Hello! I am Emmanuel a new member of the Constellation project and a tutor at the schools in Lumiar and São Pedro, Brazil. One of the stars in our constellation of schools in South America is actually a double star! It is located in the mountains in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Yes, you read correctly! There are not only beaches in Rio, but also beautiful mountains.
At an altitude of around 1000m, the climate is much softer than the tropical heat at sea level. That’s why early in the 19th century, this beautiful region was chosen by a colony of swiss migrants and their city of Nova Friburgo (New Fribourg) was founded. The two sister schools are located in São Pedro da Serra (Colegio José Martins da Costa) and Lumiar (Colegio Carlos Maria Marchon), between forests, waterfalls and, of course, under an amazingly clear sky; perfect for our future astronomical observations. There are about 200 pupils aged from 10 to 15 in each school.
In the Colegio José Martins da Costa everybody takes part in projects, which complement the education of both the pupils and the teachers. In one of their successful projects they participate in monitoring the water quality of the rivers in the region. You even can meet some of the participting students in this awesome video made for the project. The colegio also hosts a cinema workshop and one of their experimental short movies was even presented in several festivals in Brazil!
The teachers are young and very enthusiastic about the new Constellation project, which consists of hands-on activities related to astronomy. Let me introduce you to the teachers that are part of the project. Here we have Evanil, Marina, and Viviane during our first ever meeting,
and Ricardo with João Pedro, an astrophysics fan and obviously a very enthusiactic supporter.
Viviane took me around in the school and showed the new science lab (all setup for the water analysis) as well as the computer room.
A few kilometers away, in the Colegio Marchon of Lumiar, Aline will lead the astronomical activities. Here, she’s in front of the library. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to take many pictures because the classes were starting. Luckily Marcia, the school’s co-director, took me to the computer room that the young astronomers to be are going to use for the activities.
I would like to finish this post by sharing with you a wonderful photograph by Claudia Regina of the sky over Lumiar, known for its beautiful in Brazil. We’ll be back with updates about our double star as soon as the activities start! Até pronto, fique ligado! (see you soon, stay tuned!)