OCRA – Outreach Cosmic Ray Activities was born in 2018 as a national outreach project of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) with the aim of collecting, within a national framework, the numerous public engagement activities in the field of cosmic ray physics already present at a local level in the divisions and laboratories. Currently 21 local groups are members of OCRA.
Every year, OCRA participates in the International Cosmic Day with local events organized by all member groups. In 2021, due to the pandemic, a national online event was organized which saw the participation of almost 3000 students!
OCRA also organizes a yearly summer camp where students from all over Italy join the researchers for a data taking campaign in the field and the subsequent data analysis.
The project's web site offers a wide variety of interactive activities for students that can be carried out in an individual manner directly by the students or can be proposed by the teachers in the classroom. To this scope, OCRA offers courses for teachers with an introduction to cosmic ray physics, hands-on sessions on the online activities and suggestions on how to use them in the classroom.
The national program is completed by several individual activities on a local level, ranging from summer internships for students over competitions for schools to the participation in larger events like the European Researchers' Night.