Educational material to enhance nuclear awareness in Bolivia

Bustos Espinoza, R. O. E;


In order to strengthen the nuclear culture in Bolivia, we prepared in 2008 a book to be used at the ending year of high school, where new topics were introduced, especially those concerned to modern physics, such as nucleostatics and nucleodynamics. We tried to include this book as the official contents to be taught in the Bolivian high schools; however, due to the lack of training of most teachers in physics, this attempt was unsuccessful. On the other hand, we carried out other initiatives, such as the opening of a wikifisica in the server of the Department of Physics of our University (UMSA), and the inclusion of the module "Intro-duction to Nuclear Physics" in the refresher course given to teachers in physics once a year. The number of visits of the Nuclear wikifisica page is increasing and we frequently update the contents of this website in order to improve it. The above mentioned refresher course, called DFIS is an outreach project, where physicists train high school teachers in physics that in the near future will teach these new topics to high school students. The development of DFIS is done using new information technologies that allow distance learning, and the virtual interaction between the trainers and students via a moodle platform. At the end of DFIS, the high-school teachers carry out experiments, prepare a monograph and pass a final test in order to obtain the grade. These activities pretend to enhance the knowledge on nuclear physics of high school students through the improvement of the level of high school teachers in physics. Another important activity, related with the enhancement of nuclear culture, are the Bolivian Olympiad on Physics and the Bolivian Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics, both for high school students where it were included topics about nuclear physics since 1997 and 2006 respectively. Finally, some other activities are in progress, such as informative talks and popularization publications on nuclear physics.

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Carrera de Física, Campus Universitario, Calle 27, Cota Cota, La Paz - Bolivia