The children encounter light and, more generally, the phenomena of nature with strategies that are relational and affective as well as rational and cognitive. The initial springboards to learning are wonder and curiosity. The environments can multiply this wonder by amplifying certain phenomena and making them ‘spectacular’. The resulting experience is aesthetic and engaging, the fruit of sensitivity and perception, an experience of freedom and of participation.

Ray of Light atelier is based on these considerations and does not propose predetermined paths, keeping open all possible ways of interacting and learning.

MEETING BETWEEN PARALLEL WORLDS

Transiting through different standpoints and perspectives is an extremely interesting operation for learning ends. Overhead projectors are tools capable of creating worlds crowded with different, often unexpected phenomena, activating wonder and research in everyday spaces, our ‘confident’ world (a world whose rules we are confident with).

PATH OF LIGHT

A group of five-year-old children, designing a light-catching machine, has to confront a number of problems, including the need to investigate how to orient the reflected ray of light more consciously.

With the precious ‘collaboration’ of the sunlight and the instruments of research in the Ray of Light Atelier, that make it possible to investigate the questions of the right inclination with more precision and to identify tools and strategies for reproducing it and codifying it, the children build a road of light to illuminate some of the indoor and outdoor spaces of the school.

FROM ENCHANTED GARDEN OF REFLECTIONS TO TOWER OF LIGHT

After various explorations of materials that can establish relationships with light and create colorful reflections, transparencies, luminous rebounds and ever-changing reverberations at different times of day, a group of children decide to construct a tower of light, a sculpture on wheels that can be moved to seek out the right sunlight and built in three parts that can be stacked and interchanged to obtain varied reflections. The tower is then take to the Ray of Light Atelier to search for new luminous interactions. Science and art, the cognitive and the poetic, once again evolve together.

TOURNESOL, THE TURNING SUN

The architectural structure of the infant-toddler center, specifically designed to enable significant dialogues between inside and outside, creates dynamic contexts where light becomes the protagonist and gives life to the spaces so that they are constantly changing in relation to the intensity of the light, the time of day, and the season.

Thus new places appear to the eyes of the children, unexpected effects that become games of logic and narrative plots to be interpreted freely.

ECHOES OF LIGHT

A curtain of mirrors at the window of the classroom creates changeable everyday reverberations that, like elves of light, animate the pleasure of discovery in the children.

Light is “weightless matter,” almost liquid, capable of expanding and retracting, of being captured and studied and, just for a moment, illusively, stopped. The elves of light bounce and chase around, eliciting in the children a desire to grasp and hold onto them.