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|An Experience in Italy|
Left: From the 2012 Competition: The Danti Planetarium Team from left: Abdelhalim El Hilali, Stephen McNeil from Brigham Young University, Luca di Bitonto, Silvia Mazzoni, Simonetta Ercoli, Marco Bagaglia, and Heather Smith. Photo by Rosemary McNeil. On Right, ShiAnne Kattner from Casper Planetarium (Wyoming), the 2015 winner, at Castello di Brescia. Photo by Loris Ramponi.
New annual application deadline: July 31
A Week in Italy for an American Planetarium Operator
Each year, in the spring, the Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory (Lumezzane/Brescia) hosts an American planetarium operator, whose native tongue is English, to work with high school students of English.
Applications are requested from educators or astronomers who work with any of the various models of planetariums.
The winner will:
All lessons and presentations will be conducted in the English language. The preliminary text of the lesson is required so that teachers will have ample time to work with their students before the experience. Be prepared to teach the lesson at either a basic or an advanced level. Some classes are extremely interested but do not know a lot of astronomy and others have studied astronomy in depth.
Most of the students will have had two to four years study of English and will understand the spoken word if you speak clearly and deliberately. They have a good sense of humor and certainly display the usual excitement about the planetarium.
Opportunity to tour
The expected length of stay in Italy is 10 days, and participants, of course, may further extend their stay at their own cost at their discretion. In addition, there will be time when there are no other engagements, thus providing an opportunity for touring the locale and nearby cities. For instance, Lumezzane is very rich in public astronomy with the Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory, four small planetaria, the Eureka Astronomical Center, and the National Archive of Planetaria.
The province of Brescia is very interesting with its natural landscapes and parks, three lakes, and a most important valley for prehistoric age stone engravings. Exciting artistic cities, such as Verona and Venice, are nearby and can be reached by taking a one- or two-hour train ride.
We request a final report be written by the American teacher, which will include the text of the high school lesson, comments from the students, and impressions of the experience.
July 31 is the yearly deadline for the applicants of "An Astronomical Experience in Italy for an American Planetarium Operator." (Revised 10/2017)
By applying for this contest, you agree to release copyright of your original script and recordings and release the works under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which makes your work public domain.
Send your application to:
Opportunity to improve your application if reapplying:
Participants who were not winners this year may reapply. You have one or two months to prepare and send auxiliary materials that you would use during your lessons in Italy. Many unsuccessful applicants neglect to send a complete proposal. It is always wise to consult some previous winners to ascertain the best approach.
After these materials are received you will be asked to make contact and participate in a conversation via Skype with the organizers of the Week in Italy to present your work and next year’s proposal.
Winners of the "An Astronomical Experience in Italy for an American Planetarium Operator” (since 1995) can be found at:
2017 October 4