The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) project
The European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) project is ESA's primary way of supporting the educational community.
The number of students taking up classical science and engineering subjects is falling dramatically. This presents a real problem for organisations like ESA and its contractors who rely on new generations of skilled people to innovate and carry us forward into an increasingly technological future.
Although there has been recent interest in applied sciences such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Biotechnology, this has not been sufficient to offset the general fall, especially among European women.
If the level of those qualified and literate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects drops below a critical level, the whole future of the European knowledge-based society and economy could be at stake.
In response, ESA's Education Office has created the ESERO project. It uses European space exploration as a means of inspiring young people about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Europe
Inspirational science teaching is the key to Europe’s future as a leader in space and world economics. Yet despite this, some science teachers remain unaware of the European space programme. Recognising that teachers have to deal with many different demands, ESA offers assistance in a number of ways.
Established in various Member States, each ESERO aims to support the specific educational needs of the Member State and their Education Community. Teachers are able to access specially developed materials that are tailored to their needs and to attend dedicated training workshops. Lesson plans, fact sheets and comprehensive education kits are also available online.
The ESERO project aims to enhance young people’s literacy in STEM subjects and associated applications. It uses space related themes and the genuine fascination for spaceflight, to encourage pupils to consider careers in these fields and in the space domain in particular.
Each ESERO implements an annual series of primary & secondary teacher training sessions. These are usually in collaboration with national partners already active in STEM education. They use and disseminate existing ESA/ESERO education materials and, if appropriate, develop specific resources tailored to the needs of their national education community.
ESEROs also organises national ESERO teacher conferences for secondary and primary education.
Currently there are ESEROs in the following Member States:
The Netherlands: based at Nemo Science Learning Centre in Amsterdam. Operated in partnership with the Netherlands Space Office (NSO).
Belgium: based at the Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels. Operated in partnership with Direction Générale de l’Enseignement Obligatoire (DGEO) and the Flemish Education Administration
UK: based at the National STEM Centre in York. Operated by Myscience.co Ltd. with key partners including Department for Education in England (DfE), Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) and UK Space Agency (UKSA)
Ireland: part of the Discover Science & Engineering (DSE) science promotion programme managed by Science Foundation Ireland.
Nordic ESERO is run by NAROM in Andenes, Norway for the whole Nordic region. It is supported by numerous partners in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
The network will be expanded to more ESA Member States in 2013.