Primary level products
ESA is not forgetting younger pupils. In March 2003 we held a development workshop, under the theme of Teach Space, specifically for primary school teachers from all over Europe.
The feedback received via the workshop has led to the development of products aimed at younger students:
General education material around ISS, including the work and lives of astronauts on board.
ISS Education Kit for pupils aged 8-10 years old
mISSion possible website for primary school teachers
Educational projects developed around a specific space mission of an ESA astronaut. During the astronaut's stay on ISS the children are offered a chance to have direct ARISS radio contact with them in space.
'Habla ISS' (in Spanish) around the Cervantes Mission of Spanish ESA astronaut Pedro Duque, who visited ISS in October 2003.
'Zeg het ISS' (in Dutch) around the Delta Mission of Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers, who flew to ISS in April 2004.
- 'ich will's wISSen' (in German) around the Astrolab Mission of German ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter, who joined the Expedition crew on board ISS in July 2006.
ISS Education Kit
ESA has produced a binder for primary school teachers who are eager to use space as a motivating tool for teaching subjects ranging from science to art.
The A4-sized binder contains four chapters devoted to explaining various aspects of life in space and what is it like to live and work on board the International Space Station. Each chapter contains background information, worksheets and a teacher’s guide. A glossary and colour posters complete the content.
The kit can be used as the basis for classroom lessons; for group exercises; or to be given out as homework. Individual pages can be photocopied and distributed to each pupil.
If you are a teacher of primary school pupils in one of ESA's Member States, you can order a copy of the kit.
Order a copy of the Primary Education Kit using the link on the right.
Pdf files of the Primary Education Kit are also available for download in our 'Online resources'.
'mISSion possible' provides online educational material for primary school teachers. Through this website, teachers have access to 18 lessons and more than 100 activities in the various disciplines of the curriculum.
The lessons are organised around six major themes: being an astronaut, travelling to space, being weightless, the International Space Station (ISS), communicating with space and watching from space.
'mISSion possible' is currently available in English, German, Dutch and Italian.
ARISS radio contacts
Radio amateur societies from the International Space Station partner countries have set up ARISS (Amateur Radio on the ISS), a volunteering working group devoted to develop and put into operation the Station's onboard amateur radio station.
Thanks to the work of ARISS, astronauts on board the ISS can communicate with the ground not only with dedicated networks run by space agencies but also with amateur radios.
The ISS space agencies have entrusted ARISS with the task of organising radio voice contacts between ISS and schools and since 2001 many radio contacts for educational purposes have been successfully established.
To schedule a contact, several parameters are to be taken into account: number of contacts authorized by the space agencies, geographical location of the schools, orbital movement of the ISS, possible time segments on board as well as for the schools. When a contact is scheduled, volunteering amateur satellite operators set up a ground station in the selected school; during the ten-minute pass of the ISS over the school, an astronaut answers the questions prepared by the students.
ESA's Human Spaceflight Education Team supports these contacts and organises them for special occasions.
To find out how to register your school on the ARISS waiting list visit ARISS-Europe - http://www.ariss-eu.org/schoolcontacts.htm
Educational projects around specific missions
By linking educational projects to specific missions the material can be more actual, as well as being personal.
Special websites have been created for this project. The websites are divided into two parts. The main part of the website is aimed at the pupils and consists of lessons and activities, which can be navigated through using clear icons. A second part of the website is for teachers and includes a teachers guide and glossary.
The astronaut, who speaks the same language as the children, tells about their mission and introduces the lessons and activities. During the astronaut's stay on ISS the children are offered a chance to have direct radio contact with them in space. The pupils can win the radio contact by participating in a contest, where they have to send in questions for the astronaut.
'Habla ISS' – educational project for Spain
'Habla ISS' was the first primary school project. 'Habla ISS' was organised around the Spanish Soyuz mission, Cervantes, of ESA astronaut Pedro Duque, which took place in October 2003.
Spanish and Portuguese schoolchildren submitted drawings and essays in a contest. On 26 October 2003, the six classes who were selected as winners were able to talk live with Pedro Duque while he was on board the International Space Station.
The activities and lessons are still available to use in the classroom, visit http://www.esa.int/hablaiss (in Spanish).
'Zeg het ISS' - educational project for the Netherlands and Belgium
The Dutch language website was created around the Dutch Soyuz mission, Delta, of Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers.
On 19 April 2004, the DELTA Mission was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, on board a Soyuz rocket. Kuipers spent 11 days in space, living and working on board the International Space Station, 400 kilometres above the Earth. André answered questions from Dutch and Belgian schoolchildren during an ARISS radio contact from Space Expo in Noordwijk on 24 April 2004.
For more information about the contest, and the lessons and activities that were organised around the Delta Mission, visit the 'Zeg het ISS' website: http://www.esa.int/zeghetiss (in Dutch).
'ich will's wISSen' - educational project for Germany
The German language website was created around the long-duration Astrolab Mission, of German ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter.
On 4 July 2006, the Astrolab Mission was launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on board Space Shuttle Discovery. Reiter will spend six months living and working on board the International Space Station, around 400 kilometres above the Earth.
On 20 November 2006, Reiter will answer questions from German schoolchildren during an ARISS radio contact from the Landesmuseums für Technik und Arbeit, in Mannheim, Germany.
For more information about the contest, and the lessons and activities organised around the Astrolab Mission, visit the 'ich will's wISSen' website: http://www.esa.int/ichwillswissen (in German).
Last update: 22 February 2012