Third mission

In addition to research activities, the INFN is conducting a variety of activities aimed at disseminating scientific culture, especially in the fields of research closest to the Institute’s core mission. Great attention is paid to school-age boys and girls and their teachers. This pursuit starts from the conviction that it is a duty to tell and share not only the scientific results, but also efforts, work and technology that have led or are leading to their achievement.

These experiences, if shared with younger people, can help shape new generations that are more aware of what scientific research represents for the evolution of society, and can guide to those who want to embark on the research path.

The INFN body that has been set up to coordinate this outreach work is called the Third Mission Coordination Committee. The Committee is chaired by Dr. Giorgio Chiarelli (Pisa Division) and is made up of representatives from all other INFN divisions.


The activities of national relevance of the Third Mission Coordinating Committee (CC3M) are posted on a national website:

CC3M Contact person for the Rome section

Pia Astone

Cost estimates 2021: new reporting requirements for CC3M activities

  1. FTEs higher than ZERO of researcher and technologist staff are no longer needed for C3M projects;
  2. Only National Coordinators and Local Coordinatorss with FTE = 0 must be entered in the database;
  3. FTE higher than ZERO can be entered in the database only for TA staff;
  4. For researcher, technologist and associated personnel involved in Third Mission activities, the procedure is as follows:
    • In the “Notes” section, each person will declare the Third Mission activities in which he/she is involved;
    • Concerning the activities supported by CC3M, each person (RT) can participate in up to TWO projects, for a total annual amount of 130 hours (requests to participate in more than 2 projects can be submitted to CC3m, and will be evaluated)
    • Third Mission activities not supported by CC3M may be detailed in the notes and do not count towards the TWO projects and 130 hours limits.

Dissemination initiatives of the Rome Section

Art & Science   ▽

Art & Science is a European project of the CREATIONS network (H2020) included in the PCTO programs of the MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research). The project is organised in partnership with CERN and aims to promote scientific culture among young people, combining the languages of art and science. It is aimed at both secondary and primary school students. In this case too, the INFN and university researchers guide children through seminars and guided visits to museums or science laboratories, activities aimed at stimulating the production of a work inspired by the proposed scientific content. The works are displayed during an exhibition open to the public set up at a prestigious artistic venue in the city. For the 2018-2020 edition, the exhibition was set up at Mattatoio (the former Slaughterhouse) in Rome and welcomed around 4000 visitors. The project entails the selection of the most deserving works and awards prizes for the winners, consisting in a one-week master course at the CERN, focusing on art and science themes. The local coordinator of the initiative is dr. Giulia D'Imperio.


DARK   ▽

Dark is a project of scientific dissemination of dark matter, addressed both to high school and university students, and to a general public. It consists in the organisation of seminars, debates and master classes focusing on the main experiments involved in the hunt for dark matter. After a pilot project implemented in some high schools, the first national master class was held on 30/10/2020 on the occasion of Dark Matter Day. The event involved about 500 students from schools all over Italy, with introductory seminars and a competitive drill based on the analysis of a simplified version of data collected by Darkside-50. The local coordinator of the initiative is Dr. Valerio Ippolito.


HEPscape: High Energy Physics Escape Room   ▽

It consists of a guided escape room with a particle physics theme ideally set at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva reconstructed inside a gazebo. The experience consists of 4 puzzles to be solved with the help of a researcher

Website: HEPscape: High Energy Physics Escape Room.
Local coordinators:
Livia Soffi, Francesca Cavallari, Chiara Rovelli.

INFN Kids   ▽

INFN Kids is as initiative aimed at girls, boys, girls and boys of primary and secondary school. The aim of the initiative is to involve them and make them passionate about physics, possibly even together with their teachers and parents.
The local coordinator of the initiative is Chiara Rovelli.



INSPYRE (INternational School on modern PhYsics and Research) is an English-language physics school for upper secondary school students from all over the world. It lasts 5 days and takes place at the INFN National Laboratories of Frascati; the school programme covers a variety of different physics topics. The Rome Group is involved in the laboratory course on particle detectors, putting on display the operation of ArduSiPM type detectors and inviting students to perform measurements of environmental radioactivity and the flux of cosmic rays on the ground. The local coordinator of the initiative is Dr. Valerio Bocci.


LAB2GO   ▽

LAB2GO is a project included in the PCTO programs of the MIUR, and proposes the reorganisation and enhancement of school laboratories in high schools, in order to promote laboratory teaching for scientific disciplines. INFN researchers and university professors, with the support of scholarship recipients (university students and PhD students) are committed to guiding one or more schools, following the basic idea that “science passes through your hands” (Prof. Riccardo Faccini, Project Creator). The local coordinators of the project are Dr. Giulia De Bonis and Prof.. Stefano Sarti.

INFN National coordinator is Dr. Pia Astone.



The program of this Masterclass consists of lectures and seminars held by high school students simultaneously at the INFN section and at foreign institutes, in coordination with the CERN. The topic is high-energy particle physics. Each seminar series is followed by a “hands-on” session in which data from an LHC experiment (CMS or ATLAS, in alternate years) are analysed. A number of researchers from our section also collaborate in this activity, particularly young PhD and post-doctoral students. Lessons and exercises are carried out at the local level, but the project also foresees a final link between the different institutes in order to exchange opinions and discuss the results achieved by simulating a real “conference”. The 2021 event agenda organised in our section can be found here: The local coordinators of the initiative are Dr. Livia Soffi and Prof. Giovanni Organtini.


