Near to UNAB’s Casona Las Condes, Colegio Madre Tierra welcomed the AstroClub’s monitors this week, who carried out astronomy outreach activities for the students of this municipal school focused on special education.

The AstroClub project, with the sponsorship of MAS and the financial support of ESO (European Southern Observatory,) aims to bring science closer to kids through an outreach program based on the Galileo Mobile methodology. Fernanda Urrutia and Joyce Pullen from MAS run the club that is being carried out in La Serena and Santiago.

Ph.D. students from UNAB’s Faculty of Exact Sciences –Ósmar Rodríguez, Gabriela Navarro and Justin Otor, who is also student from Princeton University and he is in Chile since November 2016– carried out these activities. The main challenge that this school presented was to design a short activity for children with different impairments, in order to keep them focused for short periods of time.

Astronomers chose the familiarity we have with the Moon, the celestial object closest to Earth that gives us the first notion about space geometry. They all represented the Sun, the Earth and the Moon to show how Sun’s radiation and the Moon’s and the Earth’s rotation creates the different Moon Phases, day and night. Next, monitors guided the 36 students in the representation of the Moon Phases with cookies on top of a diagram of the Earth and Sun.

“I enjoyed the opportunity of teaching astronomy in a place like Colegio Madre Tierra. Students were really nice and I think they learnt something useful and had a great time too”
Justin Otor, Ph.D. student of Princeton University