ESA brings space to Polish classrooms

Polish students and teachers learning about life in space
14 April 2014

On Friday, 11 April,  ESA announced the establishment of the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) in Poland.  The special launch event, hosted by the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, coincided with a day dedicated to ESA and space activities in the Polish capital.

ESERO Poland will join a network of ESEROs that now covers 11 countries. Like its predecessors, the new office will support the use of space as a learning context in the classroom to attract young people to  science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

ESERO Poland, which is jointly funded by ESA and the Copernicus Science Centre, will support the Polish primary and secondary education community. The ESERO will be the first point of contact for the Polish teachers who seek inspiring and innovative classroom material as well as teacher training workshops and conferences that use space to support  their daily teaching. ESERO Poland will also help promote awareness of space careers.

As a result, not only will the ESERO contribute to teachers’ training and improved learning of STEM disciplines, it will also help raise the profile of ESA’s educational activities, the Polish institutions working with ESA, the national space sector, as well as European space industry as a whole.

ESERO Poland team with ESA Education representatives

The opening of the new ESERO office in Poland was announced by Hugo Marée, head of ESA Education and Knowledge Management Office and Weronika Śliwa, Head of the Copernicus Planetarium and future ESERO Poland supervisor, during the ESA Day event.

“The ESERO project aims to respond to the specific educational needs of each country,” said Hugo Marée, Head of ESA’s Education and Knowledge Management Office. “We believe the best way to achieve this is to join forces with national institutions involved in Education, such as the Copernicus Science Centre, in order to accompany students in their educational journey in a way which is consistent with the national curricula and the national context.”

“Inspiring teaching is key to engaging young people to study  science and technology,“ said Weronika Śliwa, Head of the Copernicus Planetarium and future ESERO Poland supervisor. “This is why we will support teachers in areas and subjects that are critical to the teaching and learning of STEM disciplines, hoping to get students excited about science and technology and, possibly, attract them to future careers in these fields.”

This ESA dedicated event was attended by a number of high-ranking Polish and ESA representatives including Grażyna Henclewska, Deputy Minister of Economy, Robert Firmhofer, Director of the Copernicus Science Centre, Paweł Wojtkiewicz, Director of the Polish Space Industry Association and Karlheinz Kreuzberg, Head of ESA Director General's Cabinet.

Students and teachers participating in a practical activity during the event

Background

Along with European governments, scientific and industrial partners, ESA recognises the importance of supporting science and technology education to help secure and strengthen tomorrow's workforce in STEM professional fields.

The European Space Education Research Office (ESERO) project, ESA’s main project to support primary and secondary education in Europe, uses space as a content-rich and inspirational context for the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The objective is to enhance pupils’ literacy and competence in these fields starting from the earliest stages of their educational path, and help them choose a STEM career in the future. The ESERO Poland will join a successful  network which, in addition to Poland, currently covers 10 other ESA Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the UK.

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