The “Conciencia Astronomía” Mobile Laboratory, operated by Las Campanas Observatory in alliance with the EcoScience Foundation and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMTO), is working to promote scientific and astronomical education among children and young people, mainly in the north of our country. In this context, on May 25 and 26 the laboratory visited the Municipal Delegation of Tierras Blancas (Coquimbo). On both days more than 14 workshops were held, executed by the astronomer Carol Rojas, in charge of Communications and Outreach of Las Campanas Observatory.
The objective of this laboratory is to bring astronomy to remote and/or vulnerable sectors, where this type of activities are scarce. The first to be part of this new and significant experience were 20 students from the fourth grade of the República de Italia School. During 30 minutes, in a didactic way, they learned about the properties of light, how astronomers work, the place where Las Campanas Observatory is located and the telescopes that are part of it. In addition, they visualized some astronomical images generated with these observation tools.
“It was fun, I like astronomy and learning new things. Today I learned that there are more than 5 thousand planets outside the solar system,” said Monserrat Reyes, one of the participating students. Itan Olmos added that “I thought it was very good, I learned that the color white is made up of all the colors of the rainbow. It was very entertaining”.
The visit of the mobile laboratory was managed through the community area of the Municipal Delegation of Tierras Blancas, entity that coordinated with the educational establishments and priority groups of the sector, their participation in this initiative, “It has been a great experience for our children, which brings scientific research closer to the community and allows the little ones and our young people to get excited about astronomy and its study. We thank the Las Campanas Observatory for the opportunity to bring science closer and promote new ways of teaching and learning”, said Alejandro Galleguillos, Municipal Delegate of Tierras Blancas.
Along with the students from the República de Italia School, students from the Santo Tomás de Aquino School, members of the Mental Health Center (CESAM) of Tierras Blancas, the Vinculos Program, and the Altué, María de Andacollo and José Agustín Alfaro Schools, as well as the Targeted Prevention Program (PPF) of Tierras Blancas also visited the mobile laboratory and learned about science and astronomy.