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ISSUE 20 - December 2010





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Celestial-themed Cartoons Captivate Children (pages 22-25)
Valeria Cappelli, Chiara Di Benedetto

Key Words
Education, Entertainment, Edutainment, Cartoons, Children, Informal, Education, Moon

Summary

Attivamente: Big discoveries with Galileo and Phineas & Ferb, an educational entertainment project for children, was a collaboration between Disney Television Italy and the Education and Public Outreach office of the INAF Astronomical Observatory of Padua, Italy. The project started during the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and came to an end in June 2010. It consisted of a cartoon series, several articles in a Disney magazine and an educational kit focused on Galileo Galilei and the Moon. The kit, called the First Astronomical Kit, was distributed to 30 000 children in Italy, and included a board game about the Moon, an observation diary and a lunar fact card. The aim of the kit was to give children some basic astronomical knowledge and to demonstrate the essential role that observation plays in understanding the heavens. This article discusses how a research institute and a major entertainment company — each with very different working practices — were able to work together to form a successful partnership.