On 20th April 2023, we went to Lampedusa, the southernmost Italy island, to take part in the ISOradioLAb project of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). ISOradioLAb is a variation of the RadioLab project, aimed at schools on Italian minor islands to raise awareness and interest among new generations and citizens on the subject of radioactivity and experimental physics.

Students and teachers who took part in the project, together with INFN researchers and experts from CAEN SpA, the event sponsor, guided other students and citizens in discovering environmental radioactivity through experimental measurements and testimonials of the experience gained during the two-year project.

This first edition of ISOradioLAb involved secondary schools of I and II grade on the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa, to which schools from the Aeolian Islands, Ischia, Pantelleria, and San Pietro were added, for a total of about 80 participating students. The protagonists of the event were the 5th grade A and B students of the Liceo Scientifico Ettore Majorana of the “Istituto Omnicomprensivo Luigi Pirandello” in Lampedusa and Linosa, who blazed the trail by undertaking this project first in 2021. By sharing their experience and the results they achieved, the students and teachers passed the baton to the third-year classes.

“The enthusiasm and curiosity of the students of Linosa and Lampedusa and their desire to integrate into the project, overcoming all difficulties, shows the great value of this path that goes beyond the physics topics covered,” underline Mariagabriella Pugliese of the INFN Section of Naples and Flavia Groppi of the INFN Section of Milan, national coordinators of ISOradioLAb. “A growth path that will not stop here but will continue in the coming years,” add Giuseppe La Verde and Michele Colucci, from the INFN Sections of Naples and Milan, who accompanied the students in numerous meetings, direct measurements, and the analysis of the presence of radon gas in the area.

The event was not only addressed to schools in the Pelagie and Aeolian Islands and San Pietro, which connected via zoom, but also to the citizens of Lampedusa, who, through the participants’ accounts, learned more about the natural radioactivity theme and its implications for health and society. In the afternoon, after the students’ testimonials, the event participants were accompanied on the island by CAEN experts to measure environmental radioactivity on the territory, as in the experiences carried out by the students during the project.