Fundacion Ecoscience, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMTO) and the U.S. Embassy, with the participation of Minister of Sciece Andres Couvé, hosted the May 13 launch of a mobile planetarium and astronomy education bus LabMóvil Conciencia Astronomía. The mobile planetarium, partially funded by the U.S. Embassy, will accompany LabMóvil Conciencia Astronomía (a production of GMTO, Ecoscience and Kavli Institute) throughout Chile promoting STEM careers and science literacy among youth from vulnerable communities and regions. The California Academy of Sciences, with National Science Foundation funding, is producing visual material for the planetarium that will focus on Chile’s observatories and clear skies.
The Embassy co-funded the planetarium within the context of the U.S.-Chile Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC), an initiative that brought together public, private and academic sector representatives to develop recommendations for promoting public policy and innovation; technology transfer; and education, workforce development and a science culture. Astronomy is a priority for this Embassy as a science, as a reflection of U.S. Chile collaboration, as an engine for the development of communications, engineering, physics, big data, dark skies and related fields, and as a portal to STEM careers for youth. We support and strengthen organizations that promote gender diversity in STEM fields; astronomy education and communication, youth robotics teams; and exchange experiences in the United States through scholarships to programs such as the National Youth Science Camp for high school students and the Institute of the Americas exchange for science teachers.
We are very proud to partner with Fundación Ecoscience and GMTO to further scientific education through this mobile planetarium and astronomy lab.