HOW A RESEARCH INSTITUTE INTERACT WITH THE COMMUNITY: EDUCATIONAL AND OUTHREACH ACTIVITIES OF THE L'ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI GEOFISICA E VULCANOLOGIA OF ROME
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Abstract:The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) is currently the largest European scientific institution dealing with Earth Sciences research and real-time surveillance, early warning and forecast activities in geophysics and volcanology. The Laboratorio Didattica e Divulgazione Scientifica Group of the INGV organizes every year intense educational and outreach activities with schools of different grades and with general public to convey scientific knowledge and to promote research on science and nature.
We schematize our outreach activities in three main topics:
1) Schools at INGV; more than 20,000 students have visited our Center in Rome since 2000, and demands increase each year; the visit consists of a theoretical lesson in a conference hall supported by multimedia tools, and practical experiences based on exhibitions and hands-on experiments focused on earthquakes, plate tectonics and the inner structure of the Earth. A special experience is the visit to the control room of the INGV National Seismic Surveillance where the students can see in real time the seismic activity and how it is important its continuous monitoring 24-hours a day all year round.
2) Week of the Scientific Culture; every year our Institute is opened for a week to students and general public, in order to show our laboratories, to discuss about new researches on Earth Sciences and to explain the Seismic and Volcanic risk and the related surveillance activities. This year, during the XIX edition, about 650 visitors were involved in the main events.
3) Expositions and Science Festivals; we can bring on the road, in concomitance with the Science Festival in Genoa, Italy, or in cooperation with Museum and Academies, a self-designed portable museum with experiments, models and instalments projected for teaching and learning geomagnetism, plate tectonics, seismology and seismic hazard.
In this talk we give an overview of these activities, showing also how enthusiastic the audience participation is and how Science Divulgation is necessary to stimulate the interest of the widest possible range of public and to justify the employment of Public Funds for Research and University.