Comments from the public

Comentário de: Ana Salvador, Professora da Escola Básica e Secundária das Flores e responsável pelo Programa 100 Horas de Astronomia nas Flores in Ciência Hoje

Obrigada Prof. Ana Maria Mourão, por se lembrar da ilha das Flores para celebrar esta iniciativa tão importante a nível internacional, permitindo aos nossos jovens e toda a comunidade, olhar para o céu com “outros olhos” e trazer tão valiosas comunicações científicas às terras insulares que muitas vezes ficam esquecidas pelos centros de comunicação científica!….
A semente foi deitada à terra, vamos regar para que floresça…é uma pretensão. Mais uma vez, em nome da EBS Flores, muito obrigada à equipa de cinco cientistas presentes no ponto mais ocidental da Europa, enfrentando as travessuras da natureza.

Comentário de Deolinda Estevão, Directora da Escola Básica Integrada Mouzinho de Albuquerque, Corvo in Ciência Hoje
A Dr.ª Ana Mourão esteve, também, na Ilha do Corvo, no dia 31de Março, e dinamizou uma palestra para os alunos do 9º ano da Escola Básica Integrada Mouzinho da Silveira, intitulada “Filhos das Estrelas”. As condições climatéricas não permitiram, no entanto, a sua permanência na ilha por mais do que 2 horas. Infelizmente já estamos habituados! Nesta ilha de pouco mais de 400 almas o vento sopra violentamente a terra e o mar. Abrigados na nossa pequena fajã, com as casas muito juntinhas, vivemos aqui um sentimento de impotência permanente face aos elementos.
São eles que nos comandam diariamente. Aqui o homem moderno e toda a tecnologia do mundo continuam a experimentar a mesma impotência bíblica perante a vontade indomável da Criação.
No entanto, a Dr.ª Ana não teve receio de se deslocar ao Corvo, num pequeno barco semi-rígido, e enfrentar o mar que estava bastante alteroso, para poder explicar aos nossos alunos, e a todos os que assistiram à sua apresentação, de que não somos mais do que “pó de estrelas”.
Valeu a pena!
Esperamos que continuem a lembrar-se de nós para futuros projectos.
Um bem-haja!
Deolinda Estêvão

Links
Forum Ilha das Flores (Açores)
Diário de Campus de Angra do Heroísmo, Universidade dos Açores
Escola Básica e Secundária de S. Cruz das Flores

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Comments from the organizers

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Lectures

floresinicio_am.jpg10 am: Children of the Stars
Lecture by Ana Mourão
Audience: students 7-12 grades, full auditorium



An extremely efficient local organization at the School. Very enthusiastic students. Full auditorium, more than 150 students, grades 7-12 (ages 13-18 yo). Students were aware of the basic notions about the big bang and the expansion of the Universe and were able to follow easily the notions about the standard model of particles and interactions, expansion and cooling of the Universe, formation and the life cycle of stars and formation of the heavy elements. Again, the fact that we are waste of stars sounds quite incredible and hard to believe. But again, the fact that we are waste of stars sounds quite incredible and hard to believe.
By talking with the students we understood the relevance of the internet to break the isolation in such places like Flores, and this was confirmed by the teachers.

written by Ana Mourão

floresil_jpeg.jpg 11 am: Our Star
Lecture by Ilídio Lopes
Audience: students 10-12 grades, full auditorium



The teachers have acknowledge the presentation of the talk, namely, because they have the
opportunity to update their knowledge about the Sun, the interaction the Sun with the solar system, and the Sun earth interaction. Students have asked questions about the solar sunspots and the Sun seismic activity.
The high quality of images presented, namely obtained from the solar missions, such as the SOHO mission was proven a grate success.

written by Ilídio Lopes

flores_am.jpg 2 pm: Children of the Stars

Lecture by Ana Mourão
Audience: students 4-6 grades, full auditorium



This lecture was probably the most stressful lecture, due the the age range, the background and the topics to be covered. For instance,kids in the audience were not supposed to know what is an atom. Despite this fact, I have decided to keep as much as possible all the basic notions of the Big bang model, standard model of particles and interactions. And with their permission…
Indeed, in the beginning of the lecture, I have asked the audience permission to do so. I know that they
are able to fix hundreds of names of Pokemon’s and other equivalent toy’s so I have asked to give just few “names”, less than 10, like leptons, quarks, electrons, protons, neutrons, neutrino …
With the agreement of the audience I gave almost the same lecture as in he morning. I mean that I have touched almost the same subjects. I can say that I was surprised by their interest, which was also witnessed and recorded by the camera of the journalist of the RTP-Azores .
A very pleasant surprise came in the end.
After the lecture some kids, about 40, did not want to leave the auditorium. They were just seeting and looking at me, with a smile in their faces.
Than one little girl said: - “Senhora” please tell us another story.
At that moment I have realized that some of the main discoveries in science in the XX century have just been resumed as a “story”. And I was asked to tell another one.
“Why the Moon does not fall to the Earth” was the next story…

I emphasize one again the extremely efficient local organization at the School. The students for this session came from other places of the Island by the School Bus.
As a result, we had all students of the Island (!!!) participating in the 100 Hours of Astronomy Program.
In the evening we had some of their parents too (see bellow)

written by Ana Mourão

Program for general public

floresjdd_jpeg.jpg 8:30 pm: The Universe´s Machine
Lecture by Jorge Dias de Deus, President of CENTRA
Audience: General Public, about 50 participants



The public Lecture was by Jorge Dias de Deus, President of CENTRA, on “The Machine of the Universe”. We should say that the Island of Flores was isolated for 2 days due to bad weather conditions. All flights canceled… but the SOMAGUE private flight. For this reason the public lecture and the observations were postponed to April 2nd. We highlight the fact that the direction of the School decided to open the 100 Hours of Astronomy celebrations for general public.
The lecture took place at night and, despite this fact, we had about 50 participants, mostly
students and their parents.

