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Science & Exploration

N° 21–2000: Symposium on "Space and education"

23 March 2000

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) ) is organising a symposium on "Space and education" in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the International Space University (ISU), and with the assistance of other agencies, representatives of the space industry, teachers, pupils and students. Speakers will include space experts from all parts of the world.

The purpose of the symposium is to encourage agencies, businessmen and teachers from all countries to share their ideas, programmes and strategies to meet the needs of primary and secondary school pupils and university students and provide in-service training for professionals in the space industry.

States are constantly required to meet the challenge of ensuring that educational methods keep pace with a changing world. The new technologies loom ever larger in our daily lives and we must all be given an opportunity to familiarise ourselves with this aspect of the modern world and extend the boundaries of our knowledge by taking part in the rapid advances in this area.

Space applications too play an increasing part in our lives, pointing the way to the future. Space can be an excellent adjunct to education, contributing to a better understanding of the world around us and providing young people with the basic knowledge that is an essential part of their training.

Space activities play a key role in prompting explorers, pioneers and inventors to press forward, to provide a source of innovation at the service of mankind and improve our quality of life. The space industry and space agencies can contribute to national education by providing and maintaining programmes at all levels and using the most effective teaching methods to foster enthusiasm for space among the young and encourage them to work in that sector later.

The symposium will open with an official ceremony at 9.30 on Monday 3 April, and end with a formal dinner on Wednesday 5 April. The programme will include plenary sessions and workshops, starting with four plenary sessions: two on Monday, at which representatives of space firms and agencies will speak, and two on Tuesday morning, at which teachers, students and pupils, will have their say. These will be followed by five workshops, to be held on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.

Media representatives wishing to attend the Symposium are asked to complete the attached form and return it by fax to by 27.3.2000.

For further information, please contact :

Franco Bonacina - ESA Media Relations

Tel.: +33(0) - Fax : +33(0)


Wubbo J. Ockels - ESA/ESTEC

Tel. : +31(0)71.565.3505 - Fax : +31(0)71.565.5590

Sandra Laly - CNES press office

Tel. :+33(0) - Fax : +33(0)

For further information on ESA and CNES, visit :

ESA web pages :

CNES web pages :

This press release is also being issued by CNES.