INFN Frascati National Laboratory (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 8090-8094
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.2191
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
The Frascati National Laboratory of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN LNF)(1) is a research centre devoted to the study of the fundamental constituents of matter and the laws that govern them. Since the beginning, the history of LNF is strongly connected to the development and the realization of particle accelerators and detectors.

LNF fosters scientific literacy with specific programs dedicated to students (from Primary School to University), teachers and the general public (2). These programs encompass a wide range of activities to communicate the importance of science in expanding our understanding of the Universe along with the applications of research and technology-based outcomes in everyday life. The initiatives addressed to Primary school are thought to increase awareness, curiosity and passion towards science among young students. High School students and teachers’ programs are conceived to support and enhance modern physics learning/teaching. In some of these initiatives students work together with INFN researchers in laboratory-based activities, having the chance to experience life in a research centre. These events represent a unique opportunity helping in the choice of higher education, and inspiring young female and male students in pursuing a scientific career.

Events for the general public, like open days and European Researchers’ Night, are meant to engage people with science and inform about the latest issues of the research conducted by LNF, bridging science and society. A central role in the popularization of science initiatives is played by the Bruno Touschek Visitor Centre (3), a permanent exhibition where past, present and future of the research at INFN are presented by interactive exhibits and immersive elements. INFN-LNF organizes tours to the Bruno Touschek Visitor Centre, the experimental sites and technology facilities guided by LNF researchers. People can explore the places where science is investigated with forefront technologies and learn about the history of particle physics and the latest discoveries and methodologies directly by the actors who animate science.

Many popularization of science events are organized together with other INFN units as well as universities and other research centres, strengthening the network between different institutions in the common aim to promote citizen science. Due to the Covid-19 emergency, starting from March 2020 the science education activities have been adapted and carried out online (in Italian and English).The online spread of high-level science contents allowed us to expand our reachability. Moreover, digital contents are available on the e-learning platform AccendiScienza (4). This portal, created in 2017, includes learning resources like video lessons, presentations and tests for teachers, students and general audience. Besides being a support to traditional teaching/learning methods, this is a tool to empower lifelong learning.

We here present an overview of these activities as well as their societal impacts.

STEM education, science popularization, public outreach.