters as interlocutors may talk about science in an unconventional and fun way. The strategy to combine science and art may be a powerful way to awaken children’s curiosity about planetary sciences.
–Why Bimbim? What is that? Bimbim is the nickname for Jobim, who was a famous composer of Brazilian music. I gave his name to a smart and funny small dog some years ago. This little dog was very charismatic and liked to “talk” to everybody around him, especially children. He is the inspiration for the protagonist of the stories: courageous, curious and fun!
–How many people are involved in the creation and subsequent implementation of the project?
There are 15 people involved in the different parts of the project: story writing, production, filming, puppet manipulation, dubbing and animation. This project brings together artists and scientists from different parts of the world working on various research areas. All the co-applicants of this project are female professionals of arts and science. The scientific co-applicants will participate with ideas and scientific content for the stories. The theatre company “Papa Vento” is involved in the artistic part and they will manipulate the puppets. An audiovisual director and producer will capture the images in the best way to tell the stories.
–What is the near future of the project? We will produce short movies with three stories about the planets: a general overview of all solar system planets, Earth and Mars. The release of the movies will be in January, 2023. We expect that these stories will also call the attention of schools and parents to bring science closer to their children. Another project outcome is the large involvement of female scientists and thus the possibility of attracting children from under-represented groups to become scientists. Our target audience is primarily school students between the ages of 2 and 8 years old but it also involves the audience of educators. The plan is to share the videos with many schools and social media channels across Europe and other countries worldwide.
–What do you expect from Europlanet as a link for the project? Europlanet is a very important link for starting the first science story of “Bimbim’s team”. The support of Europlanet for outreach and education projects promotes new initiatives and, in the case of this project, tackles the challenge of reaching as many children as possible and awakening their curiosity for planetary sciences. The dissemination of the puppet videos by Europlanet will encourage more scientists and organisations to take the step of creating something similar and spreading the word. In addition, the commitment of Europlanet to equality, diversity and inclusivity perfectly matches the intentions of this project.
–And what about the distant future of “Journey to the planets”? We plan to extend these stories to other planets and science topics in the near future. We expect that after these videos are ready, schools and companies may become interested and request presentations in place or other online videos with science stories. New stories coming in the future will be about the deep Earth, ocean, space and others. We believe that once we start this project, new ideas will emerge that will be the seed for next larger projects.
Fingers crossed, we look forward to following the first steps of Bimbim and its friends! Thanks Katia.
Get creative with Europlanet’s #InspiredByOtherWorlds arts contest 2022
The Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2022 is inviting schools and space enthusiasts of all ages to get creative and share their artworks and performances inspired by other worlds in a contest called#InspiredByOtherWorlds.
The theme this year is ‘Interception’.
Gallery of Entries
About the contest
With missions like Artemis, Comet Interceptor, DART and LICIACube in the headlines, this year’s contest looks at ideas around meeting, moving and impact in relation to planetary exploration!
Art is meant to inspire. Art is meant to be shared. Art allows us to go beyond our limits. Planetary science takes us beyond the limits of our world. What happens when a passion for art and a passion for exploring planets and other worlds meet? Let your imagination take us on a voyage through our Solar System and planets around distant stars! Show us how you have been inspired to create drawings, storytelling, pictures, videos, models, craft works or art installations at home.
The deadline for the competition has been extended to 15 December 2022. Late submissions will not be accepted.
Early entries for #InspiredByOtherWorldssubmitted by 22 September 2022 were showcased on digital screens at the conference centre and during the closing ceremony of EPSC2022.
All artworks submitted will be judged by a panel of planetary scientists and artists. The winning artworks or performances will be shared via the Europlanet website, newsletters and social media and will be used to inspire young people in future Europlanet outreach activities.
So keep creating!
For all the information about the contest, see the #InspiredByOtherWorlds FAQ page. If you’d also like to share on social media please use the hashtags #InspiredByOtherWorlds#EPSC2022.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com .
On March 16, 2022, Let’s light up the skies of the world took place in the Italian Pavillion of the 2020 EXPO in Dubai. The event, organised by OAE Center Italy and INAF, was constituted by two different moments: a hands-on laboratory for the pupils of local schools, and a roundtable on the topic Astronomy for Teaching: from theory to practice, which took place both in person and in live streaming.
