Brazil, Bolivia 2014:  the BraBo expedition

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Building on the success of the pilot expedition in the Bolivian Amazon in 2012, GalileoMobile decided to organize an extended expedition to the Amazon region named BraBo. During 5 weeks, from July 21st to August 25th, GalileoMobile went to the Bolivian Department of Pando and the neighbouring Brazilian states of Acre and Rondonia. The itinerary is shown below and covered a total distance of roughly 1600 km. We visited about 12 schools, reaching about 3000 students, 400 local teachers, 68 visually impaired students and educators, and 150 undergraduate studentsThe detailed report about this expedition will be available soon. 

The GalileoMobile documentary 'Ano-Luz' (Light Year) is now released! Watch the full documentary here.

Roadmap of the BraBo expedition around the Amazon region between Bolivia and Brazil.
 
The choice of this region as the destination of the next GalileoMobile project was not only driven by practical purposes: the incredibly rich Astronomical culture of indigenous communities in the Amazon region offers a unique opportunity for cultural exchange, making Astronomy a fundamental thematic axis on which to develop an important dialogue between different traditions and worldviews.
 
This expedition, named BraBo, benefited from the resources developed by the team during the IYA2009 in South America (Chile, Bolivia, Peru 2009) and the network of local contacts established during the previous visit to the Pando district in 2012. GalileoMobile performed a two-day program of activities at each school. On the first day, prior to the beginning of the activities, the GalileoMobile team members gave an opening talk to assess the level of the students’ knowledge of astronomy. The teachers were then introduced to the GalileoMobile Handbook of Activities and material in a small introductory session and were encouraged to lead the activities in their classes themselves, with the GalileoMobile team members present only for support. On the second day, we performed another session with students from other classes and collect the feedback from the teachers.
 
In addition, we hosted four Teacher Training Workshops in collaboration with the GTTP project, which allowed us to reach teachers from schools which could not be included in the GalileoMobile program. These workshops were held in Cacoal, Rio Branco (Brazil) and Cobija (Bolivia) and they consisted of a one-day program including talks from local astronomers, sky-observations and instructions for hands-on activities.
 
GalileoMobile donated telescopes, outreach material and hard-copies of our handbook of activities to the schools visited.
 
The BraBo expedition brought two exciting novelties regarding previous expeditions:
  • We visited two schools for visually impaired children in each country,  where we performed astronomical activities using an astronomical tactile kit developed by the A Touch of the Universe project, one of GalileoMobile’s partners.
  • We dedicated two days to meet with the undergraduate students of Natural Sciences in Rio Branco and Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil.
Like previous expeditions, GalileoMobile encouraged the participation of local communities, which were invited to take part in night-sky observations and documentary screenings. These activities were both held in a public place, normally at the main square of the towns visited.
All activities from the BraBo expedition were recorded in a documentary that will be freely available in 2015.  

The project was funded by the following institutions: