by Eduardo Penteado
Next stop, Mâncio Lima, a municipality located in the extreme west of Acre, therefore, within the edges of Brazil! We traveled after working in the latter school in Cruzeiro do Sul. Once again, we loaded the van with our stuff and headed for the road.
Once in Mâncio Lima, we went straight to the Escola de Ensino Fundamental Padre Edson de Oliveira Dantas. It is a very simple establishment, but very well maintained. The teachers who work there and the direction of the school were very attentive to us, providing a very relaxing working environment.
We prepared a big screen and made a quick presentation for all the students. At first, the children were quite shy. They were not sure about what was going to happen. Everybody were very quiet, watching us with curiosity. There were many posters with beautiful pictures of astronomical astronomical spread around the school, which were prepared by our collaborators who traveled with us. I think these posters helped to make the students even more curious.
After the first presentation, we divided the students into different groups and did some workshops. After the end of a workshop, they move to the next one, which was also about to finish. This way, we could work with all students. One of the workshops was the projection of the Sun in a white screen with the help of a telescope. It was a very hot day, so it was difficult to stay longer under exposed to the sun. But it was the first time that most of these children had the opportunity to handle a telescope and use it to observe the Sun in safety. All students looked curious to the white screen where the Sun was projected. They could even observe several sunspots. I believe it was a moment of discovery for the students, when they were able to understand a little bit about the structure of the Sun in a simple and quick way.
After the workshops, we finished the activities with the launch of a rocket made from PET bottles. All prepared by one of our collaborators. The launch was a success! The rocket was placed in an open space and the children were in a safe place to watch the launch. We did the countdown: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, lift off! And there was the rocket, cruising around the schoolyard. The students, with their natural exaltation characteristic of youthful, ran behind the rocket and rescued it back to the launch point. The ran holding the rocket as if it was a trophy. But we received the real trophy, the smile on the children’s faces.
And so we finished our activities in Acre. We crossed the state of an edge to the other, reaching the borders of Brazil. We learned a lot on this trip. We made friends and met incredible people. We worked with wonderful children. We met fantastic teachers. Experienced new flavors. Breathe a new breeze. I truly believe that we learned more that could possibly taught to them. Once again, we had to continue our journey. The next day we had to travel back to Rio Branco for catching a flight to Porto Velho, capital of the Rondonia State. A new journey ahead us.