UK teachers and students to benefit with launch of ESERO-UK

Pupil and chemistry teacher
14 October 2010

A new collaboration that will use space exploration as a tool to attract young people to science, technology, engineering and mathematics was launched today at an event hosted by the Institute of Physics in London.

Attended by David Williams, Acting Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, Peter Hulsroj, ESA's Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations, and featuring a recorded message from European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake, the ESERO-UK launch marks the start of an important link between the space sector and the UK education community.

Youngsters captivated by space

ESERO-UK, the UK space education office, is funded by ESA and the Department for Education. With support from the UK Space Agency, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the National STEM Centre and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT), it will provide teachers and students with a wealth of information, materials and activities geared towards science, engineering and space exploration. ESERO-UK’s services include a comprehensive website offering news stories and links to inspiring information sources; a network of Space Ambassadors to support schools and colleges; and space teaching and learning resources, available through the National STEM Centre's eLibrary.

The new space education office will also share good practice and will be the first point of contact for the education and space communities when seeking information about space education and careers. As a result it will raise the profile of the education work of ESA, the UK Space Agency and the wider UK space community with schools and colleges.

Science Minister David Willetts said, "Space really does enthuse children about science - 27 per cent of engineers cite space as a significant influence on their career choice. Inspiring our young people to study STEM subjects brings considerable benefits to us all. It opens a world of exciting career opportunities for the students and ensures the UK continues to produce successful scientists and engineers to work in this fast growing industry. This in turn benefits the UK economy. The new space education office will be an important resource in providing inspirational teaching in our schools and colleges."

Professor Sir John Holman, University of York, commented the support of ESA, the English Department for Education and the UK Space Agency in setting up ESERO-UK. He said, "The enthusiasm of students for space is well known and teaching about space is a good way to motivate them towards science. Teachers and lecturers will now be able to easily access a wealth of space related resources to enrich their STEM teaching and learning."

ESERO-UK is the fifth ESERO office launched by ESA (after The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Ireland). ESERO stands for European Space Education Resource Office, and its overall objectives are to foster a greater understanding of science and its value to society and inspire the next generation to pursue STEM studies and careers.

Teacher on training session

"Like other European scientific and technological institutions sharing similar educational objectives, ESA is deeply committed into contributing to build the scientific and technical workforce of tomorrow," added Peter Hulsroj, ESA Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations. "We believe the best way to achieve this is joining forces with the national education institutions in order to reach students from the early stages of their educational journey in a manner which is tailored to the national curricula. We are confident that bringing space into the classrooms may effectively help to sustain the future of our own knowledge-based society," Hulsroj concluded.

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