Friday, February 17, 2012
by Sophie McCarrick
Inspiring brighter futures in science but have fun and enjoy themselves at the same time.” Luís Rodrigues also believes that the centres are a positive step for tourism as various activities offered are complementary to the Algarve sun, sea and beach, enabling tourists to learn interesting, factual information about their holiday destination. An example of beach activities is a programme called “Dinosaur Footprints” that allows the exploration of past artifacts and fossils at Salema beach via the Lagos centre. All Ciência Viva centres are equipped with a team of graduates in science who assist in the preparation and monitoring of activities on a daily basis. In instances of special occasions and public holidays, the centres organise activities that relate to the holiday or event, such as Christmas, Carnival, Easter, Halloween and summer holidays. The centres also provide the opportunity for children to enjoy their birthdays exploring various scientific experimental activities and enjoy lunch in a party of up to 20 children.
Science birthday parties include a guided tour through the science centre, followed by a “Let’s do Science” workshop, lunch and a group photo. In addition, centres emphasise partnerships with scientific and educational institutions by developing programmes to support the experimental teaching of science, involving teachers and students of Primary and Secondary Schools.
Ciência Viva Lagos Situated between the Municipal Market and the Church of São Sebastião, the Lagos centre is housed in a recently refurbished 17th century manor that offers beautiful views of the marina and Meia Praia. The permanent exhibition “From the Astrolabe to the GPS” allows visitors to discover connections between discoveries of the past and of the present. Here children can enter into a purpose-built submarine and visit themed areas including Life on board, and experiment with orientation and navigation instruments to help them to understand how distance communication took place in the past and how it takes place today.
Ciência Viva Faro
Photo: LUIS AZEVEDO RODRIGUES
■ Inside Ciência Viva in Tavira
■ Centro Ciência Viva de Lagos
The Faro Ciência Viva centre, also known as the Algarve Living Science Centre, opened on August 3, 1997 and is located in the former power station of Faro that dates back to 1909. Sitting on the banks of the Ria Formosa and with the Atlantic Ocean so close by, this centre brings focus to its permanent exhibition of “The Sea”, where guests can explore interactive modules to learn about the physical dynamics, evolution and biodiversity of the sea. The exhibition follows six main topics: “From the Panthalassa to the oceans as we know them”, “The nature of the sea”, “Forces of nature”, “Exploring the unknown sea”, “Touching the sea as living beings”, “Living in the sea” and “From molecules to man”. How are waves created? Why does the earth shake? Why is the sea salty? Is coral an animal, a vegetable or a mineral? These are just some of the many questions that can be answered in an interesting way at the centre. Visitors are able to experiment with the magic of electricity and “unwind”
esidents and visitors in the Algarve can discover their inner scientist at one of the three Ciência Viva centres in the region, where fun activities and interactive exhibitions take place on a daily basis. Ciência Viva, the National Agency for Scientific Culture (NASC) in Portugal, hosts 19 centres throughout the country, including three in the Algarve. Lagos, Tavira and Faro are home to these centres where science, fun and hands-on learning are practiced all year round. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to get involved and participate in the many activities available. These spaces of discovery dedicate their time to developing educational programmes in an entertaining way. Coordinator of the NASC Algarve centres, Luis Azevedo Rodrigues, told the Algarve Resident that “in the current Algarve centres both residents and tourists can learn to not only understand the phenomena of nature and technology,
■ Inside of Centro Ciência Viva Faro DNA, cook using solar energy, study the world under a magnifying glass and enjoy many more activities.
Ciência Viva Tavira Co-founded by the NASC, University of the Algarve and Tavira Câmara, the Tavira Ciência Viva centre was inaugurated to the public on April 21, 2005. The centre, installed in an old Largo do Carmo church, maintains an underlying theme of “Water and Energy” with hands-on activities demonstrating how it is possible to control a dam. The centre was founded with the features of a new generation science centre, including both interactive exhibition and laboratory spaces. In addition, the centre assumes a key role in encouraging the participation of the community in public debates concerning science and technology.
Viva Lagos, selected scientists host science workshops and lectures to speak of their work and discoveries made. Also on a monthly basis, the Lagos centre presents a “Science with the Family” afternoon, where children and
parents can interact, learn and have fun together. Many activities are offered at the Ciência Viva centres on a daily basis and all are encouraged to visit and to include themselves in the creation of a brighter future using science.
■ Inside Ciência Viva inTavira
Events Tomorrow (Saturday) February 18, at the Tavira centre, a Science Workshop on Paper Construction will be held in relation to Carnival weekend. Participants will play with shapes and volumes, building in 3D. The event will begin at 2.30pm and will cost €4 per participant or €8 for a group of three. The minimum age for entry is six. In Tavira and Faro, “Afternoons with Science” are planned and dedicated to children, and take place on a weekly basis. Once a month, at Ciência
■ Centro Ciência Viva in Faro ■ For further information about the NASC, activities, time schedules or bookings please contact the Ciência Viva centres: Lagos: 282 770 000 or firstname.lastname@example.org Faro: 289 890 929 or email@example.com Tavira: 281 326 231 or firstname.lastname@example.org