Launch of major space education projects in the Netherlands
Two major education initiatives will be launched at the NEMO National Science and Technology Center (NCWT) in Amsterdam on the afternoon of Monday, 10 April 2006.
During the event, which will take place between 13.30 and 16.30, Mrs. Maria van der Hoeven, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, together with Mr René Oosterlinck, ESA Director of External Relations, will officially open the first European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO), which for the Netherlands will be based at NEMO.
Also present will be Prof. dr. Annemieke Roobeek, the president of the NCWT, Michiel Buchel, Director General of the science centre, the Dutch ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers, and a leading official from the NASA Education Office.
The event will also include the first public presentation of the ESA International Space Station (ISS) Education Kit for Primary Schools and the start of the second phase of the ESA-NASA-Dutch Ministry of Education initiative known as the Delta Project .
The European Space Education Resource Offices (ESERO’s)
The primary task of the European Space Education Resource Offices, an initiative of the European Space Agency, is to encourage and inspire young people to learn more about science and technology by drawing upon their enthusiasm for space exploration.
The ESERO’s are intended to be the first ports of call for anyone in Europe requiring educational support related to space activities. In particular, teachers may approach the ESERO’s for information and advice on how to introduce space-related topics in their lessons.
The Offices will be responsible for the development of close relations with national education stakeholders and assist in the provision of educational materials and activities tailored to each Member State. They will also help to promote science and engineering as careers in the European space sector, and provide support for the delivery of national curricula, e.g. through the provision of educational kits and other products.
The first ESERO, to be officially opened on 10 April, will be located on the top floor of the NEMO science centre in Amsterdam.
In the near future, ESA is planning to open two more ESERO’s in Belgium and Spain, with the long-term objective of establishing one or more of these Offices in every ESA Member State.
The Delta project
One of the most innovative educational projects will be the DELTA Researcher Schools (DRS) Programme, a collaboration between ESA, NASA and the Dutch Ministry of Education. This Programme will be implemented by NEMO for the Dutch Ministry of Education.
The Delta project is aimed at Dutch students aged 6-12. The objective of the Delta project is to identify and pilot innovative ways to use space to inspire Dutch primary schools youths to pursue careers in mathematics and science.
The pilot phase of the programme began last September with seven primary schools. Since then, five teachers have had the opportunity to go to NASA educational workshops in the United States in order to learn practical skills and knowledge which can be transferred into the classroom.
During the NEMO event on 10 April, students from the seven pilot schools will give brief presentations related to the work they have undertaken.
Applications are now invited for the second round of funding, and teachers who are interested in taking part in this phase have been invited to attend the NEMO event, where they will have the opportunity to meet the Delta project leader, Marieke Hohnen.
It is hoped to attract 19 schools to enter the programme this year, with a further 19 next year. The winning applicants for the second round will be announced in June 2006.
Further information on the Delta project (in Dutch) is available at: http://www.deltaopschool.nl
The ESA International Space Station (ISS) Education Kit for Primary Schools
Following the success of the ESA ISS Education Kit for students aged 12-15, which was introduced in 2002. A new kit has been developed for primary school pupils in the age group 8-10.
Funding from the Dutch Ministry of Education has made it possible for copies of this comprehensive educational package to be distributed to all of the 7,500 Primary Schools in the Netherlands, and Mrs. Maria van der Hoeven, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, will officially announce the publication of this kit on 10 April.
The Primary ISS Kit will eventually be translated into all of the languages of ESA’s Member States. Its purpose is to use the International Space Station as a motivational tool for teaching, increasing awareness and interest in space science and technology through a variety of stimulating experiments and activities.
The request form for the ESA ISS Education Kit for Primary Schools is available at:
The NEMO National Science and Technology Center, home of the Dutch ESERO, is located at: Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam.
NEMO, founded in 1997, is the largest science centre in the Netherlands. There are five floors devoted to scientific and technological phenomena, where people of all ages can discover the wonderful world of science and technology in a playful and entertaining way.
Further information is available at: http://www.e-nemo.nl