For a Human-Centered AI

The “City of Electrons” kicks off

November 17, 2017

The new project for schools designed by FBK aims to create a science text written by kids and intended for their peers. The protagonist of the presentation event was Agnese Sonato of "PLaNCK!" magazine, who explained to students how to move in the difficult terrain of science communication

On November 15, in its premises on via S. Croce, FBK officially launched “The City of Electrons“, a new project that involves six classes from high schools based in theTrento Province and which sets an ambitious goal: a book of text written by students and intended for their peers.

The initiative, presented by Pierluigi Bellutti (FBK-MNF), Claudia Dolci (Head of Research and Innovation for Schools) and Chiara Zanoni Zorzi (Head of PSUS Library, Publishing and Research Support) is funded by the Caritro Foundation and by Iprase, was created from a “rib” of Domosens, a previous project where groups of students worked together, simulating a company, to create and market a domestic gas sensor. A very positive experience where, however, some issues emerged, such as some difficulty on the part of the students in understanding the chemical-physical mechanisms that govern the operation of a sensor. This is why there is a need to experiment with a new teaching method, which would bring students to face topics of major importance in new technologies, such as semiconductors and nanomaterials, but which are typically not included in school curricular programs.

“The City of Electrons”, however, is a project that goes beyond the scientific aspect: after studying the new technical content, students will have to develop a real editorial product, the recipients of which will be other peer students. It will also be very important to be able to communicate the new knowledge gained in the best way. This is where the Paduan association “Accatagliato” (another partner of the project) comes into play, that since 2013 has published the”Planck“science magazine for children and teenagers and has now become a national point of reference in scientific discovery for young people. During the FBK event, the founder of the magazine, Agnese Sonato (pictured below), unveiled to the kids some “tricks” to communicate and disseminate science effectively (especially for their peers) is an operation that is not easy, but that can be a very entertaining and instructive experience.




The schools involved are Maffei (Riva del Garda), Buonarroti / Pozzo (TN), Prati (TN), Guetti (Tione), Marconi (Rovereto) and Depero (Rovereto). The next stage of the project, to be held on November 27, will be a lecture by Renato Bozio of the University of Padua on semiconductors and nanomaterials. After that, the operational phase will start: five of the six classes involved will start working on the scientific contents, and later on, they will submit a proposal that will be evaluated by a special committee. Once the best job is selected, all the classes will work together to refine it, while it will be the task of the students of the sixth class (simple observers in the first phase) to draft the final text.