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N° 75–2000: The European Space Agency takes Netd@ys Europe to the Stars

21 November 2000

ESA and the European Commission invite schoolchildren to a space web-chat on 24 November

"Ask a Space Expert @ Netd@ys" is a joint initiative organised by ESA and the European Commission's Education and Culture Directorate-General. On Friday 24 November between 9 and 12 a.m. a special chatroom will be opened on the Internet at the Netd@ys website www.netdays2000.org for schools. Fifteen European space experts, including two astronauts, will answer questions from schoolchildren of all ages in real time.

"Is there life on Mars? How can I become an astronaut? How is a satellite built? Is space tourism a realistic prospect? How can space be used to protect the Earth? What is needed to put satellites into space?...." Top experts in disciplines ranging from space science to telecommunications at ESA will meet schoolchildren in cyberspace and give them first-hand information on space issues.

This initiative, run jointly by ESA and the EC, is a practical example of imaginative use of the new media, the Internet in particular, as a teaching, learning and discovery resource. "Ask a Space Expert @ Netd@ys" is a pioneer project based on genuine student-expert partnership. The European Commission and ESA want to give a helping hand to learning communities through "mentors" who can help improve a school lesson and motivate pupils to investigate problems. "Ask a Space Expert @ Netd@ys" will be one of the highlights of the Netd@ys Europe Week, Europe's biggest educational and cultural event using the new media, which runs from 20 to 27 November.

For more information, please contact :

ESA Media Relations Office

Tel. + 33 1 5369 7155 Fax. + 33 1 5369 7690

e-mail: mailcom@esa.int

Visit ESA's web site at http://www.esa.int

For more information on online and offline events Europe-wide, please contact:

Netd@ys Team

European Commission DG Education and Culture

Tel.+32.2.299.2783 Fax.+32.2.296.6297

e-mail: netdays@cec.eu.int

or visit the European Commission's Netd@ys web site: www.netdays2000.org


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