Cabe-nos guardar esse património material e imaterial extraordinário, abri-lo e dá-lo a conhecer a todos quanto queiram assimilá-lo. 

 João Caraça in Carta de apoio à iniciativa “Eddington na Sundy: 100 anos depois”   

Sundy Science Space (SSS) is the physical legacy of the astronomical observations which took place at the iconic Roça Sundy. The space will offer its visitors a group of interactive experiences and, in connection to nature, will allow visitors to get familiar with the scientific heritage, which is related to Roça Sundy’s history, but also offer scientific learning experiences which involve the visitor in the building of scientific knowledge. It is aimed at curious from 8 to 80 years old who reside in or visit the Island of Príncipe, with a special interest for school audiences, educators, communicators and Science disseminators.

100 years later, Einstein’s boldest predictions gather in the place in which Eddington recorded the information that contributed to make Einstein a celebrity.

 

The choice of the place

 

Roça Sundy, as a built heritage goes back to the 19th century, having become iconic, during its history, also because of scientific history, but mainly due to the importance of the production of cocoa and coffee. Thus, integrated in the environment and profiting from the industrial heritage, scenes from the period will be recreated from the machinery existing on site, so that Science does not disconnect from History and from Roça Sundy’s path in its different facets.

The place designated to constitute the build section of SSS was, in previous times, a cocoa and coffee dryer, named electrical dryer or, as it is known by the local population, the “Ferro-Ferro Museum. It is dated from the fifth decade of the 20th century and represents one of the stages of the Roça’s development, in which scientific knowledge and the associated technologies were directly applied in the plantations and the island’s productions. It will be made up of a physical space in Roça Sundy and a set of Science Trails, which will peak at that place and in which connections between the Sciences of the Sea, Land and Air will be explored.

 

Sundy Science and History experience

 

Going through the Science Trails is an experience in which Science, Nature and local Culture merge in a process of awareness for especially relevant subjects related to science and local culture. In Príncipe, this experience becomes unique due to the wealth of biodiversity and the island’s historical and cultural context.

A very small version of an interferometer will allow the visitors to understand the confirmation of Einstein’s theory. It will be accompanied by and exhibit focused on Eddington’s original observation of the deflection of light named Light deviated by the Sun – PT  which covers the basic ideas of general relativity and quantum mechanics.

The ex-libris is the Planetarium which is planned for the space will serve the local population and visitors. This project is part of a medium-term plan which strategically uses Astronomy as a tool for development.

Apart from what has already been mentioned, period scenes will appear in SSS resorting to models which historically accommodate the industrial heritage that exists therein. This intervention can begin after the space’s opening in May 2019.

 

Mission

 

SSS aims at being a means of signalling on site the historical connection to Science, safeguarding the legacy of a scientific event of the utmost importance, apart from allowing the consolidation of projects and initiatives developed in the island of Príncipe related to this historical episode.

To that end, its objectives are:

  • to be a space in the service of Príncipe’s Education and School community, intended to provide learning experiences in the field of Science;
  • to be the culmination of the Science Trails that have been developed since 2013 and therefore cover target audiences with different interests and dynamics;
  • to constitute a space by excellence for scientific outreach in education in the Island of Principe and a reference to neighbouring countries;
  • to protect the historical and scientific legacy of the astronomical observations that took place there;
  • to constitute a tourist attraction and a “business card” on Príncipe Island, in particular in Roça Sundy.

 

Beyond 2019

 

The creation of SSS is framed by the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, which, on its turn, is aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Goals, date for SSS to be able to maintain a sustainable operation.

SSS’ sustainability will be ensured by partnership which allow:

  • To promote an internationally arranged educational and scientific outreach programme which includes the implementation of Summer/Winter schools.
  • To promote scientific tourism in the Island of Príncipe.
  • To ensure SSS’ serves Education, in the scope of learning experiences for students and in the teacher training component.
  • To update the exhibit’s contents and interactive modules.
  • To maintain SSS in regards to logistics, human and material resources.

 

Partners for sustainability

 

Up to this moment, we have confirmed the following partners who will support SSS:

Príncipe’s Regional Government| HBD |Island of Príncipe Biosphere Reserve |Núcleo Interativo de Astronomia (NUCLIO) | Portuguese Language Office of Astronomy for Development (POLAD)| International Astronomical Union (IAU) | Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP) | Geophysics and Astronomical Observatory of the University of Coimbra (OGA-UC, in Portuguese) |

If you’re interested in being a part of this ambitious project, contact us: eddingtonatsundy@gmail.com.