Maker Faire Rome is the European event that talks about technological innovation in a simple and accessible way, connecting businesses, Academia, people and ideas. It is a trade fair where industry experts, makers and innovators meet to share their projects with the general public.
A big edition with new innovative contents in one of the most suitable places to host an event in constant growth and evolution. “Maker Faire Rome (MFR) - The European Edition”, the event promoted and organized by the Rome Chamber of Commerce, was held in Rome from 20 to 22 October, in the spaces of the Fiera di Roma. With 7 pavilions available for approximately 100 thousand square meters of extension and over 600 attractions to discover, Maker Faire Rome confirms itself as the fair where the digital revolution takes shape and the future is anticipated, the place of the limelight dedicated to families, children and all passionate about innovation, but also the consolidated format for companies and professional innovators who use digital culture as a means to face new market challenges. A special session was dedicated to Education&Schools, an educational-themed area that hosts projects from the world of schools and training.
An educational project by Alessandro Stroppa (CNR SPIN) and his collaborator Karin Giorgini, who graduated with him and is now teacher at Primary School, was selected for participation at MFR Rome 2023. “It was the first time that I attended this big event. They were very long days, meeting many people but it was so exciting discussing with many persons curious to know about symmetries and their manifestations in daily life”, says Alessandro.
In the project presented at Maker Faire, Making fun with Symmetries, the activities were designed for primary school students in order to get insights into geometrical concepts by exploiting simple arguments and specific games dealing with symmetries. In particular, “dynamical models”, software, and mirrors were employed. During the event, concepts have been progressively explained through the manipulation of materials, observation and subsequent mental and verbal reworking, with an increasing order of difficulties. Complex concepts like phase transitions or symmetry breaking phenomena in material science are explained using geometric figures. Connections between symmetries and geometrical properties of a figure are explained, in parallel to examples in materials science, in a perspective of a multidisciplinary project. The didactic kit attracted the interest of many kids, but also adults and, in particular, teachers, for using it for the classes.
The project started with the Karin’s thesis in 2019, which evolved into an outreach event at Street Science for the past years. Furthermore, it was presented in several schools in Abruzzo upon invitation. Finally, thanks to the collaboration with Stemblocks, Spin-off of University of L’Aquila, led by prof. Leonardo Guidoni, it evolved into a final form as a box containing the didactic kit.