INTERNAZIONAL MASTERCLASS: Researchers for a day   ▽

The program of this Masterclass consists of lectures and seminars held in different departments and laboratories of the INFN. The theme is particle physics. Each lesson is followed by an exercise which uses data gathered from an experiment. Several researchers from our section also collaborate in this activity. The lessons and exercises are carried out locally, but the project also includes a final link between different locations in order to exchange views and discuss the results achieved. The local coordinator of the initiative is Dr. Valerio Bocci.



As part of the organization of the European Researchers' Night (ERN), the INFN section of Rome participates in the initiatives within the Consortium "Scienza Insieme NET" [] which includes various bodies including CNR, INAF, CINECA, ENEA, INGV, Tor Vergata University, Sapienza University.

The detailed list of the activities proposed by the Rome Section of the INFN is reported in the programme.
Local coordinators:
Pia Astone, Marco Drago, Paolo Pani.

OCRA   ▽

The OCRA project is aimed at high school teachers and students. The International Cosmic Day (ICD) is organised every year to take part in the international day dedicated to cosmic rays, where several schools in the region can participate in sessions to measure the flux of cosmic rays according to the angle with the instruments available at the Rome INFN. A selected sample of students who have excelled during the ICD are given the opportunity to participate in a 3-day course. Specifically for local activities, the group has developed a platform to measure the particle flux in the upper atmosphere through the use of lightweight stratospheric balloons. The measurements were collected in 2018 with the EOS stratospheric balloon (in partnership with the “A. Russo” Institute in Nicotera), at an altitude of 27,000 meters, and in 2019 by means of the MoCRiS project (in partnership with Liceo Scientifico “Stefano Patrizi” of Cariati), up to an altitude of 34,111 metres. In 2020 the group was asked to organise a 3-day national internship with the launch of a stratospheric balloon from the National Laboratories of Frascati. In addition, a measurement of muon fluxes in the water of Lake Bracciano had been planned in 2020 through the PARTICLE project (Pacini rAy expeRimenT In braCciano LakE); the aim of the project was to retrace the famous 1910 measurement by Domenico Pacini. Due to the Covid-19 emergency, outdoor activities have been postponed to a later date. In support of the DAD (remote learning) activities, the Rome group designed a data analysis course at the INFN OCRA site, focusing on the measurement of particle fluxes in the upper atmosphere, and making available data and methods used in the MoCRiS project. The local coordinator of the initiative is Dr. Valerio Bocci.


INFN Rome and ITIS G. Galilei partnership in Rome.   ▽

INFN Rome and ITIS G. Galilei Partnership in Rome: Pathways for Transversal Skills and Orientation (PCTO) and Professional Technical Pole (PTP).

The Rome Section of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics has recently consolidated the collaboration with one of the best Higher Institutes of the Lazio Region, the ITIS "Galileo Galilei" of Rome, continuing the fruitful School-Work Alternation activity begun in 2018. This collaboration involves the creation of Pathways for Transversal Skills and Orientation (PCTO) focused on mechanics and electronics, through the joint teaching of INFN Rome and ITIS Galilei staff. The three-year project is based on a large public-private partnership made up of companies, universities and research bodies, in which ITIS is the Lead Partner and the Rome Section is a partner of the "Galileo Informatica e Meccanica" Professional Technical Center. (PTP approved by the Lazio Region with determination N.G14090 of 11/17/2021).
The PCTO creation activities are coordinated in the Rome Section by Eng. Valerio Pettinacci, Operational Contact of the PTP. The lectures are held by Eng. Valerio Pettinacci and dr. Riccardo Vari, members of the Technical Scientific Committee of the PTP.
The main objective of the courses is to transfer skills and working methods applied in the field of mechanical design with the aid of modern three-dimensional CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software and the design of electronic systems that use programmable integrated circuits "Field Programmable Gate Array "(FPGA). The courses are based on mechanical and electronic systems designed for experimental apparatuses for the research of nuclear, subnuclear and astro-particle physics. The teaching of the PCTO was started in the academic year 2020-2021 and will continue in 2021-2022 with increasing attention to the specificities and interconnections with the primary activities of both institutes.
The partnership in the PTP allows INFN to become part of a collaboration network between companies and universities capable of combining the training of young people and the development of advanced technologies.

Pint of Science   ▽

The "Pint-of-Science" project was born in the UK from the idea of talking about science over a "pint of beer". It is aimed at a general audience and consists of organising seminars in pubs or similar venues in one’s town, in the same week shared nationally and globally. And, as our coordinator says, "Why Pint-of-Science?" "Because science is fun!". The local coordinator of the initiative is Dr. Marco Bochicchio.


What next ? The future told by young people   ▽

This project was recently selected by INFN for the popularisation of science in the field of Physics. It is aimed at boys and girls aged between 16 and 30 years, with the objective of bringing them closer to physics, accelerators and the technological and cultural impact on society. Young people will be protagonists and researchers for a day, during which they will enjoy a guided tour of the laboratories and have the opportunity to work alongside researchers, also becoming the protagonists of a documentary. The local coordinator of the initiative is Dr. Fabio Anulli.