ESERO launched in Ireland
ESA and the Irish government have announced the go-ahead for a European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) in Ireland. The creation of the fifth ESERO follows the establishment of similar centres in The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and the United Kingdom.
Conor Lenihan T.D., the Irish Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, announced the launch of the ESERO at a special event held in Belvedere College SJ, Dublin. The launch event was also attended by Peter Hulsroj, ESA’s Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations.
The establishment of a European Space Education Resource Office is a major milestone for science education in Ireland. Under this project, the new ESERO will provide professional support for primary and secondary school teachers, assisting their efforts to use an explorative approach to science education as part of a new curriculum.
The new ESERO will be introduced over the next two years, beginning with a three month planning period to identify how it can best meet the needs of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education community in Ireland.
The ESERO programme recognises that space has always captured the imaginations of young people and offers a way to capture their enthusiasm and increase interest in STEM subjects. The overall objectives of the programme are to increase the numbers of students studying the physical sciences at school and university, to promote a positive attitude to careers in STEM subjects, and to foster a greater understanding of science and its value to Irish society.
The ultimate objective of the project is to establish ESERO contact points in all ESA Member States, each led by local education experts who are an integral part of the national educational system and networks. ESA’s role is to offer, in close partnership with the local educational bodies, support, expertise and space-related resources tailored to the specific needs of the national education communities.
Discover Science & Engineering (DSE) – the ESA contractor - will establish the Irish ESERO on a shared cost basis. Discover Science & Engineering is the national integrated awareness programme, managed by Forfás (Ireland’s national policy advisory body for enterprise and science) on behalf of the Office of Science and Technology.