Contributed by José Francisco Rodrigues
In Portugal, the “Matemática do Planeta Terra” (MPT2013) initiative is coordinated by a National Committee put together by the Portuguese Commission for UNESCO, with delegates from the Portuguese Mathematical Society (SPM), Association of Mathematical Teachers (APM), LUDUS Association, Centro Internacional de Matemática (CIM), Science Museum of the University of Coimbra, National Museum of Natural History and Science of the University of Lisbon and the National Agency for the Scientific and Technologic Culture (Ciência Viva).
While the European launch of MPE2013 was taking place at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, a youth festival was taking place in Lisbon at “Pavilhão do Conhecimento,” the largest science center in Portugal, with hundred of pupils participating in mathematics popularization activities directly or indirectly related to the mathematics of planet earth for schools. Many activities around themes like “Pedro Nunes and the Quadrant”, “Construction of Sundials”, “Romanesque broccoli, cauliflowers and other iterations”, as well as a very popular “Mathematical Circus” fascinated and challenged the children and students during the day. A direct connection with the African isle of Principe allowed sharing several topics in popularization of mathematics for schools. The three Portuguese modules (the interactive modules “Rhumb Lines and Spirals” and “Earthquakes and Structures” and the “Sundials” film) participating in the international MPE2013 competition and selected for the UNESCO exhibition were also displayed in Lisbon. The official opening took place at the end of the day with a communication of the Portuguese Minister of Education and Science, Nuno Crato, a mathematician and former president of the Portuguese Mathematical Society who had participated at the UNESCO MPE session, and with the start of a “Portugal MPE2013 Tour.”
The presentation in Portugal of the MPE2013 initiative took place on May 6, 2011, at the University of Lisbon, co-organized by CIM. CIM is currently organizing two scientific conferences and two summer schools, “International Conference and Advanced School Planet Earth, Mathematics of Energy and Climate Change,” MECC 2013 in March, and “International Conference and Advanced School Planet Earth, Dynamics, Games and Science,” DGS 2013 in August-September 2013.