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 by the astronomer Carol Rojas, Communications and Outreach manager of Las Campanas Observatory.
This laboratory aims to bring astronomy into small or vulnerable sectors where these 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. For 30 minutes, in a didactic fashion, they learned about the properties of light, the work of astronomers, Las Campanas Observatory facilities, and the telescopes that are part of them. In addition, they watched some astronomical images generated with these observational tools.
“It was fun; I like astronomy and learning new things. Today I learned that there are more than 5,000 planets outside the solar system,” said Monserrat Reyes, one of the participant students. Itan Olmos said, “I thought it was excellent; I learned that the color white is made up of all the colors of the rainbow. It was very entertaining”.
The Municipal Delegation of Tierras Blanca’s community area guided the visitors to the mobile laboratory. This entity coordinated with the sector’s educational establishments and priority groups, their participation in this initiative. “It has been a great experience for our children, which brings scientific research closer to the community, allowing the little ones and our young people to get excited about astronomy and its study. A big thanks to Las Campanas Observatory for the opportunity to bring science closer and promote new ways of teaching and learning”, said Alejandro Galleguillos, Municipal Representative 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, for its acronyms in Spanish) of Tierras Blancas, the Vinculos Program, and the Altué, María de Andacollo and José Agustín Alfaro School. The Targeted Prevention Program (PPF, by its acronyms in Spanish) of Tierras Blancas also visited the mobile laboratory and learned about science and astronomy.