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La scienza bambina - Little Science

For primary schools

The set of workshops called La scienza bambina - Little Science has been created for kids with ages between 6 and 11 years old.
These workshops aim to present through play some fascinating scientific subjects and help kids develop a scientific way of thinking encouraging their innate curiosity. Kids will play the leading role both by expressing freely their own ideas and by putting in practice simple experiments. These workshops are being planned and executed following the educational method called inquiry-based that has been developed by the laboratorio formaScienza.

The workshops can belong to one of the following types:
  • Workshop of mathematical imagination. We introduce though play a stimulus for reflection on the sense of mathematics, encouraging the ability of distinguishing relations and regularity.
  • Discovering Physics. Using as a starting point the innate curiosity of children and their vivid imagination we introduce simple experiments that can often lead to surprising results.
  • Celestial structures. Through the observation of events connected to our every day life that reproduce in a smaller scale the celestial phenomena, children are given the tools to create their personal theories and models for their interpretation.
  • Exploring nature. Like young explorers we will play with the similarities among the forms of nature, finding relations and evolutionary paths and processes.

Workshop of mathematical imagination

For primary schools

The "Workshop of mathematical imagination", is aimed to children between the age of 10 and 13 years old and aspires to face some fascinating subjects in the field of mathematics through playing activities.
The purpose of this session is to introduce students the notion of abstraction, that is fundamental in mathematics, and not only, and encourage in the same time the ability of applying abstract concepts to real situations.
The proposed courses have been conceived and developed with the idea to put side by side the abstract with the practical, showing how mathematics is a continuous journey between these two borders: on one side the real world and on the other side the world of the imaginary entities. The beauty and the power of mathematics is in the ability to establish a strong bond between these two worlds, that appear distant from one another, with elegance and often unexpected simplicity.


In the labyrinth of logic
The reassuring precision of logic at a first glance appears solid and indisputable, but soon enough we become aware of mysterious contradictions, known as the "paradoxes". A journey in the heart of one of the problems that has puzzled generations of mathematicians.

An elusive concept, the existence of which has been highly controversial, it eventually becomes a number like any other. The history of infinity and the various ways it emerges in the life of mathematicians (and not...).

From Flatland to the fourth dimension
Starting with a reading from the book Flatland, the course is developed around the discussion on the meaning of the dimensions of geometric objects, with an increasing level of abstraction, and it goes on imagining "impossible" objects like hypercubes, for which, even though we are not able to build, we are nevertheless able to know their characteristics like the number of their hyperfaces and quantities like their hypervolume.

Impossible figure: a trip to topology
Fascinating figures like the ones represented by Escher's prints are the starting point for a journey through the mysteries of topology. Playing with figures and objects, designing and building them with paper (like the Moebius strip), we find out that things are not always as simple as they may seem.

Postulates and theorems: lets create our own mathematics
The axiomatic structure of mathematics has declared their power and validity: but what is an axiom? And what is a theorem? We will discuss through simple playing activities the meaning of these two words, until we are able to create, using as starting point our "own" axioms, our "own" mathematics... that could even turn out to be a little bit weird.

The fascinating world of fractals
Lines and figures well defined as straight lines, triangles and circles are the building blocks of "classical" geometry. But in the world of geometric objects we may also find strange inhabitants: fractals, with their exceptional charm, are an example of such figures particularly unusual that conceal impressive properties.