On Friday September 30th the PONYS took part to the European Researcher’s Night in the city of L’Aquila, organized and financed by Sharper and INFN.
PONYS decided to join this event not only for its scientific relevance but also for the meaning of the location. L’Aquila city was devastated by a huge earthquake in 2009 and is still pending in desperate conditions. The town was abandoned by its citizens, and nowadays there are just few people still living there. Promoting events in this place is really important to support the residents and make outsiders aware of this situation.
Despite difficulties all the town institution and citizens took part to the event, with many spots spread in the center. All the efforts were repaid by a big turnout.
PONYS took there the traditional interactive experiments, Physica in Fabula (which was already tested in Feltrinelli library) and two new formats: the “Chain Reaction” and the “Physics Games”.
The Chain Reaction consists in a hands on laboratory where children deal with the construction of a cause-effect chain with a premade start and end. They have built it from zero using many tools and materials made available to them. This laboratory can last two or three hours. It involves many children, divided into groups, that can leave their contribution to the final “chain reaction” with their creativity and ideas. With this activity they can develop their physical sense of mechanics and also work together to solve issues that can show up during the construction.
Physics Games is a “quiz game”. PONYS took a totally new path in order to attract people to science. They arranged a new theatrical format with a presenter and many experts (from PONYS too). This quiz game aimed to catch the attention of high school students and university ones. We tried to mix a funny competition between two teams with scientific explanation of simple theoretical subjects and experiments.
Ranging from Electromagnetism to Geophysics, most of the experiments PONYS took to L’Aquila were made of everyday materials, in order to both stimulate the audience with familiar stuff and to make those experiments easily reproducible and interactive. PONYS built this format for Passione Fisica editions and developed it through years.