The project “Light, colors, action!”, of the Federal University of Campina Grande (UFGC), is taking theater performances and workshops with activities related to light and color to public schools in Campina Grande (PB) and region. The project is one of the initiatives contemplated by the public notice to support science and technology museums and centers, launched in 2015 by Instituto TIM in partnership with the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). The actions are oriented to children between 4 and 10 years old.

The theater play is an adaptation of the book “Flicts”, by Ziraldo, for cordel theater. It is the story of a color called Flicts, which fits nowhere and seeks its place in the world. The story’s adaptation and performance is in charge of the theatrical group Cia Cordel in Canto. The project’s coordinator, Katemari Rosa, guided the group’s director, Arly Arnaud, about the insertion of physics concepts in the play. “It became better than we imagined”, says Katemari. “It’s a very beautiful play, with live music and interaction with the kids.”

The workshops have different themes and activities, all of them interactive. The children make experiments with Newton’s disk, camera obscura, lanterns and glasses with colored filters, among other materials. The goal was to organize activities that were not just demonstrative. “Demonstration experiments, researches show, have little effects in terms of learning and of people taking interest in science. People need to be hands-on, they need to do something, even if it’s something small. They have to participate, to think, to be challenged”, she explains.

The actions began in October 2016, during the National Week of Science and Technology. On October 23rd, the team organized the event “Physics at the Park”, with the performing of experiments of the workshops at Children’s Park, in Campina Grande. The event was open to the public and should be repeated this year, due to the success of the first edition. The play and the workshops were performed in two schools in Campina Grande last year for about 100 students and will be happening again during this year, with the goal of reaching eight more schools in the region. “The priority is outlying schools”, adds Katemari.

Another action being prepared by the team is the distribution of a children’s book that gathers puzzles and activities about light and colors. The book is in production and should be released in the second semester. “We don’t want the texts to look like a textbook. It is a book of fun, of dissemination. It has to have content, learning, but the language and the orientation are different”, says the coordinator. In addition to being distributed in the project’s participating schools, the book will be made available online as an Open Educational Resource (REA) so that any teacher can download and use in the classroom.

In July, Katemari will present the project in the United States during the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Summer Meeting. The project “Science Station IFBA – an education and dissemination place on light for children”, developed by the Federal Institute of Bahia (IFBA) in Salvador (BA) and coordinated by Luzia Matos Mota – also contemplated by the public notice – will participate in the event as well.

In total, 50 projects related to light and scientific dissemination for children from 4 to 10 years old were select by the public notice of Instituto TIM and CNPq. The theme was chosen to commemorate the International Year of Light, celebrated in 2015. Projects from 18 states from all regions of Brazil were chosen. The public notice is part of the line of support to science and technology museums and centers accomplished by Instituto TIM since 2012.

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