Yesterday, 25 June 2018, the European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO) in Luxembourg was officially inaugurated. The dedicated launch event took place in the Luxembourg Science Center in Differdange, the host organization for ESERO Luxembourg.
A collaborative project between ESA, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, ESERO Luxembourg is a project that will make use of the space themes to support national school education in the field of science and technology.
The ESERO Luxembourg Office was formally inaugurated by: Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy; Claude Meisch, Minister of Education, Children and Youth, Minister for Higher Education and Research; Jan Wörner, ESA’s Director General; and Kai-Uwe Schrogl, ESA Chief Strategy Officer.
The ESERO Luxembourg launch marks an unprecedented level of cooperation between the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Education that jointly co-funded this project with ESA on the national level.
“For the Ministry of the Economy the ESERO initiative will support Luxembourg in developing local skills in view of the future development of the space sector in Luxembourg. We are confident that it will have an impact going beyond the space sector and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the country. Space is a fantastic opportunity to trigger curiosity and facilitate the learning process”, stated by the representative of Ministry of the Economy.
Claude Meisch, Minister of Education, Children and Youth, stated: “Especially in Luxembourg, a small country with great ambitions to leave a mark on Space Exploration and the development of the Space Industries, it is essential that our children learn to dream big. Putting Science Education in context, especially one as inspiring as space, is an essential part of providing a solid scientific culture, and we are confident that the Space Education Resources will further spark the interest, of teachers and students alike, in hands-on Science Projects.”
Space is one of the priority sectors that Luxembourg has constantly promoted since its entry into the space business more than 35 years ago. One of the country’s biggest successes in space was the government supported SES created in 1985, which is today the largest commercial satellite operator in the world. In the same spirit, the Grand Duchy wants to replicate this success story in the space resources industry, with active participation of key stakeholders. With the SpaceResoures.lu initiative, Luxembourg aims to attract at first stage space research activities and technological capabilities. Technologies developed in this field can also be employed in the current space sector as well as in other industries on earth. The synergies with research and development activities in various fields, such as earth observation, additive manufacturing, 3D-printing, robotics or artificial intelligence, promise to deliver significant socioeconomic benefits.
To maintain Luxembourg’s competitive position in the fields of science, research and technology, it is essential to cultivate qualified specialists and professionals through academic and vocational training. ESERO Luxembourg is an inspiring new addition to the array of initiatives and curricular projects that aim at increasing students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and providing encouragement for young people to pursue STEM careers and space-related careers in particular.
“Through solid national partnerships and a bottom-up approach, ESERO is able to respond to the specific needs of each ESA Member State in the field of primary and secondary school education,” said Kai-Uwe Schrogl, ESA Chief Strategy Officer with overall responsibility for the ESA Education programme. “Each ESERO is also part of a strong European network coordinated by ESA, where the grand objectives are shared, but the activities are tailored to the national needs, and where best practices and resources are exchanged. This is the key to the success of this project”, he added. “The ESERO project is a remarkable example of the multiple range of tangible benefits space can provide to citizens – with relatively low resources but having a high impact in its Member States and an exceptionally valuable return of investment to society.”
Hosted by the Luxembourg Science Centre, ESERO Luxembourg joins ESA’s ESERO network that presently covers 15 other ESA Member States. The Luxembourg Science Center collaborates with teacher training institutions (in particular with the Institut de Formation de l’Éducation Nationale (IFEN)) and with many schools across the country and has ample experience delivering STEM education to students and teachers.
In addition to excellent national connections, ESERO Luxembourg will benefit from the experience of the ESERO network that has been supporting national school education systems across Europe since 2006. We look forward to seeing ESERO Luxembourg support national education with space as a rich, multidisciplinary and inspiring context for STEM education.
About the ESERO Project
ESERO is ESA’s flagship educational project targeting primary and secondary school education in Europe. In particular, the scientific and inquiry-based methodology used across the project and the continuous links to advanced space research aims at bridging the gap between the STEM theory taught at school and the real practice of science. Its objective is to enhance the literacy, skills, and competences of school pupils in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines starting at an early age, with the final aim of encouraging them to pursue STEM studies and careers. In addition, the ESERO project also raises awareness about the importance of space activities for modern society and economy and about the large range of career prospects in the space domain.
Through offices established nationally, offering teacher trainings, exciting classroom projects and classroom resources tailored to the national languages and school curricula, ESERO trains teachers so that they can bring space to the classroom and make their lessons more inspiring and effective. ESERO also offers a great variety of information and privileged access to state-of-the-art space facilities, real scientific data, know-how, expertise, and role models. ESEROs are staffed by national education experts able to work in strong synergy and partnership with their national education authorities, stakeholders and networks, as well as national space institutions – an approach that has already proven to be effective and successful in many European countries.
The European network of ESERO offices is managed and coordinated by ESA and now covers the following 16 ESA Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
Italy will soon join the network, while preparations are ongoing with France, Hungary and Greece.