To Moscow with science and theatre

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

Chil­dren went wild this De­cem­ber to Mal­tese sci­en­tists and ac­tors from the troupe Kids Dig Science who built their shows at the Science in the City fes­ti­val and through­out the year at Spazju Kreat­tiv. Their creative and in­ter­ac­tive pup­pet theatre in Moscow en­gaged Rus­sian ele­men­tary school chil­dren with sci­en­tific con­cepts.

The ac­tors, Sean Briffa and Jere- my Grech com­bined pup­pet theatre with science for over a hun­dred chil­dren at Cam­bridge In­ter­na­tional School and at Innopark In­ter­ac­tive Science Mu­seum in Moscow, Rus­sia last week. In the play, Billy the Beaver needed to build a dam which kept fall­ing due to mys­te­ri­ous trem­bling. With the help of two seis­mol­o­gists, he re­cruited the fa­mous sci­en­tist Ja­cob − a very blue pup- pet. To­gether they went on an ad­ven­ture to the cen­tre of the Earth to dis­cover what it is made up of and what move­ments lead to it crack­ing like an egg shell and shak­ing to dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect.

On the fringes of the two per­for­mances, the two Mal­tese sci­en­tists, seis­mol­o­gist Dr Matthew Agius and science and in­no­va­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion lec­turer Dr Ed­ward Duca (Univer­sity of Malta) spoke to lead­ing re­searchers from the Sch­midt In­sti­tute of Physics of the Earth of the Rus­sian Academy of Sciences. Agius and Duca ex­changed views on how to foster re­la­tions and ex­changes be­tween the De­part­ment of Geo­sciences (Univer­sity of Malta) and the Sch­midt In­sti­tute of Physics of the Earth, which is one of the most prom­i­nent cen­tres in Rus­sia in the field of geo- physics.

Agius spoke about cut­ting-edge re­search from Malta in­clud­ing dig­i­tal map­ping of his­tor­i­cal sites, seis­mic mon­i­tor­ing, tsunami mod­el­ling and dis­as­ter mit­i­ga­tion. He also stud­ied the Mid-At­lantic Ocean and the Hawai­ian Is­lands, as part of an in­ter­na­tional sci­en­tific team. Such work is fu­elled by in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tions and fund­ing.

Duca ex­plained sev­eral EU­funded pro­jects un­der the frame­work of Hori­zon 2020 that ben­e­fit the Univer­sity of Malta. He men­tioned a range of creative and in­no­va­tive ini­tia­tives that are com­mu­ni­cat­ing science to Mal­tese cit­i­zens through the arts, es­pe­cially with pro­jects like the Science in the City fes­ti­val. Duca also spoke about a large Hori­zon 2020 pro­ject called Nu­cleus, which is study­ing how to bring so­ci­ety closer to re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Malta, ap­proaches that res­onated in­ter­est from the Rus­sian sci­en­tists.

The pro­ject was or­gan­ised by the Em­bassy of the Repub­lic of Malta and the Min­istry for For­eign Af­fairs and Trade Pro­mo­tion un­der the Cul­tural Diplo­macy Fund 2018.

The Mal­tese Del­e­ga­tion in­vited at the Cam­bridge In­ter­na­tional School in Moscow

Kids Dig Science per­for­mance at the Cam­bridge In­ter­na­tional School in Moscow

Dr Matthew Agius pre­sent­ing his work to Rus­sian re­searchers from the Sch­midt In­sti­tute of Physics of the Earth

Sean Briffa and Jeremy Grech with the Pup­pet Dr Ja­cob

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