Few hours of enthusiastic discussions about religion and science followed the public lecture, in parallel with the astronomical observations.
As usual, we ended up with so many questions in one side, so many doubts in the other.

written by Ana Mourão and Jorge Dias de Deus

100ha_latenight_jpg_jpeg.jpg 22:00 pm: The Moon, Saturn, Vega and much much more
Astronomical Observations
led by: Dário Passos (CENTRA) and Miguel Cunhal (ASTRO-NFIST)
Audience: General Public, about 50[/b]

Telescopes used:150mm Newtonian telescope with equatorial mounting (ASTRO-NFIST)
Newtonian Telescope 114mm (EBS Flores)
Dobsonian Telescope 200mm (EBS FLores)

Observations took place at the School garden under cloudy weather. Just late night we had few moments of clear sky.
Despite the bad weather conditions we were able to see the Moon, Saturn, the Pleiades, Orion nebula, Alcor and Mizar and other astronomical objects.
We also had “a sky walk” presenting some of the Constellations and the associated mythology.

No doubt the mountains of the Moon are always impressive.

We want to emphasize that this was an excellent opportunity to help the teachers from Flores to use their one telescopes. Details of night observations were discussed: how to select the most impressive and easiest to find objects, the planning an observational session. It was also discussed the best method and the special care required to observe the Sun with the telescope. The work with the teachers was considered a relevant legacy for the future.

The 100 Hours of Astronomy in Flores had a very positive impact in the media. Both the participants and the organizers shared the opinion that it is very important and stimulating to participate in such worlwide initiatives.

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Faial

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Island of Faial

Os Filhos das Estrelas/ The Children of the Stars
Lecture by Ana M. Mourão
place: Escola Secundária Manuel de Arriaga
Horta, Island of Faial
Date: March 30

Comments
Faial of Vitorino Nemésio, a safe land after crossing the channel. Many things have changed since his times but the ocean, the winds and the names of the places, of the beaches, of the streets are still the same. (>>)

The School is named after Manuel de Arriaga, 1st President of the Portuguese Republic.

The lecture was planned for high school students. And once again students have been particularly impressed by the fact that we are made off atoms produced in stars.

Almost all the lecture was recorded for the RTP- Portuguese Radio and Television. A report about the lecture and the program of the 100 Hours of Astronomy in Azores appeared in the RTP-Azores news (>>).
After the talk I had brief conversations with the teachers present in the audience. The topic of the lecture was well chosen and answers to some questions that are part of the school program. The fact that atoms are created in stars and that we are waste of stars is difficult for students to realize and the lecture gave a clear illustration about this. These conversations with teachers and their comments let me confirm my feelings about how important can be the visits of scientists to the schools.
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I should mention that I was very much impressed by the infrastructures in the School. The school is new. The auditorium is very pleasant, as can be seen in the RTP report and in the image on the right.

Congratulations to the architects. And my best wishes to the Executive Council, to the teachers and students.

Number of participants: about 100.

Written by Ana Mourão

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Pico

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A nossa Estrela/ Island of Pico

Our Star
Lecture by Ilidio Lopes
Escola Básica e Secundária Cardeal Costa Nunes
Madalena, Pico Island, Azores
Date: 31 March, 2009

Audience: 250 students 8th-12th classes (ages:14-18 years old)

Comments:
The teachers have acknowledge the presentation of the talk, namely, because they have the
opportunity to update their knowledge about the Sun, the interaction the Sun with the
solar system, and the Sun earth interaction. Students have asked questions about the
solar sunspots and the Sun seismic activity.
The high quality of images presented, namely obtained from the solar missions, such as
the SOHO mission was proven a grate success.

Students have asked many questions, about the internal structure of the Sun. In
particular, they were very interested in a field of modern solar physics the so-called
helioseismology, the study of the internal structure of the Sun using seismic waves. In
particular, they were interested in understand the physical mechanism responsible be the
seismic activity of our star. These questions were motivated by the fact that the Azores
present a regular seismic activity, they find quite interesting that similar phenomena
occur inside the Sun. Furthermore, they were very excited about the high quality images
obtained from the solar missions, such as the SOHO mission.

The Direction of the School acknowledged the initiative of Prof. Ana Mourao and the
CENTRA by have this initiative to make this cycle of conferences in Azores. They were
very please that Pico was one of the chosen places. The talk was very useful for students
and teachers by complementing the National Curriculum of Mathematics and Physics. The
talk was appropriate for the age group of the students in the conference room. Students
have had the opportunity to better understanding some of the basic concepts, they have
learned in classes.

Escola Básica e Secundária Cardeal Costa Nunes webpage

written by Ilídio Lopes

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S. Jorge

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Island of S. Jorge

Os Filhos das Estrelas/ The Children of the Stars
Lecture by Ana M. Mourão
place: Auditorio da Câmara Municipal de Velas
Date: 27 March
Audience: 188 students (7-10 grades corresponding to ages 13-16 yo); 7 teachers

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Impressive audience, as seen from the image on the left.
Well, one more challenge.
The good point was that the students have participated very actively.

Due to the large number of students attending the lecture, it took place at Auditorium Municipal, Câmara Municipal de Velas.
The Auditorium was a very good choice for such large audience, allowing a very good interaction with the public.
After the lecture I had the opportunity to talk with the teachers.
One of them has mentioned the coincidence that few days before she gave a text about the formation of the elements in the Universe. She has thanked me for the help in convincing the students about the fact that we are “waste of the stars”.

Written by Ana Mourão

Velas Basic and Secondary School

Photos here

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