13 November, 2015
The ALMA Observatory and Fundación Mustakis have teamed up to share robotics with schoolchildren and college students. Students who participate in the initiative’s pilot project attended workshops, where they were able to play the role of ALMA engineers in the National Intercollegiate Educational Robotics Final, held November 7 in Valparaíso, Chile, with the participation of 500 attendees.
As part of the ALMA – Mustakis partnership, over the past few months a series of workshops were held for schoolchildren and university students to introduce children to the world of programming and science through a practical and entertaining approach to these subjects.
“This initiative is very important because its focus is on involving talented individuals from a young age”, indicated ALMA Software Manager, Tzu-Chiang Shen.
One of the workshops engages students in the assembly of parabolic antennas made from paper or cardboard and controlled by Arduino boards, to stimulate an interest in robotics in schoolchildren.
Another workshop is a biannual project for controlling ALMA antennas and transporters built to scale. Participants of the workshops learn about this radio telescope – the most powerful of its type – and learn how it operates by building antennas with recycled material that is automated with Arduino boards and other computer tools such as data processing software.
El observatorio ALMA y la Fundación Mustakis se aliaron con el objetivo de difundir la robótica entre escolares y universitarios.
“At Fundación Mustakis, our goal is to provide development opportunities to people and to challenge children and youth in Chile to discover their enormous potential through initiatives where they can put their skills into practice and develop their talents, thereby contributing to a better future,” says Alejandra Valdés, manager of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Fundación Mustakis.
University student volunteers from the Fundación Mustakis Robotics Program mentor these workshops and guide high school students in their ALMA software projects with the help of observatory professionals. Every Saturday in October and November, students gather to develop innovation related to the Universe.
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