The science it is an inexhaustible source of knowledge. Science never disappoints curious minds, who would need several lifetimes to discover the secrets behind a volcano, a tropical disease, a satellite, an anemometer, a sundial, a 3D printer or simple glasses. Because more than 3,000 people, most families with children of school age, came yesterday to enjoy the XVIII La Orotava Science Fair, who returned to the street after the virtual edition, bound by the Covid-19, from last year 2020.
The public had been queuing from ten in the morning, half an hour before the official opening of the doors of this exhibition of scientific dissemination that has the honor of being the oldest in the Canary Islands and the second oldest in all of Spain. Some queues that did not disappear until two in the afternoon, while curiosity was being satisfied in shifts of 200 people, due to capacity limitations still imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite being a smaller edition than usual, attendees had the opportunity to discover and learn a lot in a very short time. In a short walk, young and old were able to learn about the operation of an anemometer, which measures the speed and direction of the wind; how dunes form and what role does a plant like the rocking horse play in this process; excuse me Erastothenes was able to measure the diameter of the earth in 300 BC, or how a simple pendulum is able to show the force of gravity or the rotation of the earth, just as he achieved Foucault in 1851 in Paris. All this knowledge was distributed, completely free, in the positions of the Group of Physical Geography and Environment of the ULPGC, and of Museum of Science and the Cosmos. The first two stops of the fair.
Participants were able to discover how an anemometer or a sundial works, see parasites up close, witness a rocket launch or learn the secrets of glasses
From 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Classroom of Culture and Computational Thinking brought engineering and robotics closer to people of all ages and backgrounds, and the group of students Teidesat He showed the secrets of optical communications, the launch of rockets (with pressurized water) and his nanosatellite project, which they hope to see in orbit within three to four years. The Isaac Newton Society of Teachers of Mathematics showed that this science can be very fun and useful, and the Institute of Tropical Diseases allowed to know and observe, without risk to health, parasites such as intestinal nematodes, tapeworms, fleas, lice, bed bugs or crabs.
The Salesian school San Isidro exposed the infinite possibilities of 3D printing, capable of creating a Batman life-size or provide key teaching tools. The project to assess the impact of microplastics and emerging pollutants off the coast of Macaronesia gave everyone the opportunity to understand and classify microplastics. AND the Cassiopeia Cultural Classroom of the ULL made it possible for those interested to discover what a soleroscope or a homemade spectroscope consists of, or why the angle of a sundial depends on the latitude of the place where it is located.
The Canarian Orotava Foundation for the History of Science unraveled the secrets of polarized filters; the functioning of the human eye, or the origin of glasses. On the center stage Lokociencia offered two sessions of Terrifying Science Experiments; the mathematician of the ULL Ignacio Garcia demonstrated “why there are ten kinds of people,” and the volcanologist Nemesio perez answered questions from the public about the La Palma eruption.
Pérez explained, for example, that a new eruptive mouth may open in Old Summit, because it already happened in the eruption of the San Juan volcano in 1949, but the probability that this will happen again now is “very low.” He stressed that volcanologists do not deal “with certainties, but with probabilities,” and that volcanic risk has increased in the Canary Islands, “But not because of the volcanic activity itself, but because of the increase in population density and the occupation of the territory, which makes it easier for eruptions to affect urban centers.” He recalled that the probability of an eruption occurring in Tenerife in the next 50 years it is around 40% and demonstrated, by getting excited, that scientists are not immune to the suffering caused by laundry.