A view of the central University administrative building on the main campus
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Host selected for 3rd Symposium on Space Educational Activities!

13/11/2018 1986 views 17 likes
ESA / Education / ESA Academy

The ESA Education Office is delighted to announce that the University of Leicester has been selected as the host for the 3rdSymposium on Space Educational activities, to be held in September 2019!

Following a call for hosts, launched by the Education Office in August, several Universities from across ESA’s member states applied to host the 3rd edition of this exciting symposium. After careful review, the University of Leicester was finally selected and was duly invited to be the next host. 

The University of Leicester’s proposal was submitted in partnership with the National Space Academy (also located in Leicester) and UKSEDS (UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) and support from the UK Space Agency. Both the University and the National Space Academy have well established track records in delivering inspirational and innovative education and training in space science and engineering, covering schools (including teacher training), undergraduate and postgraduate students. UKSEDS is the UK’s national student space society with dozens of branches across the UK. They run space projects, host conferences and perform outreach activities throughout the country. 

The Symposium hopes to provide a forum for discussion on the current state and future of Space Educational Activities in Europe, and the wider world, with a specific focus on University level and extra-curricular activities, as well as show casing the students’ results from such activities. It’s hoped that the Symposium will attract University Educators and students as well as those working with activities which ‘bridge the gap’ between high school and University activities. 

Inside the Rocket Tower of the National Space Centre
Inside the Rocket Tower of the National Space Centre

Specifically the symposium aims:

  • To enable educators (both curricular and extra-curricular) to showcase and share their experiences providing/supporting space educational activities at the tertiary education (i.e. University) level
  • To enable tertiary education (e.g. University) student, and young professional, participants in space educational activities to share their educational, scientific and technical results and experiences.
  • To provide a forum for discussion on the current state and future of space educational activities in Europe.
  • To enable educators (including University students and High School teachers) to showcase and share their experiences in providing space educational activities for the secondary (e.g. high school) education level which ‘bridge’ the gap between secondary and tertiary education.
  • To provide networking opportunities for both space education professionals and for (prospective) participants in space education projects/activities.
  • To elevate the understanding of academic, industrial and government institutions/organisations of the importance of hands-on activities and specialised training and learning opportunities in the preparation of the next generation of space scientists and engineers.

Leicester has a long history of activity in space: the University’s first instrument was launched on a Skylark rocket in 1961 (one of fewer than ten surviving Skylarks can now be found in the Physics and Astronomy building!), while 1962 saw its first role in an orbiting mission (Ariel 1 - the first British satellite). 

The National Space Academy has also established its presence in space, producing educational experiments flown on ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the ISS in 2015-16. 

Through collaborations with ESA, NASA and other space agencies, Leicester’s has a long history in space, most recently on the BepiColombo mission to Mercury launched in October 2018. Now the hosts are partners in Space Park Leicester, a space technology cluster being developed as part of a collaboration with industry. Education and training are a core part of the Space Park philosophy.

The provisional dates for the symposium are 16-18thof September 2019, with a Call for Abstracts anticipated in early 2019. More information will be available soon!