European Space Education Resource Office
Nowadays a decreasing number of young people decide to take up STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) studies and careers. ESA is contributing to make a difference and reverse this negative trend through an Education programme which targets European students starting from an early age. In particular, ESA is addressing primary and secondary education in Europe through its European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) project.
What is ESERO?
The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) project is ESA's main way of supporting the primary and secondary education community in Europe.
ESERO uses space related themes and the genuine fascination felt by young people for space to enhance school pupils’ literacy and competence in STEM-related subjects. The ESERO project also highlights the associated applications from space and raises awareness of the large range of career prospects in the space domain.
By using the space context to make the teaching and learning of STEM subjects more attractive and accessible, pupils can feel more comfortable and familiar with sciences in general. The ESERO activities help bring STEM subjects within the pupils reach, demolishing the misconception that science is only for geniuses. Space, in particular, becomes not just a place of inspiration and future dreams, but also an everyday fact of modern life.
ESERO offers an annual series of national or regional training sessions for both primary and secondary school teachers. These are offered in collaboration with national partners who are already active in STEM education. Teacher training events are, wherever possible, officially accredited as part of continual professional development qualifications.
ESERO uses and disseminates existing ESA/ESERO space-related STEM classroom resources, and if appropriate, develops specific new resources tailored to the national curricula. Real space data and the application of real-life scientific methodology, accompanied by the role model support of real space experts such as scientists and even astronauts, are used as much as possible.
The ESERO project also help stimulate young people’s awareness of Europe’s space programme and of its importance for modern society and economy.
Where is ESERO located?
The most effective form of space-based education must be the one that supports the specific educational needs of the various Member States, all having different educational systems, different school curricula and, last but not least, different languages. To that end, the ESEROs are distributed across Member States, and staffed by local experts who work in strong synergy and partnership with their national education authorities and networks.
Currently ESA has established seven ESERO national offices which cover ten ESA Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and UK.
ESERO Netherlands: based at the Nemo Science Learning Centre in Amsterdam, it is co-funded by ESA and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO).
ESERO Belgium: based at the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, it is co-funded by ESA and the Royal Planetarium of Brussels. It is operated in partnership with Direction Générale de l’Enseignement Obligatoire (DGEO) and the Flemish Education Administration.
ESERO UK: based at the National STEM Centre in York, it is operated by Myscience.co Ltd. Besides ESA, key funding partners include the Department for Education in England (DfE), the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA).
ESERO Ireland: it is based in Dublin and is co-funded by ESA and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). It is part of the SFI Discover programme.
Nordic ESERO: covers four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. It is co-funded by ESA, the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education (NAROM), the Norwegian Space Centre, the University of Nordland and several institutions in Finland, Denmark and Sweden. The Nordic ESERO is based at NAROM in Andenes, Norway.
ESERO Portugal: based in in the Knowledge Pavilion, Lisbon, it is co-funded by ESA and Ciência Viva and it is operated by the Knowledge Pavilion of Ciência Viva in Lisbon, its biggest science centre.
ESERO Romania: based in the Romanian Space Agency's (ROSA) headquarters in Bucharest, it is co-funded by ESA and the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), sitting under the Romanian Ministry of Education.