The Universe within
Read time: 3 minutes
An animated series written by girls and boys.
“Do you want to know where I am in the Universe?” – Just 11 years old, Isis dares to give us an explanation beyond what we would find in a conventional book. She talks about the happy family, which is the Solar System, or the broader neighborhood of stars, planets, gas and meteorites that make up a galaxy. “It makes us feel like ants,” she smiles. Like many girls and boys, Isis uses her imagination to answer questions about science and to approach the world of astronomy with a creative, novel outlook. This is one episode of The Universe Within, the animated series by Gigante Azul Producciones with support from ALMA, which explores the Cosmos and our place within it through the lens of a child.
Each chapter presents a different topic to investigate. These young protagonists tell us of indigenous peoples and scientific studies, using metaphors and colorful drawings that the series has taken off the paper and brought to life through animation. But there are also mysteries to resolve. They will form their own viable astronomic theories to cleverly address issues that science is still debating about. “I imagine a galaxy with a star three times the size of the Sun, and a hollow planet where life forms!” muses Isis excitedly. The topics include total solar eclipses, the Big Bang, our place in the Universe, and the Sun. Each episode is seven minutes long and has been chosen in alignment with the school curriculum from the Ministry of Education.
With this, the series hopes to stimulate an interest in investigation among girls and boys, something that the project director, Valentina Cruz, also experienced at a young age: “My interest stems from a book that my parents gave me about galaxies. I saw the images and imagined temperatures, sizes and conditions that seemed really remote for me.” She also remembers a break from traditional teaching at school when her physics teacher held didactic classes to teach the laws of nature. This all led her to create a language to captivate children who, like her, are drawn to the stars. “It’s about searching for the diverse ways in which we humans learn: sight, associations, sounds, or using the entire body in movement. It is out of this inspiration that The Universe Within is born,” shares Valentina.