Maltese science and puppet theatre show performed in Moscow
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Maltese science and puppet theatre show performed in Moscow

The Maltese delegation at the Cambridge International School in Moscow.

The Maltese delegation at the Cambridge International School in Moscow.

Maltese scientists and actors from the Kids Dig Science creative and interactive puppet theatre troupe recently performed two shows in Moscow, Russia, for over 100 pupils at the Cambridge International School and at the Innopark Interactive Science Museum.

The shows, performed by actors Sean Briffa and Jeremy Grech, were about seismology. The plot revolved around a character called Billy the Beaver who needed to build a dam but it kept falling down due to a mysterious trembling. He joined two seis­molo­gists and a famous scientist called Dr Jacob to go on an adventure to the centre of the Earth to discover what it is made up of and the movements that lead to it crack like an egg shell and shake to devastating effect.

Similar shows on different themes that combine puppet thea­tre with science are performed throughout the year at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta as well as at the annual Science in the City festival.

The performances in Moscow were organised with the support of the Maltese Embassy there and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion under the Cultural Diplomacy Fund 2018.

On the fringes of the two performances in Moscow, two scientists from the University of Malta – seismologist Dr Matthew Agius and science and innovation communication lecturer Dr Edward Duca – met researchers at the Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth of the Russian Academy of Sciences, one of the leading centres in Russia in the field of geophysics.

Agius spoke about his studies in the mid-Atlantic Ocean and the Hawaiian islands as part of an international scientific team, as well as about research taking place in Malta, including on digital mapping of historical sites, seismic monitoring, tsunami modelling and disaster mitigation.

Such research is fuelled by international collaborations and funding, and Duca spoke about several EU funded projects under the framework of Horizon 2020 that the University of Malta is benefitting from. The Russian scientists were particularly interested in a large Horizon 2020 project called Nucleus which is studying how to bring society closer to researchers at the University of Malta.

Duca also spoke about a range of creative and innovative initiatives that are communicating science to people in Malta through the arts, especially with projects like the Science in the City festival.

The two sides exchanged views on how to foster relations and exchanges in future between the University of Malta’s Department of Geosciences and the Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth.

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