New ISS Education Kit ready for use

Galway
Michel Tognini presents a copy of the ISS Education Kit
24 November 2003

The first copy of the new ISS Education Kit was presented to Eamon O' Cuiv, Irish Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs by the head of ESA's Astronaut Corps, Michel Tognini, at the Galway Science and Technology Festival in Ireland on Monday 17 November 2003.

The kit, created by the European Space Agency, with input from teachers across Europe, is a teacher's support designed to help capture the imagination of school students between 12-15 years old. It covers a variety of subjects, particularly in science and consists of different modules, which can be used in a classroom setting, within group exercises or as homework. It is available free of charge.

The ISS Education Kit is a handy folder containing five chapters devoted to explaining various aspects of the International Space Station (ISS), including what it is, how it is being built, the practicalities of living and working on board, and future voyages to the ISS. There are exercise units containing a variety of tasks, with explanations and background information. There are also inter-disciplinary exercises related to European curricula, a teacher's guide, glossary and colour overhead transparencies. To help supplement the teaching process the ISS Education Kit is made available for teachers to copy units and distribute them to their pupils.

This is the first in a suite of products, which ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight are contributing to ESA's Education Programme. These materials are primarily aimed at secondary school students, though there will also be some products produced for primary level.

Minister O' Cuiv received the first copy of the ISS Education Kit just after opening the week long Galway Science & Technology Festival, which is in its sixth year and received 20 000 visitors last year. As the aim of the festival is to present science in an interesting and fun way to younger people, it was an appropriate venue in which to showcase the ISS Education Kit.

41 000 of the ISS Education Kits will be produced in the 11 ESA Member State languages, starting with the English language version. 350 of these were handed to the Galway Education Centre, the organizer of the Galway Science & Technology Festival. They will distribute the kits to secondary school teachers in western Ireland. The remaining languages are scheduled to be launched by the end of this year, or early in 2004.

If you would like to obtain a free copy of the kit, please complete the request form on the Human Spaceflight education pages:

http://www.esa.int/spaceflight/education

Ireland's connection with the Directorate of Human Spaceflight's education programme will continue with the second product to be launched, the Video Lessons series. These will be a compilation of experiments, which have been filmed both on the ground, including currently in a school in Dublin, and in space. The space experiments were filmed recently as part of the Cervantes Mission (18-28 October 2003) with Spanish ESA astronaut Pedro Duque and will be filmed as part of the Delta Mission in April 2004 with ESA astronaut André Kuipers from the Netherlands. The films are being converted to DVD format and being produced by the Irish company Agtel.

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