Talks in Schools, Internet communication, Visits to CERN:
CFTP plays an important rôle in the outreach of science and technology in Portugal. Together with CEMAT
(an IST Mathematics centre) and CFC
(a Coimbra Physics centre) we have setup a systematic program of activities involving secondary school students and teachers, stimulating the study, use and understanding of Mathematics and Physics. The project, entitled 'O Livro da Natureza
' (The Book of Nature), was supported by FCT. A website (http://www.math.ist.utl.pt/cemat/livrodanatureza/)
, known to all schools in Portugal, allows a practical selection of topics for the high school public. Throughout the country, our researchers have given talks and courses with a very high degree of response and feedback. E.g. after a series of enthusiastic talks about particle physics, J.I. Silva-Marcos from CFTP was asked by secondary school students to organize a visit to CERN. This visit took place in February 2006 and had enormous success. CFTP has also organized other visits to CERN for first year university students.
Another decisive contribution was the creation of a website (http://e-escola.ist.utl.pt/
) intended to promote the study and comprehension of physics and science to the general public. In this open site, the public may find pedagogical information on diverse topics, participate and set up interactive simulations of experiments. In another site the public may ask questions to a scientist (http://porthos.ist.utl.pt/ciberfisica/
). Also, in the context of the project 'O Livro da Natureza' one site to guide high school teachers through the World of Physics in the net (http://cftp.ist.utl.pt/livrodanatureza/) was created.
Exhibits, Public lectures and Books:
CFTP has also participated in 'Knowledge Fairs' (Feira do Conhecimento), organizing stands and having researchers available explaining the importance of fundamental research in physics to the general public. The Feira do Conhecimento in 2006 was also organized in cooperation with representatives of the Industry (Associação Industrial Portuguesa). Our presentation at the exposition facility FIL-Lisbon, was visited by hundreds of people.
CFTP participated actively in the International Year of Physics with public lectures in diverse institutions, e.g. at the prestigious Gulbenkian Foundation where the exhibit "In light of Einstein" was held hitting the record of 50000 visitors. Teresa Peña participated in its scientific committee. Other activities and public lectures took place in the Science Museum (Museu da Ciência), where the exhibit "Radioactivity: signals from Nature" was shown for the first time, with re-editions at the Oporto area in the Science Park Visionarium at Santa Maria da Feira. Talks were also delivered at the Knowledge Pavilion (Pavilhão da Ciência), a popular permanent exhibition facility near the river Tagus.
A book for the general public was written in Portuguese "Einstein, Albert Einstein: Homem, Cidadão, Cientista" by Jorge Dias de Deus and Teresa Peña, published by Gradiva. Another one, previously written in English was translated to Portuguese "Núcleo: Uma viagem ao coração da matéria" by R. Mackintosh, Jim Al-Khalili, Bjorn Jonson and Teresa Peña published by Porto Editora.