The team organizing the event was composed by Caterina Boccato, Stefano Sandrelli, Alessandra Zanazzi and Livia Giacomini, with the support of the staff of the Italian Pavillion, led by Lorenzo Micheli. The INAF team was also supported by Marcos Valdes, CEO of VIS (Virtual Immersions in Science), who, in the course of event, presented Moon Landing VR, a virtual-reality 360° video to live the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
In the teaching lab, called Let’s light up the skies of the world, about twenty girls from the GEMS Al Khaleej International School, an International school based in Dubai, lit up the stars with LEDs and paper circuits, inventing their own constellations and connecting them to the legends and myths of different cultures of the world. They were led, in addition to the INAF team, by two teachers – Ruba Tarabay, STEAM Coordinator and Responsible for junior secondary classes, and Mohammed Kheder, Astronomy teacher.
‘In this laboratory, we reason on the fact that constellations do not exist, because they are formed by stars which are not connected to each other,’ Alessandra Zanazzi say. ‘However, constellations are important from the practical point of view, as a reference in order to measure both time and seasons. They also have an important cultural meaning, because all peoples of the world have always observed the sky and connected the dots of the stars to form drawings of what was important for their culture. In the laboratory, we started building a paper circuit, so as to light up a constellation made of LEDs, taking inspiration from a teaching proposal developed by the INAF Play Group. Then, based on the intercultural activities “Cieli del mondo” [World Skies] who inspired several proposals of EduINAF, each participant was free to give vent to their own creativity, overlaying on “official” constellations, the ones coming from different cultural traditions, or of their own design. Here in Dubai, we saw dromedaries, butterflies, and desert oasis being drawn…’
In the second part of the morning, a roundtable took place with Markus Poessel, Responsible for the IAU-OAE Office, Stefano Sandrelli and Sara Ricciardi of the OAE Center Italy, Hamid Al-Naimiy and Ilias Fernini of SAASST (Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences & Technology) and Pedro Russo of Leiden University/Ciência Viva.
Stefano Sandrelli, Director of the new OAE Center Italy says: ‘We are happy to be here today, because the theme of the Dubai EXPO is sustainability. The world can only be sustainable if it has at its heart a culture based on hospitality, on the mutual respect for differences and on true and profound dialogue. That is why the main issue of the roundtable is the codesign, which OAE Center Italy is carrying out with all the countries bordering the Mediterranean. In this project, each country proposes activities addressed to primary school pupils, which are later discussed and modified together. All this will result in a teacher training course which is going to be organized in the island of Lampedusa next summer.‘
Περιγραφή Δραστηριότητας: Κατανόηση του πώς η χημεία του αρειανού εδάφους μπορεί να επηρεάσει την κατοικησιμότητα του Κόκκινου Πλανήτη. Εμπεριέχει μία πιο στενή ματιά στον τρόπο με τον οποίο η θερμοκρασία και η αλατότητα μπορούν να επηρεάσουν τη χημεία του Άρη.
45 Λεπτά (περιλαμβάνει 2 βίντεο)
Θέματα που καλύπτονται:
Χημεία (διαλυτότητα, κορεσμός, σύνθετες δομές)
Βιολογία (ζωή σε ακραίες συνθήκες)
Αστρονομία (συνθήκες στην επιφάνεια του Άρη)
Μετά την ολοκλήρωση της δραστηριότητας, οι μαθητές:
Θα καταλάβουν τι επίπτωση έχει η θερμοκρασία στη χημεία του Άρη.
Θα μπορούν να εξηγήσουν πώς η αλατότητα επηρεάζει τα σημεία τήξης.
Θα κατανοήσουν πώς τα παραπάνω επηρεάζουν την κατοικησιμότητα.
Описание: Изучить, как химический состав марсианской почвы может повлиять на обитаемость Красной планеты. Это предполагает более пристальное рассмотрение того, как температура и соленость могут повлиять на химию Марса.
45 минут (включая 2 видео)
Химия (растворимость, насыщение, составные структуры)
Биология (жизнь в крайностях)
Астрономия (состояние поверхности Марса)
По итогам изучения материала ученики смогут:
Понимать, какое влияние температура оказывает на химический состав Марса.
Уметь объяснить, как соленость влияет на температуру замерзания.
Знать, как все вышеперечисленное влияет на обитаемость.