Vai al contenuto principale

Fabiola Gianotti, Renzo Piano and John Elkann have presented the new centre for popular science. A rich programme for junior secondary schools in Italy is also ready to launch, promoted by FCA and Fondazione Agnelli

Today, Geneva’s CERN presented Science Gateway, a new structure dedicated to education and popular science. The project’s mission is to create an educational and cultural centre that can inspire and engage younger generations with the wonderful allure of science. Designed for visitors of all ages, the Science Gateway will offer exciting exhibition areas, educational workshops in which children and students from elementary to secondary schools will have the chance to conduct experiments, and a large auditorium for events, both for experts and the general public.

The structure will be designed by globally renowned architecture firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The project is funded through external donations, with the leading contribution coming from the FCA Foundation, a charitable foundation created by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: 45 million Swiss francs will be donated within its Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and to honour Sergio Marchionne’s memory. Construction is planned to start in 2020 and to be completed in 2022.

The project was described during a press conference in Geneva with CERN Director-general Fabiola Gianotti, iconic architect Renzo Piano and John Elkann, Chairman of FCA, the FCA Foundation and Fondazione Agnelli.

“We are committed to this project – explained John Elkann – because we share a number of values with CERN. There are places where differences are not an obstacle but a strength. Where different cultures, experiences and languages do not separate people, but draw them closer. Where different points of view allow us to reach better solutions. CERN is most definitely one of such places.”

The Science Gateway will also offer a rich programme of science education activities and scientific experiments for schools all over Europe, which will start with a pilot project engaging Italy’s junior secondary schools.

Fondazione Agnelli will collaborate with CERN to help design the educational spaces at the Science Gateway, as well as to define the pilot programme for junior secondary schools in Italy.

The latter’s main goal is to convey to teachers and students the charm of science and the importance of the scientific method in an engaging and hands-on way, encouraging the latter to pursue a career in so-called STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Through an inquiry-based learning method, rooted in direct observations and problem solving, students will take part in experimental learning modules designed to explain the most important phenomena in physics. Classes will be provided with custom kits that include all the materials and instructions they need to carry out the activities during the school year. Finally, they will be invited to enter a scientific education contest, for a chance to win a 2-3 day visit to the Science Gateway and CERN in Geneva.