Summer Program 2009
21 June 2009 - 27 August 2009

The school year is coming to an end, but not without leaving us unforgettable achievements. The Planetarium Science Center (PSC) is currently focusing on reinforcing its successes by emphasizing its annual activities.

In the past months, the 4th FIRST-LEGO League (FLL) in Egypt competition, under the theme “Climate Connections”, was concluded with the “Triple Legend” team, from Alsalam Language School in Asyout, taking first place with an impressive high score of 431 points; the winning team will be representing Egypt in the international competition in the USA.

More recently, the ALEX Science and Engineering Fair was held for the first time to prepare students from Alexandria and neighboring governorates for the Egypt Science and Engineering Fair (ESEF), where the winning teams will represent Egypt in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the USA. The ALEX Fair 2009 first place prize went to Sara and Yousr Alshaarawi, and Ahmed M. Hassan, in the Biochemistry category with their project entitled "Biological Treatment of CO2".

The third annual Science Festivity; a huge public event that gives science a presence in the community and offers people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to question, discuss, and explore; was celebrated on 1 -3 April 2009 with the overarching theme of “Energy”. The event was held under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, and in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Education. The hub of the Science Festivity is the “Science Village” hosting a diversity of interactive exhibits, the Super Science Show, lectures and presentations, as well as the “Science Cafe”. The Egyptian band “Massar Egbary” also performed at the Science Village on 2 April 2009.

In two months time, the PSC will start its most anticipated annual event, the Summer Program. Acombination of innovative hands-on, interactive, and pleasurable activities grouped according to age group, the Summer Program offers exciting packages tailored to give PSC young visitors a memorable vacation and a unique experience of fun learning.

At the center of the Summer Program is a large diversity of workshops, each related to a different field of science; each workshop comprising a variety of hands-on experiments. The Program also includes a series of lectures and contests, in addition to the Super Science Show. The 2009 children also get to attend science shows and documentaries, in addition to a number of camps and fieldtrips to different locations and with different purposes.

Soon, the PSC will also be celebrating the annual events of the World Environment Day (20 June) and Eratosthenes (21 June). Other exhibitions and events to take place in the near future include the Astronomy Day, an International Year of Astronomy 2009 activity (7 May); “The Arctic-The Antarctic” and “Antarctica, a Desert of Ice” exhibitions, held within the Egypt-Italy Science Year 2009; and Flight Day, on 9 August 2009.

Unfortunately, the Planetarium will be closed to the public most of the summer time as it will be undergoing a huge upgrading that was made possible thanks to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism. However, we still promise our visitors another eventful and unforgettable summer!

This season’s workshops are all part of the Summer Program. Students are going to learn about different fields of science. Among other things, they will be introduced to some of the wonders of the stars and the solar system, the secrets of the micro world, the history of fossils, the nature of DNA, and the importance of sports and its relation to health. The students will also learn some interesting facts about how bubbles form, how an engine works, as well as the importance of energy in our lives. Furthermore, they are going to acquire some mental skills during the brain teasers workshop, know how to communicate with the world, as well as some artistic skills and creative designing.
As always, we do our best to guarantee that the students enjoy their experience with us and come visit us every new season for a new variety of intriguing workshops.

A star is a massive, mysterious luminous ball of plasma that is held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth. Other stars are visible in the night sky when they are not outshone by the Sun. In this workshop, students will discover the names of the stars, their characteristics and classifications, in addition to many other interesting facts.

