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April 2011: The Puli Number of the Month - Half a year's education

Who wants to be an astronaut2500. This is the number of high school students who were personally addressed by the Puli Space Team. Taking into account the population of Hungary this is a great number, it is the result of half a year’s work that was unfolding not only in Budapest but also in some other cities in the country.

At the beginning we were watching the students’ faces with doubt. How much are they interested in space exploration? Do they know who was the first or the second man on the Moon? Why Sputnik 1 and Gagarin’s flight (the 50th anniversary of which we are celebrating this year) was important? To exercise a bit of criticism on today’s society and media we could say that it is common for young people to ignore and turn away from literature, history, science and – ironically – technology that is actually considered to be the very base of our present and future society.

And yet, although it is not obvious at first sight, at these presentations we regularly find young people who are a bit scared but definitely interested in the topic. Their number at the beginning is small, but as time goes by, more and more of them try to get involved, ask questions and answer the ones the presenter asks them. It turns out that they actually know who the second person on the Moon was and when – at least approximately – Gagarin had his historical flight. It is surprising that according to our experience the otherwise typical capital-rural contrast is non-existent, students living in other cities and towns are interested as much – if not more – in space exploration and natural sciences – a good example of this was the I. Béla High School in Szekszárd.

one of the entries to our drawing competition

One of the entries to our drawing competition: the interest about life in space is still there in the minds of 11 year olds

After half a year of education we are happy to say that a bit suppressed, but the interest is still there, only it’s not in fashion, scientific qualification is not a social demand. One of our team’s aim is to change this by school lectures, telescope presentations, educational articles and the artistic display of the universe. Let’s not forget that he Moon and the universe is not only the territory of science but also the subject of art and imagination. That is the reason why we started our drawing competition and we try to present the universe through modern tools that are compatible with today’s visual world.

Let us look into the future, what can we expect from the next ten years? If (and as) Puli gets to the Moon, it can make science fashionable again – not only within our borders (it’s a novelty that together with the THE programme we plan a visit to Slovakia), but to Hungarians abroad and – through GLXP – to everybody interested.

Who knows? Among the greatest scientists of the 20. century there very many Hungarians, maybe these times will return because of us.

Last Updated (Sunday, 17 April 2011 21:42)

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