The RadioLab project was created with the aim of providing the INFN with a tool to be used at an institutional level for scientific communication, in particular on environmental radioactivity issues.
The project refers to an effective action to spread scientific culture, and in particular nuclear physics, through the involvement of high school students in environmental radioactivity measures. In it, scientific communication, didactics and scientific research are integrated by putting into action actions of training orientation through a process that follows the phases through which a research work evolves. The implementation method also leads to the dissemination of environmental radioactivity topics even outside the school environment. The awareness of the presence of an environmental radioactivity of natural origin ensures that students, their teachers and their families become familiar with these issues and their participation also allows to conduct monitoring activities of indoor radon and radionuclides in the environment, both of natural origin that anthropic.
The RadioLab project therefore creates a real path that includes work sessions in the laboratory, with the assembly of the detection equipment, in schools (but also houses, buildings that appear particularly interesting for the purposes of radioactivity measurements), with the exposure of dosimeters and again in the laboratory for the reading of dosimeters and the processing of acquired data. This involves an active involvement also of teachers who can follow a real update path through this project, especially in view of the new ministerial directives which provide for the teaching of modern physics in the last year of high school.
In this perspective, the University of Cagliari’s Physics Department last April 2018 hosted about fifty students coming from the Levi Institute of Quartu Sant’Elena and from the Pitagora High School of Selargius who presented the results of the RadioLab project, promoted by the Section of Cagliari of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) as part of the Physics Scientific Degrees Plan.
The RadioLab project, coordinated at a local level by Professor Paolo Randaccio, saw the Sardinian students involved for two years in environmental radioactivity measures, in particular linked to the presence of Radon, mainly in their homes and in school buildings.
The students participating in the project have become aware of the presence of natural radioactivity and the associated health risks and have been actively involved in indoor radon monitoring activities in their homes and schools.
Thanks to the RadioLab project, students have expanded their knowledge of physics, acquiring a new methodology of study and new experimental skills, taking possession of adequate mathematical, IT and linguistic tools and finally developing the communicative component.
For more information on the Radiolab project go to the link: https://web.infn.it/RadioLab/
Below is the RadioLab brochure on radon: