domenica 26 novembre 2017

The Virtual Museum is on the go!

The Children's Virtual Museum of Small Animals is to go, and now professionally!
Tessaratoma papillosa, a bug from Taiwan, with eggs!
I began several years ago taking the pictures from my work in the primary schools and kindergartens of Brescia, the town where I live, and putting them on the web, with the indication of the place, the date, the class which had “discovered” the insect or the spider. Other pictures came from other schools and also individual kids I was in contact with, from Italy and from other countries of the world, as well as videos and drawings. It was a good and interesting stuff, as modern technological tools allow everyone, with a little attention and patience, to take cheap and good images of the little interesting living beings all around us. I added also something by myself, for didactic (what is good to capture kids' imagination and joy of knowing), and tried to put things in order and give possibly some basic news and a simple but correct classification, after having tested it with real children in schools.
Erythrodiplax connata, from Colombia

But the “museum” part of my work on insects – I am not an entomologist, but basically a free lance educator skilled in theatre, storytelling and audiovisuals - was not the professional one, as I was payed for going in schools gardens, making videos and also for a photo exhibition but, for several reasons, not for my job of “webmaster”. So, the Museum has been living till now in alternate periods, with many ideas and functionality always “in progress”, despite of the interest for it coming from many, also distinguished people, the interviews, the articlesthe videos and also a small series of ebooks of photography, science and poetry, I wrote connected with it.

From the last year, a great contribution is coming from my Asian correspondents, with a part of an existing international network joining the museum project. So now most news are from TaiwanMalaysiaTurkey and, from the other part of the world, Colombia: schools and kids, very young and less young people post their pictures on the Facebook groups of the Museum and of the association Terra Insieme (Museum “foster-mother”). Then, periodically, I put some of them in the “rooms”. That is not the best solution - the quality of pictures is “through” Facebook and conversations after a while are difficult to be found – but it's very easy. And sometimes something good happens, as the question if that insect from Malaysia was an ant or not (so we discovered that an ant-mantis exist!) and even maybe the first picture available on all the web of the Pterogeina eurysterna hendel!
A Pterogeina eurysterna hendel, family Platystomatidae? 

As now Terra Insieme is finally going to work, we are thinking of giving the Museum a professional setup, including:
A web site with suitable archives and spaces for visitors, collaborators and schools, with many features impossible on private social networks.
A permanent (if not full time) staff, for re-designing and managing the web mastering, organizing direct workshops in schools and local projects and coordinating linked activities by partners and correspondents, as well as communication, productions and publications.
A scientific committeenot only formal, with true experts attainable.
A technical forum where people can talk about how taking photos and videos properly.

We are asking to other groups and associations for partnerships and contributions, as convinced as we are that sharing is the present and the future of cultural enterprises.