6 June, 2014
Elementary, junior high and high school students from Arica to Punta Arenas competed for a prize that is a once in a lifetime experience: a visit to the most powerful astronomical observatory in the world, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The competition is part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Summer School at the University of Chile.
ALMA and the University of Chile challenged the 3,500 students taking part in Summer School with the launch of the “1st Micro Short Film Competition,” for videos of less than one minute that explain in an original way what ALMA is and what it does.
“We have been pleasantly surprised by the creativity of the videos we received, because they met our goal of awakening the students’ curiosity and desire to display their vision of ALMA in a way that is understandable and interesting for young people,” said Valeria Foncea, head of ALMA’s Education and Public Outreach Department and president of the jury that chose the winners.
Other members of the jury are Guido Garay, head of the Astronomy Department at the University of Chile, representing the Summer School; Gianni Marconi, ALMA astronomer; and graphic designer Alejandro Peredo, who is in charge of ALMA’s web site.
After deliberating, the jury chose the winner: a micro short film by María José Torres Pino (16 years old), a student in her third year of high school at Colegio Manquecura in Puente Alto, who reacted happily to the news: “My video was a bit more original, but I didn’t expect to win! It was hard work, but it was worth it. I’ve always wanted to visit an observatory,” she said. She’ll fulfill her dream in the coming months along with her father, who has encouraged her to learn about astronomy since she was a young child.
María José Torres, Colegio Manquecura in Puente Alto.
“We wanted to offer our students a virtual trip to the stars, and what better prize than a visit to the installations of the largest astronomical project in the world?” said Alejandra Ávila, Deputy Director of the Summer School. Ávila said she was very pleased with the success of the competition and added that the jury chose five other for honorable mentions, for outstanding work by students Nicol Cabrera, Andrés Mora, Javiera Oyarzún, Daniel Salgado and Felipe Soto
Javiera Oyarzún, Colegio Carampangue de Talagante.
Nicol Cabrera, Centro Educacional San Carlos de Aragón.
Daniel Salgado, Colegio San Antonio del Baluarte de Rengo y Felipe Soto, Colegio Santa Cruz de Santiago.
Andrés Mora, Colegio Antilén de Rengo.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.
ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).
Education and Public Outreach Officer
Joint ALMA Observatory
Tel: +56 2 467 6258
Cell: +56 9 75871963