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Venda Nova do Imiguerete will have a Science Square and an Astronomical Observatory.

Venda Nova do Imiguerete will have a Science Square and an Astronomical Observatory.

Ufes and the Espírito Santo Technology Foundation (Fest) have signed an agreement for the implementation of a science plaza and astronomical observatory in the municipality of Venda Nova do Imergente, in the Serrana area of ​​Espírito Santo. The works are scheduled to start in the second half of this year and be delivered in 2027. The investment will exceed R$ 400,000.

The square will be built in the Villa Betania neighborhood next to the Maximo Zandonade Cultural and Tourist Center. The space will contain interactive equipment accessible to different audiences, such as a human gyroscope and a sensory garden. The intention is that the park promotes environmental education by reconnecting with nature.

“We hope that the square will be a reference for local schools that will be able to use it as a training environment for students, in addition to serving tourists who are permanent residents of the city,” explains Professor of Physics Gabriele Lucchini, who coordinates the initiative along with Professor of Biology Viviana Corti.

The Venda Nova do Imiguerete (OVNI) Observatory will be located in the community of Alto Caxixe, in the rural area of ​​the municipality. “The observatory is located in an area far from the city center, at a higher altitude,” he added. “Activities in the UFO must be carried out at specific times, given its location, and are organized mainly with school groups,” explains Lucchini.

“The idea is for the UFO to serve as a support base so that people can closely observe various astronomical events such as meteor showers, planetary alignments, etc. The UFO will be supported by GOA. [Gaturamo Observatório Astronômico]“It is our observatory in the office,” the professor adds.

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Financing

Most of the resources needed for the proposal to be implemented are the result of a partnership with the Funder of Studies and Projects (Finep). The Development Agency, linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), will finance R$ 299,998.40. The Venda Nova City Hall will invest R$ 106,242.66.

The implementation of the equipment in Venda Nova is the result of a long-term partnership between OFIS and the Municipality, through extension projects that seek to disseminate, promote and popularise science, such as the Knowledge Fair and the Mobile Science Project.

After the pandemic, the Venda Nova City Council contacted Professor Lucchini and other educators who had participated in previous scientific activities. “At that same moment, there was a Finep notice open and we decided that it would be an excellent opportunity to go beyond the usual procedures and coordinate the construction of a scientific square in the city. The idea was to give these numerous educational activities, promoted by the various municipal administrations, a specific location that could be integrated into the daily life and the strong tourist potential of the city.

Scientific literacy

According to Gabriele Lucchini, the main objective of his work and that of the other teachers who accompany him is scientific literacy. “Science and access to knowledge are two fundamental and essential elements for a healthy society”, assures the professor who, in this mission, is supported by the coordinator of the Laboratory for the Popularization of Science (LabPOP), Viviana Corti; and those responsible for the Gatturmo Astronomical Observatory, Marcio Malacarni and Messias Civolani.

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Lucchini also highlights the role of Ufes in the development of Espírito Santo and its importance in training qualified professionals who work in research that is present in the daily lives of the inhabitants of Espírito Santo.

“The construction of this Science Square in Venda Nova do Igrate is a milestone at the moment when the university wants to strengthen relations with the community in which it operates. It carries the message that science and knowledge are a right for all, which makes us move towards a more dignified and humane society.”