It is important to provide educators with information, inspiration and insider views on space. That’s why 40 secondary school science teachers were invited last week to ESA’s technology centre in the Netherlands for a four-day workshop.
Hands-on experiences, lectures, presentations and a meeting with an astronaut – ESA’s second summer workshop for teachers was packed with action and ideas to use in the classroom and share with colleagues.
Teachers learnt how to cook a comet, plan a trip to Mars and build bridges between art, science and language.
They also looked at the Agency’s Earth observation activities and were introduced to Europe’s fleet of Solar System and astronomy missions – all ready to beef up their science lessons.
The highlight was surely a close encounter with ESA astronaut Léopold Eyharts, who talked about living and working in space and described how ESA’s Columbus laboratory was delivered to the International Space Station.
Add hunting for exoplanets, the Eurobot rover, full-size Space Station module mockups and a virtual 3D tour of the orbital outpost, and only the unexceptionally cool Dutch summer prevented the teachers from overheating by the end of the week.
More than 150 applications were received from 19 ESA member states and cooperating countries, with 40 places available this year.
“I spent four days in a fantastic human and scientific environment. It has been a great experience that will surely reach all my students. Thank you!”
Ana Paiva, Portugal
“Astronauts, landing on a comet, planning a trip to Mars, what could be more inspiring?”
Alicia Lafuente Tomás, Spain
“This workshop was a wonderful burst of energy, reminding me what it really is to be a teacher. What a pleasure to be part of this, and a huge thank you to ESA who treated us so nicely.”
Yves Carbonnier, France
“A very intensive course rich with many new ideas, best opportunity to exchange ideas above just learning subjects.”
Emerenziana Scotto di Tela, Italy
“Great amount of knowledge plus colleagues from all over Europe equals a cool break from my hot holiday.”
Ariststidis Tsirimiangos, Greece