Inspirational field trip for Delta Researcher School teachers
This summer three primary school teachers from the Netherlands travelled to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, near Washington. During their visit they took part in workshops, visited museums and got to take a look behind the scenes at NASA. Back home in the Netherlands the teachers will use their experiences for the Delta Researcher Schools (DRS) programme. At the start of next year a second group of four teachers will visit the United States.
"For one whole week we were immersed in the world of space. The highlight would have to be the live link-up with NASA astronaut John Phillips on board the International Space Station", explains Anne van Wijk from De Gondelier primary school in Amersfoort. "We have returned home brimming with ideas and have already put some of them into practice with groups 1 and 2."
As well as the Goddard Space Flight Center, the teachers visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, which houses the largest spaceflight collection in the world. Marian Lamberts from IJsselhof primary school in Zwolle was inspired by the trip. "I know exactly how I can organise the DRS lessons, and how I can make my colleagues enthusiastic for the spaceflight as a theme in the classroom!"
Together with two other DRS schools in Zwolle, Lamberts has started work on a database of resources. The database will hold all new material they develop, as well as all the information from NASA and other sources. The database will eventually grow to become an easy to use electronic resource.
So far there are seven Delta Researcher Schools in the Netherlands. The schools are charged with introducing their pupils to the fascinating world of spaceflight. With a bit of help from ESA, NASA, Science Center NEMO and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, each of the seven schools will develop a lesson plan. The best lesson plan will be selected and distributed to all primary schools in the Netherlands.
From 1 March 2006, schools in the Netherlands can once again apply to take part in the DRS programme. This time nineteen schools will be chosen who, just like the original seven, will get the chance to develop a lesson plan to teach spaceflight. For more information see the Delta Researcher Schools website (in Dutch): www.deltaresearchersschools.nl