Fondazione Scienza e Tecnica - Firenze

Educational Workshops

The foundation’s most recent initiative has been to organize a series of science workshops, in order to stimulate, amongst other things, curiosity, interest and a desire to discover new things.

The experience of taking part in these play-based, creative workshops is an invaluable way for children to learn more about science. The teaching approach and methodology obviously depend on the age of the participants (which also includes adults). The following workshops have been organized in recent years: ‘Light and shadow from the universe’, dealing with issues in astronomy; ‘Energy and the environment. The search for energy sources’; ‘To grow a tree you need a flower’, about the growth of plants, with particular reference to trees found in urban environments.

Each workshop has its own science kit, a large box containing all the materials and information packs needed to organize games and experiments, in schools or elsewhere, on the specific phenomena relating to a given topic.

The workshops, which are led by staff who have been specifically trained by the foundation in science education issues, include a visit to the planetarium.



The discovery of electrodynamics and the transformation of long-distance communications

The didactics project with its experimental-narrative character involves the first practical applications of electrodynamics and electromagnetism and the transformation of long-distance communications systems. The project is inserted within the framework of the exploitation of the collection of instruments  of the Physics Cabinet, and is connected in particular with the section that includes equipment for telegraphic transmissions. The entire project is aimed at 2nd-level secondary schools, and consists of a seminar-type activity for teachers and of a didactic unit for students. The main aim of the project is to reconstruct an articulated framework that contextualises several scientific discoveries and their relative technical applications within historic and social dimensions, thus stimulating an understanding of certain practical implications of physics as connected to everyday reality.

Didactics unit for students – The didactics unit, which has the  characteristics  of a laboratory and is conducted by a populariter, lasts for two hours and has a hybrid-type structure between the “narrative” and the “experimental”, in such a way that students can be involved in an active participation, and not simply be listening. In fact, starting from a problem belonging to daily life, introduced by the populariter and submitted to the students, a step backwards in time will be taken in order to explore several of the main points of the beginnings of the history of electrodynamics and electromagnetism: from the invention of the battery to Oersted’s experiment that led to the discovery of the action of currents and magnets, to the first practical applications that led to the invention of the telegraph, and arriving at the moment of the laying of the first under-water telegraphic cables that were to enable communications between the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The positive results – but also the failures – of a scientific and technological type are reported in their historic dimensions, while keeping in mind repercussions of a social nature. In the second half of the 19th century, in fact, the introduction of the telegraph led to radical changes in the economic, political, and military fields, for the spread of information on printed paper, and more in general for whatever involved communication possibilities in everyday life.  During the course of the narration, spaces will be created in which participants will be invited to solve several practical problems. This will be done in order to enable them to have a direct experience of what “doing one’s utmost” means and to create technical instruments for solving concrete questions, and not be simple passive users of technology. During the time in the laboratory, those historic instruments of the Collection which testify point by point to the headway of theories and  the developments in techniques/technologies will be demonstrated.


download the brochure  2012-2013








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