  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
Brain Teasers
The brain is not a passive recipient of knowledge. In order to gain new information, the brain must be able to focus on important cues and store them in its short-term memory. The objective of this workshop is to help students test and exercise their brains with puzzles, as well as logic and strategy games to sharpen their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
In the Bubble
What is so fascinating about bubbles? Is it the precise spherical shape; the incredibly fragile nature of the extremely thin soap film; the beautiful colors that swirl and shine; or is it a combination of all these phenomena? Why does a bubble form a sphere and not a cube, a tetrahedron, or any other geometrical figure? In this workshop, students will observe the forces that form bubbles and try to make them in different colors. This workshop proposes to explore the world of bubbles, from physics to chemistry, from surprising observations to fun hands-on activities!
  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
All forms of energy are stored in different ways in energy sources that we use every day. These sources are divided into renewable sources that include solar energy, wind, geothermal energy, biomass, and hydropower; and nonrenewable sources that include fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal. This workshop presents the different forms of energy, through interactive experiments to explain how energy is transformed from one form to another, its properties and its applications in daily life.
  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
Fossils are the remains of living organisms that existed in old geological ages with their tremendously different conditions, before the start of the New Age we are living in. They are the substantial evidence for the development of living beings; through fossils, we are able to trace organisms that lived in the past. However, there are important conditions that must be fulfilled to complete the fossilization process, as well as different agents that can prevent it. What fossils are, their kinds, their importance; all these conditions, agents and secrets, students will discover in the fossils workshop.
  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
Connect with the Universe
"Communication" is when information is sent by a sender to a receiver via a medium; it requires that all parties share a communicative commonality. The goal of this workshop is to help students understand the meaning of communication, its tools and its different images. The workshop also includes a series of activities concerning the "Morse code", which is a type of character encoding that transmits telegraphic information using rhythm, the semaphore, and the telegraph. 
  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
Much More than Sports (Parts 1 and 2)
Sports are activities that are governed by a set of rules or customs, where the physical capabilities of the competitor are the primary determiner of the outcome either winning or losing. It is important to know the suitable sport for oneself; that is why this workshop will show students the importance of sports and its effect on the human body. Students will also learn the way to healthy nutrition to build a healthy body. The workshop is divided into two parts that will include a series of activities: experiments, games, and movies.
  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
The Solar System
Our Solar System consists of the Sun and the celestial objects bound to it by gravity. For thousands of years, humanity did not recognize the existence of the Solar System. They believed the Earth to be at the centre of the universe, and categorically different from other objects that moved in space. Nicolas Copernicus was the first to develop a mathematically predictive heliocentric system. Then, his successors developed an understanding of physics that led to the gradual acceptance of the idea that the Earth moves around the Sun, and that the planets are governed by the same physical laws that govern the Earth. This workshop is about the different planets of the solar system.
  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
A micro-organism is an organism that is microscopic; that is, too small to be seen by the naked eye. The study of micro-organisms is known as microbiology. Micro-organisms are very diverse; they include bacteria, fungi, microscopic plants, such as green algae, and animals such as amoeba. Some micro-organisms are considered non-living, such as viruses. Microbes are exploited by people in biotechnology. What is a microbe? What is a virus? What are the good microbes and the bad ones? In this workshop, students will learn the answers to these questions and much more.
  •  Target age group: 6-12 years
Have you ever opened the hood of your car and wondered what was going on in there? A car engine can look like a big confusing jumble of metal, tubes and wires. In this workshop, the basic idea behind an engine will be discussed, and then students will learn how all the pieces fit together; what can go wrong and how engine's performance can be enhanced.
  •  Target age group: 12-16 years
Design and Creativity
This workshop is about the exploration of engineering by engaging in hands-on design activities. It provides an environment where science and engineering concepts and skills are applied in a way that is meaningful to students. The workshop takes students through a series of activities, building their understanding in a sequential way, as they identify and design solutions to problems significant in their own lives; the design activities require students to develop concepts and principles from real encounters in their own world.
  •  Target age group: 12-16 years
DNA is the genetic material that exists in the nucleus of each living cell; it is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. The chemical structure of everyone's DNA is the same; the only difference between people is the order of the base pairs; there are so many base pairs in every person's DNA, where each person could be identified by the sequence of their base pairs. Many questions are answered in this workshop, as it will bring you very close to life's code.
  • Target age group: 12-16 years
Measurement is the process of assigning a number to an attribute or phenomenon according to a rule or set of rules; the term can also be used to refer to the result obtained after performing the process. In this workshop, students will be acquainted with altimetry, as well as new innovative ways of measurement of different parameters, including an introduction to different measuring systems.
  •  Target age group: 12-16 years
Getting Closer to Our Environment
Environment is a term that encompasses all living and non-living species existing naturally on Earth. The concept of natural environment can be broken down into a few key components, such as ecological units that function as natural systems without massive human intervention, which includes all vegetation, animals, micro-organisms, soil, rocks, atmosphere and natural phenomena. That is in addition to universal natural resources and physical phenomena that lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air, water, and climate, as well as energy, radiation, and electric charge. Students will learn about ecosystems, various environmental problems and forms of degradation, providing some solutions to such problems.
  •  Target age group: 12-16 years

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Orientation Session for First Lego League (FLL) competition.