February 21, 2018
The American Corner YouLab Pistoia, REPS Anne Johnson officially launched the U.S.-Italy Robotics Virtual Exchange. The project, funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Collaboratory, aims to create a virtual communication network among high-school students engaged on a citizen science astronomy project.
The project, an open source robotics telescope to be used for exoplanet observations, will be built by the participating schools, which include the Fedi Fermi School in Pistoia, Italy; the Richland Two Institute for Innovation in Columbia (SC); Northwestern High School in Albion (PA); and Brunswick High School in Brunswick (GA).
The project was designed by PANOPTES, a citizen science initiative promoting the low-cost telescope and exoplanet observation. More than sixty students from all four schools enthusiastically participated in the virtual ribbon-cutting of the project on the Zoom platform. Also at the event were the ECA Collaboratory team, PANOPTES scientists, and the school teachers. ECA’s Senior Advisor for Innovation, Christopher Wurst offered opening remarks from Washington. Local press attended the event in Pistoia.