The professional is the only Chilean participant in the program "GalileoMobile" and the project "Constellation", which includes the realization of various activities in the schools of Cariquima (Aymara community), Alto Bío Bío (Mapuche community) and Chile Chico.
Making astronomy closer to children and young people with little or no access to astronomical dissemination programs, is the main purpose of the international project "GalileoMobile", a non-profit organization that since 2008 has developed various activities in schools and communities and trained teachers in the area of astronomy in different countries of Africa and South America, including Chile. The initiative is led by scientists of different nationalities, among which is a Chilean, Dr. in Astronomy, Fernanda Urrutia, who is a researcher at the University of La Serena.
"I have been working with them for two years in this organization, we are a group made up of doctors, Doctorate students at that time, who were raised the concern to make disclosure, without any institution to support them. The first expedition was carried out at 2009 in Peru, Bolivia and northern Chile, taking astronomy to different locations where teaching is scarce, "said Dr. Urrutia, a researcher at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the ULS, who participates in a new project of the organization, which they called "Constellation" and that seeks to establish a network of schools in South America committed, in the long term, with the organization of astronomical activities among their students, as well as in their local communities.
"For the project three schools were chosen per country (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), where they work with their teachers so that they can learn about astronomy and they replicate the teaching and teach the classes in the establishments to which they belong. We explain what the activity of the week will be, what they have to do with the children, what will be the objective, always focusing on astronomy. And they do the classes to students of basic and middle school, "said the professional, who will be part of the expeditions that are scheduled for the next few days.
In Chile, the establishments chosen are the schools of Cariquima (Aymara community), Alto Bío Bío (Mapuche community) and Chile Chico. "Children have been doing astronomy for a year, they have the basic concepts delivered by their teachers. We carry these expeditions extra activities to reinforce the concepts, for example, we contemplate a solar system to scale, videos, telescopes for night and day observations, as well as talks open to the whole community ", explained Fernanda Urrutia.
The Dr. in Astronomy, along with highlighting the support received by the house of studies to participate in these activities, emphasized the good reception that the project has had in the educational establishments. "It has been spectacular, a very big acceptance, super committed teachers and have behaved very well with us," said the researcher, adding that her main motivation to be part of this initiative is to be able to spread astronomy in the community, " It is something beautiful, I feel that it is my contribution to the community, to see how people are fascinated with images, videos or explanations. We care about the dissemination of astronomy. "
GalileoMobile has embarked on a total of five different expeditions in seven countries: Chile, Bolivia and Peru (2009), Bolivia (2012), India (2012), Uganda (2013), Brazil and Bolivia (2014) and Colombia (2014) , as well as extended actions in Portugal, Nepal, the United States of America, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Guatemala. The program has reached more than 12.430 students and 1.300 teachers and their efforts and activities have been shared with the general public in over 40 lectures and 20 screenings and lectures, including TEDx. At 2014, GalileoMobile was invited to participate in the 52 ° COPUOS (Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space) meeting organized by the United Nations in Vienna, Austria.
GalileoMobile is an unprecedented initiative that promotes the knowledge of science through astronomy, creating awareness about cultural diversity and spreading the message of "united under one sky".