Educating and Educational: the ESA Teachers’ Summer Workshop

Fatima de PintoFatima de Pinto
  1 August 2016

Every summer, ESA’s Education Office organizes a workshop for teachers from across Europe.  This year the workshop took place from 6 to 8 July at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), the Netherlands. Up to 70 teachers, both primary and secondary level, had the opportunity to do hands-on activities developed by the ESA Education Office and European Space Education Research Office (ESERO) national offices, attend lectures from top-level space experts, as well as get to know the daily life routine in the International Space Station as experienced by ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts. As members of the ESA Education team, my fellow EJR-Quartz for ESA colleagues Anca Zinculescu, Karina de Castris, and myself thoroughly enjoyed helping to plan and execute this unique event.

As Science didactics expert, I helped develop the educational resources to be presented during the workshop. Working with ESA Kids editor Karina, we curated different teachers’ resources to identify what worked, translated these into English to make them readily available to all, and added info related to ESA and its missions. Our colleague Anca (Web and graphics designer) created the illustrations for the resources as well as the presentation templates.

During the three-day workshop, we presented workshops on different topics to primary- and secondary-level teachers as well as led the hands-on activities. Throughout the event, Anca published web articles and covered the workshop on social media (#ESATeach2016).

While helping to inspire teachers and to demonstrate how space can be used for teaching and learning STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, we also had the chance to learn more about different space topics and to become familiar with amazing educational tools. This workshop was also a unique opportunity to connect directly with teachers from all over Europe. We look forward to next year’s Teachers’ Workshop!