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A way to female scientists
The workshop of science theater is an artistic multidisciplinary and multi media project that aims to create theatrical plays that represent scientific ideas. This workshop aspires to elaborate appropriate conceptual and methodological instruments in order to explore the connection between scientific and theatrical language and to develop courses of animation, education and theatrical performances with scientific content. Each workshop begins with a period dedicated to an in-depth analysis of the scientific subject in question, that is being conducted following the educational method of inquiry-base and collaborative learning. The second part is dedicated to the elaboration of the scientific material into a theatrical structure. In this phase the participants are being engaged in both the elaboration of the plot and the subsequent staging of the play. The workshop is mainly concentrated in: the use of metaphor in the context of artistic theater, the purpose of the error, the educational role of theater, the narrative structures for communicating scientific content.
formaScienza is interested to develop Inquiry Based Methods in Science Education. In our labs of Theatre and Science for schools and in our productions for children and adults, we develop interactive shows, where the public (in particular children) is engaged in the show by questions or suggestions that allow the show to go on.

1. Kepler's dream
2. In the footsteps of female scientists
3. Stars on stage

Kepler's dream

This workshop is addressed to actors and scientists, professionals and amateurs. The working group will include approximately 10/30 participants.

"Kepler's dream" is a workshop of science theater aiming to develop a first draft for a play inspired by Johannes Kepler's novel "Somnium".

"Somnium" is a fiction novel written around 1600 by Johannes Kepler, when he was a student in the University of Tuebingen in Germany, trying to explain his studies on the motions of the moon. Science theater has often been blamed of limiting itself to simple anecdotes, and tales of biographical or historical events, leaving only marginal space for scientific content, or on the contrary, of being only a set of demonstrations and scientific experiments without a plot or characters. In Kepler's "Somnium" instead, the two elements, scientific and narrative are both present and well developed.

During the workshop we will explore the use of metaphor in the theatrical and scientific fields and will elaborate an original plot inspired by "Somnium" and based on scientific principals as well as the positions on the theory of knowledge that Kepler has tried to express in his novel. Apart from "Somnium", we will also use as additional texts of reference Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius", in which the scientist from Pisa describes the first observations of the moon with the monocular and "The Other World: or the States and Empires of the Moon", fictional short stories by Cyrano de Bergerac inspired by Kepler's novel.

The Workshop of Science Theater, that will be developed at the Centro Teatro Ateneo of Rome University "Sapienza" from February to May 2013, is composed by two modules, in one of these the main argument will be Kepler's novel.

I module, directed by Cinzia Belmonte and Stefania Mellace:
  February 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 - 9am-1pm
  March 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 - 9am-1pm
Subject: Somnium.

II module, directed by Carlo Cosmelli and Stefania Mellace:
  March 19, 26 - 1pm-5pm
  April 9, 23, 30 - 1pm-5pm
  May 7, 14, 15, 21, 28 - 1pm-5pm
Subject: relativity and quantistic mechanics.

  Centro Teatro Ateneo:

  Flier about Workshop of Science Theater (file jpg - ita)


In the footsteps of female scientists

The workshop is addressed to high school teachers and students and it is part of the MIUR project "The value of gender differences in Science".
Period: October 2012 - May 2013

Every workshop is built around the figure of a female scientist: Ada Bayron (computer science), Sophie Germain (mathematics), Rosalind Franklin (biology), Lise Maitner (physics). The workshops are presenting the scientific research and ideas that these women have brought forward, with particular attention to their historical, cultural and social background. We will also offer the methodological instruments through which the students themselves will be able to create original plots for plays presenting those ideas.


Stars on stage

This project, co-financed by MIUR and the Lazio Region, consists of a science theater workshop at the high school "via Alessandro Severo" in Rome.

This workshop was followed by 75 students in various high school classes and grades. The project included workshops on scientific subjects, astronomy in particular, that were taking place in parallel with workshops of theater, during which the material produced through the science workshops would be further developed in a theatrical context. Upon completion of the course we organized the production of a performance based on the elaborated scientific subjects.

The main scientific topics have been covered:
- The distance of stars: the method of Chepheid variables
- The solar system and dwarf planets: the reclassification of Pluto from planet to the category of dwarf planets
- Light and spectra: the color of the stars and the HR diagram

This workshop ended in June 2010.